How To Set Up A Lent Table- Lent Home Altar Ideas

During Lent, we like to have a Lent table where we can set objects that remind our family of the liturgical season. These kinds of tables can have multiple names such as prayer tables, or home altars. It doesn’t have to be a table either- any surface will do, including a shelf. You can read my basic post about how to set up a home altar here. This is a simple tradition that can really keep your family focused during Lent, so let me show you how to set up a Lent table in your home! 

Home Altars Are Easy

First of all, I don’t want to scare anyone away by using the name “home altar” because when I was first starting out with this stuff, that phrase seemed so official. But setting up a home altar doesn’t have “rules”. It’s not hard. It’s just about finding a surface in your home, and placing objects that remind your family of Jesus.

I have been living the liturgical year in our home now for a decade, and we have had many Lent tables at multiple different homes, with different numbers of children, with different ages of children. I like to try new things from year to year, so this is a collaboration of pictures through the years of our Lenten table. Some things become a favorite and we use them year after year, but sometimes it’s fresh to change it up. 

Affordable Lenten Altar Ideas

I love to do things on the cheap! I have a special post dedicated to showing you how to set up your very own beautiful Lenten altar for just $10! All you need is stuff from the Dollar Tree, stuff from your printer, and stuff from your yard! You definitely don’t want to miss these tips.

Purple- The Liturgical Color Of Lent

Because purple is the liturgical color of Lent, it-s great to include some on your Lent home altar. You can put down a piece of cloth, a place-mat, a pillow case, or anything you may have in the color. Often I will get a cut of fabric from Wal-Mart in the liturgical color and lay it down, rough edges and all. Don’t make it overly complicated because the easier it is to execute, the more likely you are to actually do it, and that’s the important part. 

Several years ago I got multiple plastic and metal plates from a thrift store and spray painted them purple. Not I can use them on my Lenten table to set stuff up on, and I keep them from year to year. 

A Small Desert

This can be a fun inclusion for your Lent table. You can take a dish or plate of some kind and fill it with sand or small rocks. This could also include some small succulents, or even a small cross made from sticks tied together with twine. 

Pray, Fast, Give… Include These Concepts!

Because the entire season of Lent is about including more prayer, fasting, and almsgiving into our daily lives, these are great concepts to make sure to include on your Lent table. 

For awhile I kept a Science type display board for Lent, which worked well. It included our printable Lenten calendar, and also an almsgiving countdown and a version of my pray fast give craft

Prayer books, rosaries, candles etc. are great symbols and helpers for prayer. We also love to include an offering box on the Lent table to collect spare change in during the season. During Holy Week, we donate the money. You can see how to make your own offering box here

I actually made the words “pray fast give” to display on our Lent table years ago, and I love pulling these out each year! Totally worth the work.

Include Lenten Symbols

It is so easy to include a wooden cross because if you don’t have one, you can just tie 2 sticks together with twine, because the rugged look is just as awesome for Lent!  During Lent, you can drape a piece of purple cloth over the cross, and even add a wreath to symbolize a crown of thorns. 

For extra fun, during Holy Week, you can switch out the cloths for the different days. You can see a great example of switch the cross colors at Catholic Inspired!

Switching Colors On Your Lenten Cross:

  • Palm Sunday- red with palms
  • Spy Wednesday- blue with coins
  • Holy Thursday- purple with chalice and/or bread
  • Good Friday- black with crown of thorns
  • Holy Saturday- empty
  • Easter Sunday- white with lilies! 

Because Lent is about simplifying, some families like to cover or “veil” their pictures and statues with purple cloths during the Lenten season or Passiontide to be revealed again for Easter. All you need to do this is some cuts of purple fabric. You can read more about the veiling tradition here

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More Objects You Can Include On Your Lent Home Altar

  • Crucifixes
  • Rosaries
  • Prayer Cards
  • A wooden cross (even 2 sticks tied together with string)
  • A Bible
  • Prayer Books
  • Stations of the cross book
  • Stations of the cross grottos or statues
  • Images of Jesus during Lent/Holy Week
  • Wreaths that look like crown of thorns
  • Succulents to represent the desert
  • Crosses

We also keep our box where we bury the alleluia on our Lenten home altar.

And my very favorite Lenten resource for kids of all time… our Stations of the cross eggs!!!

We also keep our crown of thorns for good deeds on the Lenten table.

And here is our garland of “crown of thorns” that I made from some small wreaths I found at a craft shop and some purple ribbon. I like to have a little Lenten decor around this time of year. 

Lenten Home Altar Printables

I love being able to switch out the printables on my home altar through the season of Lent to keep it fresh week after week! Definitely check out my Lenten home altar quotes pack which includes the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and many Catholic quotes for Lent that are perfect for your home altar! It also comes with a “Pray, Fast, Give” triptych that is simple to use.

Lenten Candles For Your Home Altar

These are kinda like the counterpart to your Advent wreath, and the candles can count down then Sundays of Lent with your family. This can go on your home altar or your family dinner table. Read all about how to make and use your own Lenten candles here.

Build Your Resources Through The Years

As you create or collect things for your Lent table, you can keep them year after year! I fully suggest getting a “Lent” box for your attic and putting it right beside your Christmas and Easter boxes. It could also hold your resources for St. Patrick’s day, St. Joseph’s feast day, and even Valentine’s day (which is near or during Lent). You can watch my video all about my Lent box in my attic here.

Hope you found these Lenten table ideas useful!

Be sure to check out my printable Lenten planning pages for moms- it will help your Lent fun smoothly and with purpose.

The Symbolic Holy Week & Easter Cookbook is sure to bless your family in the upcoming seasons! Read more now.

You can find the rest of my Lenten resources for kids here It’s full of links and ideas!


  1. Jennifer Byrne says

    How did you make the PRAY, FAST and GIVE signs?

  2. Jennifer Byrne says

    Thank you Lacy!

  3. Rocio Prado says

    I have a question, I have a regular altar where I have a statue of Mary, Jesus and St. Michael, with my bible and our holy water … should I remove it? and keep only our lenten altar? or its ok to keep my current altar and make the lenten altar in another area?