Are you looking for fresh, thoughtful material for your congregation's Lenten journey that prepares them to experience the marvelous joy of the risen Christ? Here's an anthology of ready-to-use resources that you can build on to create memorable Ash Wednesday and Holy Week services. Included are:
* "A Season In Purgatory," an Ash Wednesday service with a sermon examining the concept of purgatory and how we atone for our sin.
* "Why I Am An Optimist," a service and message for Passion/Palm Sunday that reminds us why it is important to empty ourselves and experience the pain and despair of Holy Week. It is because only then can we truly participate in the optimism of God's ultimate victory, which we celebrate on Easter morning.
* "As I Have Loved You," a moving Maundy Thursday program that recalls the scene in the Upper Room by combining the food and symbolism of a traditional Passover meal with elements of a tenebrae service. As the meal progresses, scripture passages are read and candles are extinguished, until as the service ends only one candle remains lit, reminding us that Christ is the light of the world.
* "Through The Eyes Of Jesus," a Good Friday service that intersperses hymns, prayers, and scripture readings with brief meditations depicting the various groups of people Jesus saw at the crucifixion.
* "Behold, I Show You A Mystery," a set of three choral readings that are especially appropriate for Easter sunrise services, but could be profitably used any time during the Easter season.