Stations of the Cross for Kids
I think that Stations of the Cross is one of the most beautiful devotions we have, and I love that we really focus on this devotion during Lent. When we were first married, my husband and I would go to the fish fry at our parish and stay for the Stations of the Cross afterward. We did this until last year, when the craziness of 2 little boys did not allow for us to attend anymore. They are usually in bed around the time that the Stations of the Cross begin, and I was sad that we would miss them again this year.
So imagine my JOY when I was approached by a woman in our mom’s group who asked if she could lead Stations for the kids! We got it approved by our Pastor and now have Stations of the Cross every Friday of Lent at 3pm at our parish. We have a beautiful set of Stations of the Cross outside in our GORGEOUS parish courtyard and the kids are free to roam around as we participate in the prayers. We also invite the kids to join us, and sometimes they do for a few minutes before running off to join rest of the kids. Our first week we had 5 moms and 17 kids! It was the best kind of chaos! It also provided an opportunity for us moms to gather and check in. Lent is not just a challenge for me, it can also be a challenge for my whole little family. That encouragement from the other parents to keep going has been a wonderful fruit of gathering for Stations of the Cross. Is my 3 year old prayerfully “entering into” the Stations of the Cross? No. Definitely not. BUT he IS getting to SEE the devotion prayed before him, and can look at each Station and observe what is happening. I think that is a start. Exposing our children to the MANY beautiful devotions of our Catholic Faith is so important.
Even if you think that your little ones won’t get anything out of praying different devotions like the rosary, a novena, or Stations of the Cross, I encourage you to begin to expose them to those rich aspects of our faith. I purchased a coloring book online of the Stations of the Cross and had my 3 year old color them. We have them up in the play room, so that he can always see them. A side note- I know that some children are naturally more sensitive to things, so if you have a child like that, and are concerned about exposing them to something rather gruesome, like the Stations of the Cross, I encourage you to look for a children’s version that you are comfortable with. We use a prayer book specifically for children that has been really good for them and explains each Station in a way that is both easy to understand and not too graphic. If your parish doesn’t offer anything like this for little kids, perhaps doing a mini Stations of the Cross at home can be a good way to pray with your little ones. I recently saw a great idea from a catholic mom who has a little Stations of the Cross box, and has something tangible for the kids to hold during each stations, things like a wooden cross, a nail, a cloth with Christ’s face drawn on it, things that pertain to each station. My sister in law is doing this with her 4 year old and 1 year old, and I think it is working great for her! Check out the many ideas other catholic moms have on Pinterest, YouTube, or any other social media outlet, and use what you can apply to your family!
My prayers are with you and your family this Lent. We are only a few weeks from Easter, and I pray that the rest of Lent is full of God’s goodness, peace, and grace for you!