Lent, the 40-day period before Easter, is a traditional time of fasting and prayer for Lutherans. Modern celebrations of Lent tend to involve giving up a food, hobby or vice for 40 days before Easter, rather than more traditional forms of fasting. It is also a time of discipline and of helping others. From organizing outreach activities to baking cookies, there are many ways to get Lutheran kids involved in Lent celebrations.
Since Lent is a time to reflect on sins and find ways to be a better Christian and citizen of your community, it offers an opportunity to organize community outreach programs in which children can participate. Stress the important of helping the less fortunate and encourage children to donate their lightly used clothing and toys to charities. Older children also can volunteer at hospitals and nursing homes to read or visit with patients.
On Palm Sunday, many Lutheran churches hand out palm fronds to their congregation for their celebration, which may include a procession in or around the church. Kids can make their own palm fronds for the celebration or other crafts that will help them reflect on the meaning of Lent and the Easter season. It is the perfect time of year to discuss the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Kids also can create and decorate Lent calendars, marking off Palm Sunday, Ash Wednesday and Easter with their own creative decorations.
Baking Palm Frond Cookies
Palm Sunday is an important part of Lent celebrations in the Lutheran denomination. It marks the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem and was greeted by people waving palm fronds and is celebrated the week before Easter. Celebrate Palm Sunday with children by baking palm-shaped cookies. You can cut frozen cookie dough into palm shapes to save time.
Make Religious Connections
The Last Supper, as celebrated by Jesus and the disciples, was similar to a Seder, a traditional Jewish Passover celebration. Usually, Passover coincides with Maundy Thursday, the last Thursday in Lent and the day before Good Friday. The coincidence of the two holidays is the perfect time to teach kids about the Jewish faith and practices. Encourage them to participate in a traditional Seder meal.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images