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Easter is coming! 

Thrive hosted several worship planning roundtable conversations this winter for Holy Week and Easter planning. Much of the conversation was spent talking about Lent and Holy Week because we realized that Easter itself is one of the most contextual services of the year. Someone referred to it as "one of the big ones" that you don't change from year to year. And it's true! Easter, Christmas, and other beloved holiday services are not only the high points of the liturgical calendar, they are services where congregation members crave the familiarity of the once a year traditions. It's not a Sunday for introducing new music - sing the congregational favorites.  It's not a Sunday for doing something completely new - those traditions are important for the continuity of telling God's story year after year, season after season. But... are there opportunities to do something creative that opens people's imaginations to hear the story in new and Spirit-filled ways?  Absolutely! Below is a list of ideas that came up in our roundtable conversations as well as some past content that might be helpful as you plan. 


  • Want to try the Hallelujah Chorus but it seems like a bit more than your congregation can handle?  Find an orchestral recording that takes it down a full key to C Major instead of D. You'll be surprised how big of a difference that makes. And you don't need to find an accompanist if you don't have one that wants to tackle it. There are YouTube videos available that have the music with the accompaniment so your choir/congregation could sing along.  Since it's a public domain piece, there are no copyright issues. 
  • Have a small group of singers? Take a song that's familiar or new(ish) and have this small group sing the refrain in parts.  The congregation can join on verses, or have a soloist/unison voice. Use a small group to provide harmony on refrains!  Don't forget the descants!
  • "One rehearsal choir." Pick something largely unison or in just a few parts.  Invite anyone who wants to participate (all ages), to one rehearsal in advance of Easter morning. You could even have them show up an hour early to learn it and sing that day. 


  • If you walked a candle out of the sanctuary on Good Friday or extinguished it at the end of the service, start your Easter Sunday service with light! Walk the lit candle back in or intentionally light it at the start. Some churches light a Christ candle at the start of each service. Consider buying a new and beautiful candle to debut on Easter Sunday.  Get a tall one (several feet high), or a pretty one with some kind of pattern. Intentionally light this candle every week, starting on Easter Sunday. 
  • Have you ever tried a flowering cross? There are several ways to do this but the easiest is to wrap the cross in chicken wire or some kind of sturdy mesh. Members can bring flowers or trimmings from their yard and weave them into the mesh. Have your children make paper flowers to include. It's beautiful and sings of new life. 
  • Invite children (or people of all ages) to illustrate parts of the Easter story, scan their drawings, and send them to you. Create a slideshow to play as the Easter story is told or during an instrumental piece.
  • Send every household an Alleluia—a printable coloring page with the word “Alleluia” on it. Invite all ages to color or design an Alleluia.  You could bury it them all on Good Friday (under fabric or rocks), and then have them all hanging on display on Easter morning.
  • Invite people to bring a plant/lily/flower either in honor/memory of someone who passed away or as their own contribution of promise on Easter morning. 

Intergenerational Ideas

  • See this post from several years ago that has some wonderful ideas for intergenerational worship on Easter.


  • For more ideas, including ideas for Holy Week, watch this roundtable conversation!
  • There are lots of incredible resources available in the Reformed Worship journal. The subscription cost is well worth it for Easter alone, nevertheless the full liturgical year's worth of bounty. 


Thanks for these resources. One clarification I'd like is the use of the YouTube resources. It says, "Since it's a public domain piece, there are no copyright issues." What does this exactly mean? Can we use such a YouTube video even if we live stream our service? Thank you very much. 

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