Find out what it means to Encounter Lent with these theological and scriptural reflections.
Our parishes are our spiritual homes — they are the center of our communities’ journey of faith. So, too, are parishes the center of CRS Rice Bowl. More than 10,000 parishes across the United States participate each Lent to enrich their parishioners’ Lenten experiences through the traditional practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. And it’s easy to get involved.
General Information and Planning Tools
Prayers and Liturgy
Meet with your pastor to discuss how CRS Rice Bowl can fit into your parish’s Lenten plans. Share these 5 Easy Steps To Encounter Lent. And remember — CRS Rice Bowl can be easily integrated into your community’s weekly liturgical celebrations.
- This Blessing to Begin the Lenten Journey can be used at Mass or during a prayer service.
- These Prayer Intentions integrate themes of global solidarity into the Prayer of the Faithful.
- Keep these prayer cards in your wallet, pocket or backpack to remember those for whom we pray this Lent.
Communicate with Families
Don’t forget to communicate with your parishioners — both at Mass and throughout the week.
- Adapt this scripted Pulpit Announcement to share the news of CRS Rice Bowl with your faith community.
- Send this letter home to all families to introduce them to CRS Rice Bowl.
- Include this Bulletin Insert in your weekly bulletin — and encourage families to keep it on hand throughout the season.
- Use these weekly Bulletin Announcements to inspire Lenten action each week.
- Take a look at these photos, logos and other pieces of art that can be used in your bulletins, newsletters, websites and more.
- Make use of our Social Media Kit to share CRS Rice Bowl to your Facebook and Twitter followers.
Now, invite volunteers to help serve as CRS Rice Bowl coordinators. They can help plan events, coordinate communication and more. Show them this video to get started.
Next step: don’t forget to order free CRS Rice Bowl materials for your community! Just go here (crsricebowl.org/order) or call 800-222-0025. You can expect to receive your materials in early January.
Once your CRS Rice Bowls have arrived, you’ll want to plan a fun and creative way to distribute them. Consider enlisting youth from your parish to pass them out on Ash Wednesday or the Sunday before.
Resources for Various Ministries
There are 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, and CRS Rice Bowl offers resources for each one of them — and for everyone in your parish.
- Families: Visit our Family Page to find resources — like our Lenten Kit for Families — to bring Lent to life in the home.
- Religious Education: Visit our Educators’ Page to find our Educator’s Guide, full of lesson plans and activities to bring Lent to life in the classroom.
- Youth & Young Adult Ministry: Check out our Youth Page to find our Youth in Solidarity Reflections to animate your youth ministries, and don’t forget to explore our Community Reflections for young adult faith-sharing.
- Hispanic Ministry: Our Reflexiones para la Pastoral Juvenil Hispana — available only in Spanish — accompanies youth and young adults throughout the season of Lent.
- CRS Global Fellows: Invite a CRS Global Fellow — a priest or deacon who has been trained by CRS — to speak at your parish about global solidarity.
- Intergenerational Events: CRS Rice Bowl offers several ways to bring your entire parish together this Lent. Consider hosting a simple supper using one of our meatless recipes from around the world. (Don’t forget to print out a placemat for each guest!) And bring the parish together in prayer using the Stations of the Cross, the Seven Sorrows of Mary or the Live Mercy: Feed the Hungry faith-sharing resource.
Collecting CRS Rice Bowls
As Lent draws to a close, you’ll want to plan a fun and meaningful way to collect your parishioners’ CRS Rice Bowls. Here are five simple steps.
Don’t forget to hang up the poster you receive mid-Lent to inform your community how CRS Rice Bowls will be collected. Some parishes make use of our Envelope Template to facilitate collections. And consider using this Offertory Prayer to End the Lenten Journey at Mass or at a prayer service towards the end of Lent.
Thank your community! Don’t forget to display the Thank You Poster you receive at the end of Lent to thank your community for their Lenten sacrifices. And write about your Lenten journey in your bulletin!