Planning Ahead for Lent, Palm Sunday, and Easter

What are some ideas you have for creative Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter services?

Last year, we celebrated Palm/Passion Sunday by reading the entire passion story from Mark 14 and 15 in place of the sermon. So many times people skip from the triumphal entry to Easter Sunday. I wanted them to hear the whole story.

I was the narrator, and I assigned the other speaking parts to people in the congregation. They spoke their lines from their seats. I used Eugene Peterson’s The Message version of the Bible. I wanted people to hear the familiar words in a new way. (That doesn’t always work. I did the same thing with our Christmas Lessons and Carols. At least one person didn’t like it. At times, the familiar words are more important than hearing it in a new way.)

Any other creative ideas for the upcoming season of Lent and Easter?

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4 responses to “Planning Ahead for Lent, Palm Sunday, and Easter

  1. We have done the same readings for Palm Sunday and it worked very well.
    I am wondering if you have every used imagery (i.e. powerpoint) as a sermon and how it worked, where your images were from, etc.

    • Laura — No, I haven’t done imagery as the whole sermon. I often choose one graphic that communicates the heart of the sermon that I want people to remember.

      My aunt did either a Maundy Thursday service or a Good Friday service where she showed various pictures of the cross or other things. It’s been a while, so I don’t quite remember what she did.

      I have also done slideshows, often to music, with pictures. I use it after the sermon as a meditation time, or during the offering. I did a sermon on remembering the Sabbath and had pictures that evoked Sabbath to me.

      I’ve also used pictures during the prayers, once showing pictures of our shut-ins and once showing pictures of all our members who had been in the military to honor Veteran’s Day.

      I either find my pictures with google or I use the stock photography sites like istockphoto. The stock photography sites have more business-type photos, so it might be easier to find religious photos with google or googling “free religious photographs” or some such phrase.

  2. I love your Ash Wednesday idea! For Lent this year we’re doing 24:the last day of Jesus’ life by Adam Hamilton. We are staging a different scene each Sunday with costumes, props, etc. but no lines or movement – just frozen like living statues, on the chancel during the sermon. Last Supper, Gethsemane, Trial of Jesus, Peter’s Denial, Barrabas & Jesus, Simon of Cyrene. On Palm Sunday we’ll have a guard, Mary M., Mary mother of Jesus, John, crowd person, all in costume forming a circle with eac h character facing out. They are center chancel. Each one will hold pose for 2 min. then they’ll take one step to the right and the next person is facing the congregation, etc.

    • Karen — I’m doing a sermon series using Hamilton’s 24 Hours, too, but I’m not anywhere close to having done the planning you have. I love what you’re planning! If you take a picture or two, I’d love to post it.

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