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Reply to "Celebrating Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday"

Originally posted by member Lisa Martin

Things to "BURY" during Lent

This could be a Sunday School ritual during Lent or a series of children's sermons.

Week 1 - We buried the "Hallelujah" (which we don't sing during Lent) by placing the word in an extremely large box and wrapping it with purple wrapping paper. We cut a slot in the top. The children all touched the box as we said a prayer about our Lenten journey.  See this excellent explanation of the practice at UMC Discipleship website.

Week 2 - "L -- Lies" We asked children to tell us time that they had told lies. We wrote these on slips of paper for the children. Then had them slip their papers in the box. Everyone touched the box as we said a prayer asking God to forgive us for lying. We put a giant "L" on the outside of the box and buried it.

Week 3 - "E -- Envy" Same process as week 2

Week 4 - "N -- Nothing" (Sins of omission) Same process as week 2

Week 5 - "T -- Teasing" Same process as week 2

Week 6 - Holy Week. Placed nails inside the box and sealed a cross on the top slot.

In preparation for Easter Sunday, I took out the nails and papers with sins on it and the "Hallelujah" that had been written on it. I filled the box with gold and white helium filled balloons attached to the word "Hallelujah" decorated in glitter on posterboard. Make sure you get balloons that they put a coating in to ensure that they'll be aloft the next morning -- don't do it yourself. You will have to experiment to make sure the balloons are powerful enough to lift the posterboard Hallelujah -- I had to cut my first example back so that it could be lifted up. Also, if you have a vaulted sanctuary, make sure you have one very long string attached so you can pull the balloons back after service.

Easter morning - I called the children forward and reviewed what we'd done the last six weeks. I said that now that it was Easter morning it was time to take our Hallelujah out of the box. The children helped open it up and voila -- the balloons rose to the ceiling with the word Hallelujah. And the sins were gone!

Even the adults are still talking about it.



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