Monday, February 11, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Alleluia!

It's that time again! Lent begins on Wednesday and so on Sunday we said goodbye to our old friend "Alleluia." At Christ Church, we refrain from using this word of celebration throughout the more sober season of Lent and find that it makes our Easter "alleluias" all the more joyful.

During the recessional hymn, children gathered in the front hall to get ready!

The children processed up the aisle and lined up in front of the Church so that we could see the "alleluia."

Then Rev. Peter collected our butterflys and tucked them away in the sacristy. We won't see them again until Easter morning.

This year the "alleluia" we put away looked a little different than in the past. You can see pictures of last year's "Farewell to Alleluia!"  and the final alleluia banner in other posts. We have something new planned for Easter morning this year! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Living Lent As A Family

Lent is just around the corner! It begins on Ash Wednesday, which is February 13th this year. As you prepare for the season, here are some ideas from Thoughts From the Sheepfold to consider.

The children in our Church create an alleluia banner each year and "bury" it the Sunday before Lent begins. As a Church we forego the use of this celebratory word for the season of Lent and bring it (and the banner!) out again on Easter Sunday! This is an idea that you could easily adapt for your family at home!

Check out the link above for an directions for creating a meditation garden in your home, and ideas for using it in Lent. We bring ours out every Lent and really love having it for prayer. You can see how I adapted this idea last year in the post Try This: Lenten Prayer Garden.

We made these simple prayer chains two years ago at our Shrove Tuesday pancake supper and found them to be a really meaningful way to pray together as a family in Lent. I'm making some adaptations to the prayers to share with the Church again this year.

Last year, we made these prayer beads on Shrove Tuesday and in atrium and enjoyed having them as a reminder to draw closer to God in Lent. Easy instructions for making prayer beads are linked to the post.

My daughter and I made this Easter Garden last year during Holy Week, but it would be a great project to begin in Lent and could be added to throughout the season. For example you could add a new plant each week, and the tomb and the pathway as the season progresses. The cross could be brought into the garden on Good Friday, and the butterfly on Easter Sunday. It would also be lovely to bring some blooms into the arrangement for the season of Easter. 

We love to create practical life work that is appropriate to the Church season for our atria. Here is a look at some trays we put together for Lent several years ago.


Ash Wednesday Service for Families
Each year Rev. Peter and I offer a very short Ash Wednesday service for children at 5:30 pm in our Chapel. It is such a beautiful child-centered service and a wonderful way to begin Lent with children. If you are local I hope to see you there on February 13th!

Peace to you as you prepare to live a Holy Lent!