By The Reverend Christine V. Hides
We are Entering a New Church Season
Lent is the time of 40 days plus six Sundays during which we get ready for Easter. Easter is such a great mystery that we need a long time to get ready. During Lent we use purple, the church color for getting ready. People might “give up” something for Lent or “take up” a new practice of prayer or giving during Lent.
Pretzels Help Us Remember to Pray During Lent
When you cross your arms over your chest you create a pretzel shape. A long time ago people would fold their arms in prayer in this way. They also gave up eggs and butter during Lent, so pretzels became a special treat that doesn’t use eggs or butter that reminds us to be prayerful during Lent.”
We Put Away the Word “Alleluia”
If you listen carefully, you will not hear the word “alleluia” during Lent. This is a very special word that we use when we are joyful or excited. During Lent we put away this very special word. Some churches even put it in a box and bury it. That way, when we use it again on Easter, it will be extra special.
Ashes Connect Us All
The first day of Lent, is called Ash Wednesday. Everyone, even kids, can come to church to receive ashes made from last year’s Palm Sunday palms. Having a cross of ashes on our forehead reminds us that all living things are made of the same stuff—atoms, matter, or “dust.” We remember that we are human, we make mistakes, and God loves us always.
A version of this article first appeared on Building Faith. https://buildfaith.org/4-things-i-tell-children-the-sunday-before-lent/