Free printable Shrove Tuesday activities to prepare for Ash Wednesday and Lenten season

Mardi Gras--also called Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day and Shrove Tuesday--anticipates Ash Wednesday and Lent in the Catholic, Orthodox and some protestant Christian churches. These observances count down to holy week and the Easter Triduum. Shrove Tuesday falls at a different day each year with the movable Easter feast. In 2015, it's Tuesday, Feb. 17. Although the term Mardi Gras is used synonymously with the Carnivale ("farewell to the flesh") celebration, it's actually one day. Here are activities children can do to learn more about Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Lent.

Pray, fast and give alms. Print the calendar at the left to organize your lenten practices. Mardi Gras is the last day of ordinary time before Lent, the 40-day spiritual pilgrimage that follows Christ on his journey through the desert where he was tempted by Satan. As Jesus fasted, Catholics are called to imitate. Fasting means giving up self-centered practices and practicing selfless acts. The principal virtues of Lent are prayer, fasting and almsgiving (donating to those in need). At Ash Wednesday mass, the first religious event of Lent, the faithful are marked with ashes and told to "turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel."

http://www.thereligionteacher.com/lent-project-and-lesson-plan-ideas/

Confess sins. For Catholics, Mardi Gras is more than just a day to party before the fasting begins. The traditional name "Shrove Tuesday" more accurately reflects the purpose of Mardi Gras. To be shriven means to be purged of sin and purified by acts of confession and reconciliation in the Sacrament of penance. On Shrove Tuesday, Catholics go to confession, pray, repent and attend prayer services.
Explore with printable Lent lesson plans. Operation Rice Bowl has free Lenten printables.

http://www.crsricebowl.org/

Catholic Mom offers free printable Lent worksheets, puzzles, coloring pages, crafts, games and activities. Children can color Bible pictures, read from the Gospels, follow mass readings, pray the rosary and other Catholic prayers. Printables help reinforce lessons.

http://catholicmom.com/kids/lenten-activities-for-children/

Enjoy Pancake Day. Traditionally, during Lent, people abstain from eating meat, sugar, sweets, oil, butter and fats (hence the term "Fat Tuesday"). To use up these ingredients so they would not be in the home during Lent (and hence a temptation), Catholics made pancakes. That's why it's called Pancake Day.

Abstain from bad, practice good.
Giving up things (fasting) is a spiritual exercise. Catholics fast from
meat on Fridays (in remembrance of the death of Jesus). Many give up chocolate or other sweets. Fasting is particularly healthy for everyone, not just Catholics. It purges the body and soul. Fasting helps the mind focus on spiritual things. Lenten fasting resembles the dietary laws of other religions, notably Kashrut (kosher) Jewish laws, Buddhist and Muslim Ramadan fasting practices. But it's not just about giving up bad habits. It's about learning new healthier ones. So encourage children to give up something they like (candy) and work on improving a behavior--manners, tidiness, getting along.

'My 600-lb Life': drugs drive Kirstin Perez to bariatric surgery weight loss

This Lenten season, here are some thoughts on food addiction and what it means to truly give something up. The path to obesity was scary enough for Kirstin Perez. But what drove her to bariatric surgery on "My 600-lb Life" is the real horror story. Season five asks: can gastric bypass surgery and weight loss steer a 600-lb 38-year-old away from a head-on collision with death? Dr. Younan Nowzaradan believes it can, but only Perez can say for sure.   'My 600-lb Life': drugs drive Kirstin Perez to bariatric surgery weight loss

Pope Francis against un-Christian Donald Trump, Mexico wall, 'false prophets' in Election 2016

In a bizarre election, one of the biggest #Election 2016 oddities was the Catholic vote. As Catholics rallied to support "pro-life" Donald Trump and oppose "pro-choice" Hillary Clinton, their leader Pope Francis went the opposite way. Without naming names, the Pope warned against tyrannical governmental terrorism, fear-mongering and "false prophets." He alluded to un-Christian, anti-life Trump policies including a proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Pope Francis opposes un-Christian Donald Trump, walls, 'false prophets' in Election 2016

Halloween candy leftovers use-up recipes, ways to reuse stale candy from Trick-or-Treat

Trick-or-treat is over and now your kids have a haul of Halloween candy. Maybe you're stuck with stale candy you couldn't give away because it rained on Halloween or you didn't get as many trick-or-treating children. You might not be thinking Lenten activities at Halloween, but it's a great time to really. Here are pay-it-forward ways to get a jump on Lent virtues of sharing, almsgiving and even fasting with these candy use-up ideas. Halloween candy leftovers use-up recipes, ways to reuse stale candy from Trick-or-Treat

Free printable Passover kids crafts, Jewish activities on Hebrew Pesach holidays

 Passover or Pesach, is a high celebration in the Jewish Hebrew calendar. Passover is an eight-day holiday, beginning with two days of no work, four days of limited work and ending with two days of no work. The Passover celebration includes several Seder meals, with roast lamb, bitter herbs and matzo bread. Passover, or Pesach commemorates the passing over of the angel of death during the ten plagues of Egypt. God punished the Egyptians for the enslavement of the Hebrews. First born male infants were to die unless the blood of a lamb was put on the lintels and door posts. Passover, or Pesach, is part of Christian calendar as well; it was at the Passover meal that Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist or communion.  Free printable Passover kids crafts, Jewish activities on Hebrew Pesach holidays | Examiner.com

Lenten almsgiving: No-cost good deeds, donations, ROAK, volunteer work for kids | Examiner.com

 Catholics around the world enter into the penitential season of Lent on Ash Wednesday. In 2016, Ash Wednesday will be on Feb. 10. Starting after Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), until Easter, Catholics practice Lenten virtues of prayer, fasting and almsgiving (charitable giving) Catholics "give up things" in sacrifice for others and in imitation of Jesus's temptation in the desert. So abstaining--got it. But what about almsgiving if you're poor yourself? What about kids who typically don't have much money? Can they practice Lent sacrifice? Yes, because almsgiving doesn't have to involve donations of money. You can make donations of time and talent as well as treasure. Here are no-cost good deeds, ROAK (Random Acts of Kindness) and volunteer work for kids. Use this Lenten calendar of no-cost good deeds, one for every day of Lent.  Lenten almsgiving: No-cost good deeds, donations, ROAK, volunteer work for kids | Examiner.com

Pancake Day recipes, Shrove Tuesday pancakes, waffles for Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday feast

Happy Pancake Day! Also called Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, it's the day Catholics celebrate in preparation for Ash Wednesday and the sacrificial Lenten season. Catholics give up things for Lent. Traditionally that meant abstaining from meat, dairy, eggs, fat and sugar for 40 days till Easter. So they would use up or "shrive" the house of those foods and make them into pancakes. A house shriven (purged) of temptation symbolizes a soul purged of sin (Catholics also to confession before Lent to ready themselves for the penitential season). Here are delicious pancake and waffle recipes for Pancake Day. You can cheat and use pancake mix--the best is Krusteaz Honey Wheat. Krusteaz uses unbleached and whole grain flour. Pancake Day recipes, Shrove Tuesday pancakes, waffles for Mardi Gras feast 

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