Time to Get Ready
An assembly for Lent
by Rebecca Parkinson
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider that Lent is a time to get ready for Easter.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Time to Get Ready) and the means to display them.
- Explain that you are going to show the children a series of pictures. First, you want them to describe what is happening in each picture. Then, after all of the pictures have been discussed, you want the children to tell you what the pictures have in common.
- Show Slides 1-6.
After each slide, ask the children, ‘What does the picture show?’
Listen to a range of responses.
- After all six slides have been discussed, ask the children, ‘So, what do all of the pictures have in common?’
The answer is that they are all to do with getting ready for something.
- Getting ready to give a present.
- Packing to get ready for a holiday.
- Getting dressed to be ready to go out.
- Getting ready for a birthday party.
- Decorating a tree, ready for Christmas.
- Decorating a room, ready for a baby.
- Ask the children whether they have heard of something called Lent. Do they know what it is?
Listen to a range of responses.
- Explain that Lent is a period during the year when Christians remember a time of preparation that Jesus experienced.
While he was growing up, Jesus had lived at home in Nazareth, but at the age of 30, he knew that he was about to start his public work. He was about to start teaching people about God and performing many amazing miracles. He knew that it would not be easy and that eventually, it would lead to his death.
To prepare for this work, Jesus went off into the desert alone. For 40 days and 40 nights, he didn’t eat or drink anything. During this time, he was also tempted to do several things that he knew were wrong.
Jesus didn’t give in to the temptations and didn’t do anything wrong. At the end of the 40 days, he left the desert and began the work that he had come to Earth to do. His time in the desert had prepared him for this work.
- Lent is the period of time that leads up to Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday (the day after Shrove Tuesday, which is when it is traditional to cook pancakes). Lent lasts for 40 days (not including Sundays), which is the same length of time as Jesus spent in the desert preparing for his work.
- For Christians, Easter is the most important time of the year because it is when they remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. Christians want to be prepared for the celebration of Easter, so they use Lent as a time to think more about God, go to special church services and pray.
- The purpose of Lent is for Christians to set aside time to reflect on Jesus’ life, and also to help them to think of others who are not as fortunate as they are.
As part of Lent, Christians often give up something for 40 days. This is to remind them of the time when Jesus went without food in the desert. Examples are giving up chocolate or biscuits, or not watching television.
- In recent years, there has been a move towards doing something good during Lent instead of giving something up. Examples would be tidying our room, saying something encouraging to someone every day, making our bed or doing our homework without complaining!
Time for reflection
Ask the children whether they can think of something special that they could do during Lent that would help someone else.
Maybe they could use the time to help raise money for poorer people in another country.
Optional: you may wish to tie this in with a charity event run by the school.
Alternatively, maybe the children could simply decide to give someone a compliment every day. After all, World Compliment Day is on 1 March, which is within the period of Lent.
Experts tell us that if we do something for 40 days, it will become a habit, something that we do automatically. Wouldn’t it be great if Lent helped us to carry on doing something positive for the rest of the year?
Thank you that in the business of life, there are times to stop and think.
Help us never to be so busy that we don’t have time to be peaceful and silent.
Thank you for times such as Lent that remind us to think about you.
Please help us to take the time to consider what we can do to help those less fortunate than we are.
Please help us always to be ready to help other people.