Burying the Alleluia’s for Lent (Children’s message)

This activity is meant for Transfiguration Sunday (ideally at the end of the service) or Ash Wednesday or Lent 1 (ideally, at the start of the service).

I have typed up the words “allelujah” a few times in a few different fonts to be pasted around the worship space. The children will be invited to gather them, and then they will be “buried” for the season of Lent.

Attached to this post, at the bottom, you should find a pdf-file with Alleluia/Hallelujah – print it out (perhaps a few times if you have lots of kids and/or a big worship space). Cut up the pages so each word can be put up separately. If your congregation is a musical one, plan a song or two – talk with your musicians! (The stand-up, sit-down Sunday School classic – “Allelu, allelu, allelu, allelu-ia! …Praise Ye the Lord!” – works well!) The picture of the rock with water coming from it (which I found in Sundays and Seasons a number of years ago – credit to Augsburg Fortress!) is supposed to be purple, and you can paste it to the outside of a medium-to-large-sized envelope. This envelope will be used to contain the paper Alleluias.

Talk with the children about the word and what it means. It comes from the Hebrew for “Praise God!” We hear it regularly in worship texts, especially ancient ones like the Psalms. We stand to sing it before the gospel reading on Sunday. And, it’ll be sung louder (and “prouder”) than ever on Easter morning! …but for the season of Lent – a time of fasting, prayer, and alms-giving – we put our Alleluias away. In a sense, we “bury” them.

So, in this moment, before we move into the solemn, contemplative season of Lent, we sing out the Alleluias one last time!

Then, gather the Alleluias from around the worship space and put them in the envelope.

The envelope of Alleluias may be placed under the altar for the season of Lent (also a reminder that we don’t sing Alleluia in Lent).

At the Easter morning service (or the Vigil, if you have one; or the Sunrise service), get the kids to “uncover” the Alleluias again – and sing them out with gusto!!

pdf-file: Alleluias

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