Welcome. Each week I compile a number of resources to help you, your family, or your congregation contemplate the RCL readings. While designed to be used during a Sunday service at church or by zoom, these readings can also be used during the week to help your family’s faith formation.
My objective is for faith to be a lived experience and for children to learn how to worship, explore the Bible, and pray by participating in Worship with others. The goal here is not for them to learn names or facts, though they may want to do that for themselves, but, rather to find ways of connecting with the text and sharing that with others. The idea is to form a lifelong love of Christ, for the Word of God, and to participate in Worship.
Faith is portable, we live it and share it, every day. I hope these simple ideas help your family or congregation form their faith.
There are 2 sets of RCL readings this week, one for Palm Sunday the other for Passion Sunday. If you are a member of the congregation or a visitor too that congregation either in person or on Zoom, check with the Readings for the week to discover which set you are using. You are reading ideas for Passion Sunday here, and you will find readings for Palm Sunday here.
If you are a small congregation, that suddenly has children in your pews, these can also be used in your services, shared direct from this site, or copied into your order of service. Create an area as close as possible to where the major liturgies of the service occur, for parents/guardians to worship with their children, and fill this area with books and toys in it that will enhance their spiritual experience. (Ie not toys for “keeping them quiet”). You will find some ideas in these posts Spiritual Delights or Toy Box tat! and Make the books appealing.
Suggest that visiting families pack a special backpack, filled with a children’s storybook bible, other books that speak about ideas in today’s readings, and drawing or craft materials that children can use to respond to today’s readings.
For adults and older students, you might like to use a journal with which to record anything that grabs your attention during the service. This could be a special, bound book or you can use your iPad or iPhone. You could write a precis of the message (traditional words or pictures), draw, and keep a record of emotions and hymns that you did or did not like. You could use a template like this free download. Remember, this is for you, you do not have to show anyone what is in it unless you want to, and you feel safe to do so.
You might like to introduce THE LORDS PRAYER IN ACTIONS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOugEQpcc_k OR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMjm93ylL2w
We are now in the season of LENT the liturgical colour is PURPLE (closer to the red spectrum, Advent’s purple is closer to the blue spectrum)
If worshipping from home you might like to set up a table or space with a purple cloth, a cross, and some things that remind you of your time in Lent, or from today’s readings.
Because it is a special day in the life of the Church you might also want to decorate with palm fronds or even use the fallen branches of the trees in your area. Or you could make a template of this, and chalk it on the paths to your home if that is allowed.
IF worshipping in a Uniting Church In Australia you might like to teach the little ones this way to Acknowledge Country
LITURGY FOR LENT
Lent is 40 Days, (spread your fingers out and push them in front of yourself 4X)
it’s a long long way (shield your eyes and look around the horizon)
but with each step (walk on the spot)
We get closer,
closer to the JOY of EASTER, (star jump)
Closer to God (give yourself a hug)
We learn more about ourselves (point to yourself)
Like Jesus did in his 40 days in the Wilderness,
Today we only have 4 days left (spread your fingers out and count off 4 fingers)
We are getting closer
Amen (one clap)
(Some visual learning suggestions, place 40 stepping stones around the church/or home, these can be made from non-slip tiles or mats (try Bunnings or Spotlight for ideas) such as these or if your church/home has cobble stones or timber stepping stones around them, number them and cross off the days. Another option is to use the Praying in Color steps template, especially good for those with small spaces or where you want people to stay connected away from the communal space.)
NOTE: though we say that LENT is 40 days we do not count the Sundays
This Liturgy can be said daily in the home, counting each day down as you say the second last line.
FIRST READING: Isaiah 50:4-9a
READ: One by Kathryn Otoshi
A Storypath suggestion.
DRAW: those times when you need someone to encourage or support you
PRAY (As you pray this prayer take a block and build a tower as you think of those who might need God’s help today)
Help me Lord
so that I can help
who needs building up
I am exhausted! (place hand near forehead)
My eyes struggle to see (pretend to rub eyes)
my strength fails (drop your shoulders)
my bones waste away. (let your body hang)
I am losing myself in this misery. (drop your head)
I am sinking into a deathly emptiness. (collapse to the floor)
Lord – I trust you! (fold your hands and plead)
I say to myself over and over (twirl your pointing finger around)
“You are my God. (Hands out wide)
My life is in your hands. (hold your hands in a pretend bowl)
Shine your face on me again. (smile)
Save me in your steadfast love. (Make a love heart with your hands)
Words are an exert from http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-31-strength-in-exhaustion.html actions (in brackets) are mine.
How does the Psalm make you feel? Draw it, or find an emoji that show’s it.
SECOND READING: Philippians 2:5-11
READ: A Little Peace of Me by Madeleine Lippey
WATCH This is a slide show rather than a video.
A Storypath Suggestion
SHARE: Bake a cake, or hand out fruit. What else can you share?
SING Jesus Christ is Lord on the The resurrection an Easter Collection album by Seeds Family Worship OR Vol 8, The Word of God album
Matthew 26:14-27: 66
READ: The Spark Story Bible, The Last Supper,( Matt:26:17-30) Jesus is Betrayed,(Matt:26:31-75) The Day Jesus Died,(Matt 27:27-66) pp.364-381
OR Children of God Storybook, Jesus Shares his last meal with his Friends(Matt.26), pp.108-109, The Trial and Death of Jesus (Matt:26-27), pp.110-111
OR Matthew 27:11-54
This is such a long reading if the shorter version is not used, I suggest it be broken down like the Spark Story Bible has
CREATE: Make a set for each scene of the story, (you can make this out of whatever you have around you, lego, cardboard boxes, rocks and trees, etc; then play out the story related to that scene ie The Last Supper, Jesus is Betrayed, The day that Jesus Died, the part of the story the Spark Story book does not cover is that of Jesus’s time with Pilate. Someone could retell this part and another set could be created.
BENEDICTION/LEAVING SONG Heather Price’s Benediction Song on her Full of the Spirit Album
Please check local guidelines before using items that are not mine especially if you are using this page for congregational use. Please acknowledge this page if you find it useful. Thank you.
I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present, and emerging.
If you are in Australia and would like to teach your children to Acknowledge Country here is a video that will help, and a great book to help understand, We love Country. Most Uniting Church Congregations will say an Acknowledgement of Country towards the start of the service.