Creative Activities for Lent

Wednesday night, at "Be," our inter-generational ministry, we attempted a few activities for Lent, two of which went well and one not so well, mostly because we just ran out of time. But I think it's a great activity, so I'm going to show some pictures here of what it should have looked like, to give you an idea of what the finished product should be.

Lent is the period of forty days (not including Sundays) before Easter, a time which Christians spend preparing for Lent. There are three traditional elements to Lent: prayer, almsgiving, and fasting.

Our first activity was focused on prayer. Each family made a paper chain countdown to Easter calendar.

The links are purple because it is the liturgical color for Lent. On each link of the chain, we wrote the name of a person or group of people.

During Lent, each day we will rip off a link in the chain and pray for the person or group of people on that link.

We also made ornaments for a "Lent Tree." The idea is kind of like a combination Christmas tree/Advent calendar, but for Lent instead of Advent.

There is an ornament for each day in Lent (which is why we didn't finish in 30 minutes!). Each ornament has an image on one side which we matched to a Bible passage on the other side.    

Each day of Lent, we read the corresponding Scripture passage, and over the course of the 40 days of Lent, it gives us an overview of the whole story of the Bible. Numbered list of all pictures and passages below. Obviously, even if you don't want to make the ornaments, you can still follow the Scripture Reading Plan for each day of Lent.

Day #. Theme: Image: Bible Passage

  1. Faith: Mustard Seed: Matthew 17:20
  2. Creation: Globe: Genesis 1
  3. The Fall: Fruit: Genesis 3
  4. God's Promise: Noah: Genesis 6:-9
  5. Abraham Follows God: Path or Word "Go": Genesis 12:1-9
  6. Trust in the Lord: Ram: Genesis 22
  7. Jacob & Esau: Baby's Feet: Genesis 27
  8. Jacob's Dream: Ladder: Genesis 28
  9. Joseph: Coat of Many Colors: Genesis 37
  10. Moses: Burning Bush: Exodus 3
  11. Passover: Lamb: Exodus 12
  12. 10 Commandments: Stone Tablets: Exodus 20
  13. Judges: Gavel: Judges 2:6-23 & 21:25
  14. Israel Wants A King: Crown: 1 Samuel 8
  15. Samuel Anoints David: Staff: 1 Samuel 16
  16. David Worships God: Harp or Music Note: Psalms 150
  17. Solomon: Temple: 1 Kings 7-9
  18. Prophets: Whale: Jonah 1-4
  19. Exile: Chain Links: 2 Kings 17
  20. Daniel in Exile: Daniel 6
  21. Exiles Return: Clay Wall: Nehemiah 6
  22. 400 Years of Silence (Between the Testaments): Scroll with a Lock: Malachi 3-4
  23. The Annunciation: Angel: Matthew 2
  24. Birth of Jesus: Luke 2
  25. Magi: Star: Matthew 2
  26. Baptism of Jesus: Dove: Luke 3
  27. Temptation of Jesus: Snake on a Cactus: Luke 4
  28. First Miracle: Wedding Bands: John 2
  29. Feeding of the 5000: Basket with Fish: Matthew 14
  30. Sermon on the Mount: Lamp: Matthew 5-7
  31. Don't Worry: Bird or Flower: Matthew 6:26-34
  32. Woman at the Well: John 4
  33. Raising Lazarus: Man Wrapped in Cloth: John 11
  34. Palm Sunday: Palm Leaf: Matthew 21
  35. Jesus Anointed: Corked Jar: John 12
  36. Judas Plots: Coins in a Bag: Matthew 26
  37. Last Supper: Bread with Cup: Luke 22
  38. Crucifixion: Cross: Luke 23
  39. Casting Lots: Dice: Matthew 27:35
  40. Mystery Saturday: No Ornament: 1 Peter 3:18-22
All of the artwork for this project comes from this blog, "Listening in the Litany":, the idea and Scripture passage choices are from a book No Ordinary Home: The Uncommon Art of Christ-Centered Homemaking by Carol Brazo - the intent is to go through an overview of the whole story of Scripture throughout the season of Lent.  

Finally, we learned about the significance of pretzels to the season of Lent...

In the early Church, the Lenten abstinence and fasting laws were more strict than what the faithful practice today. Many areas of the Church abstained from all forms of meat and animal products, while others made exceptions for food like fish. For example, Pope St. Gregory (d. 604), writing to St. Augustine of Canterbury, issued the following rule: "We abstain from flesh, meat, and from all things that come from flesh, as milk, cheese and eggs." Second, the general rule was for a person to have one meal a day, in the evening or at three o’clock in the afternoon, and smaller snacks to maintain strength. So a need arose for a very simple food which would fulfill the abstinence and fasting laws.
According to pretzel maker Snyder’s of Hanover, a young monk in the early 600s in Italy was preparing a special Lenten bread of water, flour and salt. To remind his brother monks that Lent was a time of prayer, he rolled the bread dough in strips and then shaped each strip in the form of crossed arms, mimicking the then popular prayer position of folding one’s arms over each other on the chest. The bread was then baked as a soft bread, just like the big soft pretzels one can find today. (To be fair, some traditions date the story to even the 300s.)
Because these breads were shaped into the form of crossed arms, they were called bracellae,the Latin word for "little arms." From this word, the Germans derived the word bretzel which has since mutated to the familiar word pretzel.

...and enjoyed eating them!

More Lent Activities

Below are some additional educational activities you and your family can do to celebrate Lent. Click the picture for links to where you can find directions online.

Empty Tomb Centerpiece

Almsgiving Penny Cross

Good Deeds Crown of Thorns

Almsgiving Offering Box
Sand/Candles Centerpiece
Caterpillars to Butterflies Lent Calendar
Crucifix Painting

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