Bringing ashes home. Often Ash Wednesday services are later then young children's bedtimes. Too often we blame young families for not coming to such a solemn service on the tone of the service and not the fact that the time is inconvenient or that it's too long for a young child to sit quietly at night. Is there a way for households to pick up ashes to bring home? To share around candlelight at their own kitchen tables saying the simple words "You are dust and to dust you shall return," on the foreheads of each other?
Does your church have a healing/prayer station during Lent?
If so, consider serving at the station as a family.
Even young kids can make the sign of the cross on someone's forehead.
They may even be comfortable saying the prayer too!
An Illustrated Labyrinth Meditation: Ash Wednesday - This resource is perfect for those of you looking for a quiet, meditative resource for Ash Wednesday. Additionally, the resource includes directions to use it personally, but also with groups. When you purchase An Illustrated Labyrinth Meditation: Ash Wednesday, you will receive:
Some background information about Ash Wednesday, which may be interesting to share with your group
Directions for using the meditation individually or with a group
A scripture labyrinth and refrain page to guide your meditation
An illustrated activity page to share your intentions for Lent
A closing prayer
A beautifully illustrated hand-drawn labyrinth
Ash Wednesday - An at-home Ash Wed fire can be done around a small fire pit in any backyard, on a roof top, on the beach, or on your deck. The activity can be large-scale with a community; or small-scale around a group of candles or indoor fireplace.
Holy Week TryTank - Are you looking for a deeper way to experience Holy Week? This year, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, you’ll receive text messages in real-time so you can walk with Jesus during his final days. When we say ‘real-time’ we mean it! Some text messages will arrive early in the morning or late at night as we truly walk with Jesus and experience the events leading to His death and resurrection. As you read the texts, our hope is that you’ll live the Easter story as if it were happening in the moment.
From Author Kate Bowler, Free downloadable guides for whatever this season is bringing you—the lovely, the garbage, the difficult, the heartbreaking.
Let’s bless it all this Lent.
Illustrated Ministry has devotionals and Lenten Coloring pages and posters which have the promise of bringing all ages together for perhaps a new Lenten discipline for families or congregations.
Lenten coloring calendars from Sybil MacBeth and Praying in Color.
A six-session at-home, interactive resource.
Lions and Camels and Goats Oh My! from 2020, a FREE Family Lenten devotional edited by Pastor Heather Roth Johnson.
40 Days Together helps equip families to take on regular spiritual practices together for everyone: table tents with mealtime prayers for families to use all through Lent and conversation questions for the car, for family group text threads, for the table, or whenever. These will be released on our website for all to freely use.
for subscribers/one time (minimal fee involved): more comprehensive materials for families to use, towards the goal of spending 40 Hours Together throughout the Lenten season.
Questions email firstname.lastname@example.org
40 Days Together: Family price $10
40 Days Together: Congregations 50 and under in worship $30
From Author Traci Smith Faithful Families Lenten Booklet 14 Weeks from Lent to Pentecost (Most Suited for Families with Young Children -- PreK - Grade 2).
Stations of the Cross:
Interactive Prayer Stations for Lent - from Pastor Theresa Cho. Offering adult all the way through toddler suggestions.
Flame: Creative Kids - Family Lent Activities
From the UMC comes a fabulous resource, called Lent in a Box. Option A: Digital Format Option B: Printed Format Option C: Lent in a Box
The #NoPlasticsforLent initiative, led by young adults across the church, calls us to prayer for creation, to lament the ways we have been complicit in the degradation of the earth, and to action to care for our neighbor in fasting from the things that are hurting our planet.
Make Room: A Child's Guide to Lent and Easter by Laura Alary and illustrated by Ann Boyajian. Simple language focusing on welcoming space for God with activities like cleaning a room, making bread and inviting a neighbor for supper as acts of justice and kindness.
What is Lent in a Bag?
Great for sending from the congregation out to the "domestic church" by distributing small bags (cloth, paper, or ziplock bags) with symbols of the season which assists individuals and families in practicing Lent at home. In addition to the items, include instructions, and reflections (on purple paper of course) to go with each item. Included here are many different takes on this.
GenOn Ministries is here to help you in a variety of ways. We have Holy Week, Eastertide, and Spring resources for your church families to use at home. Resources are downloadable and FREE.
The Bread of Life (PDF download) - by Nancy Cocks from the Iona Community comes an all-age communion for Lent.
Focusing on bread and including a drama script and a child-friendly communion service.
Resources from Methodist Pastarist Jan Richardson
Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.”
Holy Thursday: At the Table, Speaking of Love
Good Friday: Speaking, Still
Holy Saturday: A Day Between
Easter Sunday: Out of the Garden
Holy Week Sermons from Texas Bishops -
Use them and engage in self-care.
Maundy Thursday Bishop Michael Rinehart
Texas – Louisiana Gulf Coast, Good Friday
Good Friday Bishop Sue Briner
Southwestern Texas, Easter Sunday
Easter Sunday Bishop Erik Gronberg
Northern Texas – Northern Louisiana
Palm Sunday Discovery Basket - Creative touch and feel objects to help experience the Palm Sunday story.
Palm Sunday Video- thanks to Brooke DeJong and her awesome youth group, they creatively bring the Bible story "home."
Maundy Thursday Stripping the Domestic Church table - Stripping of the altar (removing all ornaments, linens, candles, plants, flowers, etc.) is an ancient custom of the Church. Congregations mark the way Christ’s life was stripped from him by stripping the altar of all signs of life and beauty during a special service.
One Bread, One Cup, One People: An Intergenerational Event on the Lord's Supper - from the Christian Reformed Church comes a well outlined discussion and activity for all ages. Could be used Maundy Thursday.
Maundy Thursday with Children - The early evening service has three stations: a long, common table for Eucharist and our shared meal; an area for drawing our footprints on a large cloth; and an area for foot-washing.
A Service of Art, Music, and Readings for Holy Week - a FREE resource from Ashely Danyew who organized this service template by symbols and places mentioned in the story - light, water, table, garden, courtyard, cross, darkness. Notice that the service begins with “light" and ends with “darkness."
How to reinvent the Easter Egg Hunt and make it missional - Easter egg hunts can reflect the values and gifts of your congregation, rather than being all about shoving one another out of the way to get more candy. The Rev. Rebecca Nelson Edwards describes how her church moved from hoarding chocolate to sharing the mission of Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, using eggs filled with ‘outreach dollars’ to share. Of course, candy was available for everyone, too!
The Holy Moly Easter Story: Rebecca Glaser (Author) Bill Ferenc (Illustrator) Emma Trihart (Illustrator)
The Holy Moly Easter Story spans the last days of Jesus’ life in Jerusalem, from his grand entrance into the city to his resurrection. Drawing from the Gospel stories of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, The Holy Moly Easter Story presents the story of Jesus' sacrifice in a way children can understand.
Jesus is Risen - a pop-up book that goes all the way through Ascension and Pentecost! by writer/artist Agostino Tranini through Sparkhouse.
This is the Mystery of Easter -by Amelia Richardson Dress (Author), Lilly Moore (Illustrator). In this retelling of the story of Easter, kids and adults are invited to wonder together about the power of love to overcome injustice and fear. With the gentle refrain, "love God, love yourself and love everyone else."
Easter Sunrise at Home - An Easter sunrise breakfast is just the sort of tradition that families can make their own.
Consider making a Tomb "Nativity" or order one from OtterCreek SignCo = found on Etsy for ordering this Easter.
Living Easter (PDF download) - by Nancy Cocks
An all-age communion for Easter Sunday and incorporating a rooster’s view of the Resurrection.