Things you could give up for Lent:

  • Television (or certain shows)
  • The radio (all the time, certain time of day, etc.)
  • Favorite foods (pizza, ice cream, etc.)
  • Eating out
  • Alcohol
  • Soft drinks/caffeine/coffee
  • Smoking
  • Clutter
  • Debt (using credit cards)
  • Certain books/magazines (read ones that will help you grow spiritually)
  • Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.)
  • Computer use/bloggingp
  • Negativity/Stress
  • Gossip
  • Road rage
  • Lying
  • Swearing/foul language
  • Addictions
  • Procrastination
  • Working overtime (unnecessarily)
  • Social Networking

Things to add during Lent:

  • Going to Mass more than once a week
  • Praying the Rosary
  • Attending weekly Stations of the Cross
  • Making time for personal prayer with the Lord
  • Praying with your family
  • Going to Confession
  • Quiet time
  • Commitment to exercise
  • Making time for your spouse/children
  • Sacrificing for your spouse/children
  • Affirming those around you (daily or weekly)
  • Being a better friend
  • Staying positive
  • Volunteering
  • Works of Mercy (feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, etc.)
  • Tithing
  • Getting enough sleep at night
  • Being on time

Still Not Sure What to Give Up?

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What To Give Up


Give It Up For Lent

Give it up for LentWhat can YOU give up for Lent?

During Lent, we as Christians are given a unique opportunity to prepare our hearts to receive the Paschal Mystery of Christ (His passion, death, and resurrection). When we give up something for Lent, we endure our sacrifice as a reminder of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice on the Cross. When we add something to our daily lives, we experience the sacrifice of carrying our cross in a deeper way. This Lenten season, embrace the call of the Church and of Christ in making room for the Lord in your heart.

In order to decide what to give up for Lent, you should first identify the things in your life that have taken over. Sit down and pray about what has become a controlling factor of your life. It could easily be a food, activity, or object. Once you have determined what you need to remove from your life (even if it is only for the duration of Lent) you can decide if it is something you can or should give up completely or simply decrease its presence in your life. It’s not just a matter of saying, “I really like chocolate, so I should give it up completely.” What you could say is, “I spend far too much time watching television when I should be spending time in prayer or with my family. I am going to decrease my television time and increase the time I spend with my family and with God.”

To guide you in deciding what to give up or add for Lent, see the lists below. Allow your decision to be rooted in prayer and strengthened through Christ. Through this season of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, may we come to know the Lord more deeply and recognize all He gives to us each day.

What is turning our eyes from Christ? How can we give up on the old ways to prepare for a new life in Christ?

Fresh Take on Lenten Sacrifices

We’ve got tons of ideas about what to give up for Lent. Be sure to follow us or sign up for email alerts. We’ll be keeping you on track this Lent with our Daily Sacrifices!

We also recognize that each person is different and seeks unique challenges in their spiritual lives. While we offer specific sacrifices for men, women, and children, here is a list of fresh and relevant approaches to this Lenten season. We offer suggestions in hopes that you find one or many that strike a chord, that challenge you to reconsider your “old” Lenten practices, and that draw you on to holiness.

Ideas for Lent:

  • Social Networking. Give it up completely. That won’t work? Challenge yourself to post a spiritually uplifting, though-provoking insight, or heart-felt prayer each day. Perhaps you could limit your time on each site—don’t waste time pouring over the lives of others when your life is pretty sweet.
  • Clothing. Ok, don’t forgo clothing this Lent. Instead, try not to purchase any new clothing during Lent. Your friends probably have nice duds. Borrow theirs!
  • Coffee. Think you can go without it? Try limiting your intake during the week—maybe only two or three times a week. Give up going to your favorite place. When paying for your cup of joe, put down an extra $5 for the person ordering after you.
  • Books/Movies/Magazines. Maybe you feel like you could give up watching so many movies or flipping through magazines. If you’re an avid purchaser of books, movies, and magazines, challenge yourself to use your local library. They can find anything you’re looking for. Expect to pay nothing (apart from fines you may rack up) or a small fee (new releases), and your expenses will be minimal compared to the “check-out” price.
  • Charity. Help out those in need. Maybe you could tithe to your church or a favorite charity. Do some research—plenty of places around town could use a hard-working volunteer.

Whatever you decide to take on or give up for Lent, we challenge you to commit yourself to the season and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. In changing up some of our daily routines, we’re forced to re-think the muscle memory in our lives. Why do we do what we do? Perhaps you’ll remember what Lent is truly about and how you’re growing closer to God through each day and each sacrifice.

What can Children give up for Lent?

Giving up things for Lent is not just for adults; it's for everyone! Children can participate in the Lenten season in similar ways. They can give up things during Lent or do special things for themselves and others. While it is important for parents or teachers to guide children in deciding what to give up, children themselves should participate in deciding what they want to give up. And no, giving up chores or homework is not an option! Typically children give up candy, video games, television, and other electronics or activities they do or use on a daily basis. Instead of giving up these things, they could spend time in daily prayer, help the less fortunate, or do more chores around the house. As a parent or teacher, you could encourage children to practice spiritual discipline during Lent, rather than giving something up. They should be challenged to find new ways to give service to others, to pray more, or to sacrifice for the Lord.

Things Children could give up or add for Lent:

  • Television (or certain shows)
  • Video games
  • Computer (games, social networking, etc.)
  • Fighting with siblings
  • Being disrespectful to parents
  • Lying
  • Soft drinks
  • Sweets/Candy
  • Being nice to friends/classmates/teachers
  • Doing homework on time
  • Doing chores
  • Going to bed on time
  • Reading the Bible
  • Saving money/allowance to give the Church/charity
  • Sharing with others
  • Paying attention during Mass

"Are you capable of risking your life for someone? Do it for Christ."
- Pope John Paul II
, Lent Quote