In many liturgical traditions the word ‘alleluia’ is purposefully left out of all liturgies and songs used during the season of Lent as a way to honor the solemness of the season. Only then to ring out the Good News on Easter proclaiming, “Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia!”
To recognize this tradition many churches have the practice of symbolically burying the alleluia at the start of Lent. We’ve never practiced this tradition at our church before but since we’re spending the season of Lent Growing our Faith in God’s Garden, I thought it would be fun to introduce this practice to our congregation.
Usually, the tradition looks like bringing in a large sign or banner with the word alleluia written on it, explaining that we won’t be using the word again in church until Easter, and then symbolically placing it in a box or even inside the baptismal fount. (This usually happens as the children’s time.) On Easter the paper or banner is brought out of its hiding place and displayed or waved around during worship. I’ve even heard of some churches having lots of little alleluia flags to give to people to wave whenever they hear or say the word during Easter worship.
I’ve decided, to go along with our theme of growing and plants, we are literally going to bury some alleluias in dirt! I found this seed paper I will write the word alleluia on and then I’ll have the kids bury it in a see-through container during children’s time. But I’m not going to tell them it’s seed paper! So “miraculously” our alleluias will begin to sprout, roots will grow, and by Easter our written alleluias will have grown into nature’s alleluias: flowers! I’m hoping this will also give us a nice, progressing visual for each week of our Growing Faith Lent Series.
Update: the seed paper instructions state you need to soak it over night, so I did a test. I wrote Alleluia on half a sheet and soaked it over night. It has held together and the word Alleluia is still visible. My plan is to soak several sheets over night and take them to church in a ziploc bag so they stay moist. The instructions also say to tear them up before planting so that’s what I will have the kids do during children’s time. You could also have them bury a dry sheet and then dig it back up after church, soak it, tear it, and re-bury/plant it without them knowing!
I will keep posting ideas and resources to support this series so be sure to follow the blog and Get Lit Worship Resources on Facebook so you don’t miss a post!
You can find lots of other resources for Lent throughout the blog.
Happy planning! (And happy planting!)
I think I’m most excited about this component of our Bethlehem House of Bread Advent Worship Series. While this children’s Christmas pageant compliments our theme for Advent this year, I think it would work wonderfully with any Advent theme. Check out this fun and simple Christmas pageant I wrote and feel free to adapt as needed for your setting (you can easily make it longer by adding some carols interspersed throughout). I’d love to know if you do this pageant and see a recording of your version! I’ll share the recording of ours which will be preformed on Advent 4!
Click here to download: The Great Bethlehem Bake-Off Christmas Pageant Skit
Check out my other Advent resources here:
Hanging of the Greens Worship service
All Earth Is Waiting Advent Series
Fear Not Advent Series
The Gift of Yes Advent Series
Advent Wreath liturgy options
Bethlehem Advent Bible Study
Have fun and happy planning!
I’m so excited about our fall series this year! We’re turning to childhood icon, Mister Rogers for inspiration as the kids go back to school. Since we’re channeling all things Mister Rogers Neighborhood, I thought it was the perfect time for puppets! For the month of September we’ll be doing puppet skits for our children’s time! But as I scoured the internet for a puppet skit I could adapt, I was shocked to find nothing usable. Once I accepted that I would just need to write some puppet skits, I also decided I might as well share them in hopes when the next poor pastor goes googling she’ll find something halfway decent. I’ll be sharing them week by week so be sure to subscribe below so you don’t miss the rest!
Loving our Neighbors Puppet Script (click here to download)
As August draws to a close, we’re preparing for fall and the start of a new school year! I’m excited to be including a backpack blessing in our worship service this year. Either the Sunday before or after the schools in your area start back up, invite students, teachers, and educators of all kinds to bring their bag to church to receive a blessing. We even made buttons for everyone’s bags that say “You are loved!” I’m planning to do this for our Children’s Time that Sunday.
Here’s the responsive liturgy and prayer we’ll be using to bless our backpacks this year:
One: As we begin this new school year, we give thanks that God has given us all the ability to learn many things in many ways.
Adults: We learn in school, and also in church, in our family,
in our community, and in the world.
Kids: Learning is a gift from God.
One: We ask God’s blessing on this new school year, that it may be a time when we appreciate and fully engage God’s gift of learning.
Adults: We ask God to bless our schools and teachers.
Kids: We ask God to bless our classmates and friends.
Adults: We ask God to bless our principals, counselors, and librarians.
One: We ask God to bless those who prepare our lunches, those who drive us to school, and those who keep our schools clean and safe.
Adults: We give thanks to God for books and computers and all the tools that help
Kids: We give thanks to God for the gift of learning!
One: Let us pray.. Loving God, sometimes a new school year seems exciting or scary or both. Sometimes school is great, and sometimes it’s hard. But we know that whether we are excited or scared, you are with us. We know that whether school is great or hard, you are with us. Thank you for always being with us. Help us remember we are loved no matter what. Help us do our best and help us show others your love in all we say and do each day. AMEN
Here’s the invite we’ve been sharing in our community. This one has space for you to add in the date and time of your backpack blessing. And don’t forget to put your church name, address, and website along the bottom!
This Easter Vigil is designed for children and youth. It takes kids through the major events of Holy Week and helps them understand the reason for our Easter celebration. You can make it as complex or simple as you want. We use this vigil to introduce our annual Easter Egg Hunt. Click to download the PDF: Kids Easter Vigil Script