What is Lent?
Lent is the time to prepare your heart and mind for Easter. Historically, Christians have spent 40 days in fasting and prayer to think about all that Jesus gave up for us on the cross – his human life. Historically, in some churches, people chose to “give up” something that is personally important to them for the period of Lent as a personal sacrifice. Lent is a time to think about our sins. To repent. A time to think on how we can become better Christians.
When does Lent begin?
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, the day after Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day.
Why is Lent 40 days long? (Remember Lent is 40 days, not counting Sundays)
Historically, it is based on the time Jesus spent in the wilderness fasting and praying and being tempted by the devil! See: Matthew 4:2
What can I give up for Lent?
Apps—get sponsorship to give up all your apps for Lent, or just your favourite app.
Bottled water—we use up to 13 billion a year in the UK1 Carry a flask instead. Put aside 10p every time you would have bought a plastic bottle.
Chocolate! Yes, that old favourite! The most popular thing to give up for Lent. Or crisps or chips.
Desserts – if you have a sweet tooth, why not give up your puds this Lent?
Eating cakes. Go the extra mile and do a cake sale—without indulging yourself!
Films. Prices vary, but one cinema ticket may cost you £7.
Fizzy drinks: this one is good for your teeth as well!
Gaming. Get sponsored for giving up some screen time!
Hurrying everywhere. Bike or walk instead of taking the bus – extra time to think, more exercise and money for others!
Imported fruit and vegetables. Eat locally sourced. Work out how many air miles you save and get sponsored per hundred.
Instagram or Facebook – spend the saved time praying for those who don’t have enough food.
Jewellery. Go sober for Lent! You could even have a jewellery sale of all that old stuff you never use—profits to charity!
Kettles! Forget hot drinks and drink water instead.
Lunch on Fridays—or swap it for a simple bowl of soup.
Lights – switching off the lights during the day saves money and the planet!
Meat. Another popular one! Go veggie—this one will help the planet too!
Nail polish. Run a nail bar instead
Online. Give up that screen time and think of others.
Pizza. And other fast food; this one is good for your health and for people in need
Quality Street—other varieties of sweets are also available to give up!
Reaching into the cookie jar. Ban cookies for Lent: give 5p for every time you would have eaten one.
Speaking. A sponsored silence is a great way to raise money. Parents and teachers love this one!
Take-away food. This also helps reduce packaging.
Using electricity. Can you manage a day without?
Videos. Make one instead, to explain how ‘giving it up’ can help our global family. Post it on social media.
Water—obviously not giving up entirely! Can you reduce the amount you use? A shorter shower?
X-box or other games console. Give up a favourite computer game for Lent and get sponsored.
YouTube. Challenge yourself to go without, and get others to sponsor you!
Zzzz… Sleep on the floor in solidarity with the many who have no bed.
(Adapted from materials from CAFOD)