Burying the Alleluia for Lent

alleluiaIn 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. seed paper

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!)

 

Growing Faith Lent Series

Growing Faith

I’m excited for our sermon series this year for Lent! We’ll be spending the season Growing our Faith by encouraging the same level of care we give to our gardens to be given to our faith as well. We’ll be using a song from The Porter’s Gate Worship Project called We Abide We Abide in You to compliment this theme. I’ll also be utilizing the Palm Sunday Responsive Reading I shared a few years ago in place of a sermon on Palm Sunday. I will continue to share communion liturgies and other resources that support this series so be sure you’re following the blog and Get Lit Worship Resources on Facebook so you don’t miss a post!

Download the worship plan pdf here: Growing Faith Worship Plan

You can find lots of other resources for Lent throughout the blog.

Happy almost Lent and happy planning!

C2W for Palm Sunday Cross Fit Faith

Here’s a Call to Worship for the sixth Sunday of Lent, Palm/Passion Sunday based on Luke 19:29-40, 22:14-21, 33-34, “Perfection Not Required” in the Cross Fit Faith worship series.

This Call to Worship has been adapted from  Rev. Christine Sobania Johnson’s Short Litany as Holy Week Begins, posted on her blog, Freshly Squeezed Liturgy

O God, today we come to cheer Jesus on as our champion and hail him as our hero.
   Forgive us tomorrow when our enthusiasm wanes. 
Today we have entrusted you to rescue us from our pitiful circumstances.
   Forgive us on Tuesday when we decide we can take care of ourselves. 
Today we make you the centerpiece of our very existence.
   Forgive us on Wednesday when we forget to remember who you are. 
Today we call out to you loudly by name.
   Forgive us on Thursday when we pretend that we’ve never met you. 
Today we stare at you with the star struck eyes of fans and groupies.
   Forgive us on Friday when we avert our eyes because it’s too painful to see you on the cross. 
Today we express our unsuppressed hopefulness in the future you have in store for us.
   Forgive us on Saturday when we believe all is lost. 
Today we are boldly certain of the earthly ways you will redeem us.
   Restore us on Sunday when we are startled and awed by your rising.
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Communion Liturgy of Poetry & Song

wildgeeseI recently had the rare joy of attending a worship service where my friend and colleague Rev. Rachel Morse introduced us to a beautiful simple song she had us use as a sung response throughout the liturgy. When I found out it was based on a Wendell Berry poem I loved it even more!

So thanks to Rachel’s inspiration and because April is National Poetry Month, I created another Communion Liturgy using Rev. Amy McCreath’s song, What we need is here that was inspired by the closing line of Wendell Berry’s poem, “The Wild Geese.”

Click here to download the PDF for a Communion Liturgy of Poetry & Song

As Holy Week nears, I’m planning to share a Maundy Thursday Taize service as well as Good Friday prayer stations! Be sure to click the follow button below to subscribe so you don’t miss any of that resource-y goodness!
And be sure to check out my resources from years past for a Kids’ Easter Vigil script, a Palm Sunday Responsive reading (sermon alternative!), and a fun little Easter Sunrise service!

Happy Holy Week Planning!

C2W Lent 5 Cross Fit Faith

Here’s a Call to Worship for the fifth Sunday of Lent based on Luke 11:1-10, “When It Gets Hard” in the Cross Fit Faith worship series.

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The Call
God calls us and despite all that has happened this week,
    O God, we are here.
We did not stay on track, we missed the mark more than once but
    O God, we are here.
We missed opportunities to trust you and tried to handle things ourselves but
    O God, we are here.
We fell off the wagon again this week and yet
    O God, we are here!
Our faith may feel stagnant and blasé but
    O God, we are here.
We are here.What we need is here.
    O God, we are ready to receive all that you would give.

 

 

C2W Lent 4 of Cross Fit Faith

Here’s a Call to Worship for the fourth Sunday of Lent based on Luke 10:38-42, “Mindset is Everything” in the Cross Fit Faith worship series.

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The Call
God calls us into presence.
    We come ready and willing to work on our faith.
Let us soak up the Love that improves us
    and pulls us from the dark corners of our minds.
For this next hour, let us focus solely on God, practicing our connection 
    so we know how to return to God this week when life brings us down.
Raise our souls and minds, O God, to focus on only what is necessary,
    our connection to You.

 

C2W for Lent 3 of Cross Fit Faith

Here’s a Call to Worship for the third Sunday of Lent based on Luke 9:18-24 & Matthew 11:28-30, “The The Tools for Success” in the Cross Fit Faith worship series.

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The Call
Jesus calls us saying, ‘If you want to follow me, pick up your cross daily and follow.’
And so we’ve come, leaving our lives behind for this hour.
Jesus welcomes us saying, ‘Let me take your burdens and lighten your load.’
And so we hand over our worries, doubts, and fears to God.
Jesus calls us to leave behind the life we would make for ourselves and receive the life of freedom and joy only God can give.
We are here, trying to give up control, ready to receive the loving care of our
Creator
who we worship today.

C2W for Lent 2 Cross Fit Faith

Here’s a Call to Worship for the second Sunday of Lent based on Luke 6:20-31, “The Principles” in the Cross Fit Faith worship series.

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The Call

We’ve left comforts and responsibilities to be here today,
   to gather together and be inspired by the founder.
But God calls us to an upside-down way of life.
   Love our enemies? Bless our attackers? Give to all who ask?
Jesus shows us how those who harm
   can only be loved back to justice.
We who were lost were only loved back to life.
   This is God’s only way, to love us inspite of ourselves.
So let us follow and worship the Christ today
   as we learn the principles of our faith, to love and be loved.

C2W for Lent 1 Cross Fit Faith

Here’s a Call to Worship for the first Sunday of Lent based on Luke 4:1-21, “Meet the Founder” in the Cross Fit Faith worship series.

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The Call

The Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness and is leading us too.
   We too will be tempted and tested.
As we begin our Lenten journey, let us be led by the Spirit,
   even into the uncomfortable places.
As we seek to follow Jesus in these 40 days,
   and our whole lives long,
may we be faithful and obedient to the perfecter of our faith, Jesus the Christ,
   who came to preach good news to the poor, proclaim release to the prisoners 
and to liberate the oppressed!
   This is our teacher and savior we follow and worship this day.

Cross Fit Faith Prayer for Illumination

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Bulletin Cover Image for Cross Fit Faith worship series

This Wednesday begins the season of Lent! We’ll be starting this holy season of preparation with an evening Ash Wednesday Taize Worship service. Our worship series, Cross Fit Faith, will help us use Lent as a time to get our souls in shape as we answer Christ’s call to ‘pick up our cross daily and follow’ while remembering Jesus also tells us his ‘yoke is easy’ and his ‘burden is light’. To highlight the restful aspect of our faith training, we’ll be sharing Porter’s Gate Worship Project’s, In the Fields of the Lord as our special music the first Sunday of Lent. We’ll also be using the following as our Prayer for Illumination each week through Easter:

Pray: Gracious Guide, lead us now through your Word and our worship. Grow in us a faith we can live each day. Following the way of Christ, our holy trainer in faith, we live and pray. AMEN

I’ll be sharing Calls to Worship for each week of this series as well. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any future posts! (Just click the ‘Follow’ button below)

Happy (almost) Lent! And happy planning!