Lent Is Coming! Worship Planning Ideas Shared via Roundtable

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Worship Ministries recently hosted two roundtable conversations with worship planners and worship leaders to do some collective brainstorming for Lent.  Here are some notes and ideas from both of those meetings: 

  • Visuals
    • Consider your live stream camera view when planning visuals this year. Many of us didn't have to consider this last year because we were completely remote or with small groups only. When planning what to do with your space, take into consideration what will be seen by worshipers at home and worshipers in the sanctuary.
    • First Cutlerville did something interesting during Advent that could easily carry over into Lent. They built nice shelves of varying heights and had an object lesson for each week that got placed on the shelf. This could be part of a children's message, the sermon or even just something to hold the series/weeks together.  
    • Do something with mirrors. One year, DC CRC wrote "Search me, O God" on a full length mirror and had that hung in the sanctuary for the season, encouraging people to walk up to the mirror and use the reflection time to pray. There's lots to be done with mirrors. Plus, expo markers erase easily!
    • Invite artists of all ages to contribute something to hang in an installation. Choose a general topic that fits with your theme and solicit participation from everyone. People could bring pictures, or art in any media, and hang it as part of a growing installation for the season. 
    • Rocks! Do something with rocks. You can paint them, you can use them to build something. Rocks rock.  :-)
  • Something to "tie it all together": We talked about how it's nice to have something consistent through the season, especially during Lent.  
    • Find a song that you can sing all or part of each week
    • Use the Psalms for prayers of confession. Or keep the confession section consistent each week. 
  • Prayer sticks! This would be a really nice way to tie in worship at home and worship at church.
    • We brainstormed many ways to use these and there are so many interesting ways to incorporate these. You could have people write prayers on them and then collect them to build a cross for a visual. People could write their prayer request and leave it in a jar for others to take and pray for them that week. They could be used as a spiritual discipline with single words or single scripture passages written on them. 
  • Ten Commandments: Incorporate the Ten Commandments into worship each week but do something new and interesting with it to mix it up. Here is a google doc with several different intergenerational ideas for incorporating the Ten Commandments in worship. The document contains five suggestions, but the possibilities are endless.  
  • Lent Candles: Congregations are used to lighting Advent candles but try lighting candles to mark each week of Lent. The wreath could be traded out with branches/sticks, candles could be put in hurricane glasses and surrounded with nails, it could be a fabric wreath with purples and blacks. Light a candle each week either at the start of the service or maybe as part of the confession/assurance part of your service? Use these same candles and extinguish them in order on Good Friday
  • Baptismal Remembrance: Since Lent was often preparatory for baptism, consider doing a baptismal remembrance each week either to start the service or as an assurance of pardon? Ask people to bring in different water pitchers from home and use something different each week. Picture someone's fancy heirloom water pitcher one week, a child's tea set pitcher the next, pottery, plastic, etc.  
  • Make intentional changes to your typical order of worship. If you are a church that follows the same order each week, try doing something slightly different for the season to give people an opportunity to reflect on what we do in worship and why.  

Do you have other ideas to share for the season? Post a comment below or send us an email ([email protected] or Katie Roelofs at [email protected]). We'll keep adding resources! 

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