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Giving up for Lent

To explore why some people 'give things up' for Lent.

by The Revd Trevor Donnelly

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To explore why some people 'give things up' for Lent.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need some shopping bags containing Easter eggs and hot cross buns.
  • A suitcase, a towel, sunglasses, sun cream, and other random holiday objects (skis if you've got some?).
  • A copy of the Radio Times/TV pages.
  • A football or other sporting equipment.
  • A large pillow and/or a duvet.
  • A large Easter egg.

Assembly

  1. Ask the children what holiday is coming up at the end of this term? The answer is Easter. Explain that Easter is one of the most important celebrations in the Christian year and one that Christians prepare for.

    Wonder aloud: how do we prepare for Easter? Ask for a volunteer who doesn't mind doing a bit of work. When they have come to the front, wonder again about how we could prepare for Easter?

  2. Ask, what special food do we eat at Easter? Easter eggs? Hot cross buns on Good Friday? Give the volunteer the shopping bags filled with these goodies (bulky but not too heavy is ideal).

    Ask if anyone is going on away on holiday over Easter? Give the volunteer the suitcase and any other bits of holiday equipment you have gathered.

    Ask if anyone likes watching the TV over the holidays? There are always special programmes on. Give the volunteer the Radio Times.

    Explain that there are often special sports fixtures over Easter. Hand over the football/sports equipment.

    Ask if anyone is having friends round for a sleepover? Finally give the pillow/duvet.
  3. Stand back and look impressed at the preparations your volunteer has made for Easter. Suggest that they are now 'ready for anything'.

    Now say that you want your volunteer to imagine that Easter has come, and that they can unwrap an Easter egg – but all their preparations and equipment are important, so they must not let go of anything.

    After they have struggled for a bit, allow them to set some of the objects down, and let them open the egg (and break off a small bit for them to eat as a reward?). Say that all of the preparations were good, but all together they made celebrating Easter actually quite difficult.
  4. Explain that Christians believe that all the (often good) things that fill our lives and our time can actually make it difficult for us to work out what really matters in life. That is why people often 'give things up' – do without something – for Lent, the 40 days before Easter. They often give things up to make their lives less cluttered, so they can spend more time and energy on what really matters, their family and their faith.

Time for reflection

Reflection

Close your eyes, and take a moment to reflect…

Think of all the things that you will do today…

Schoolwork? Homework? Playing? Watching TV?

Think about what is really important to you…

And try and think of how you could find some time to do something for other people.

Prayer

Loving God,

We thank you for Easter celebrations.
Help us to use this season of Lent to think about the things that are important to us.

Help us not to be so busy that we forget what really matters.

Amen.

Song/music

'It's a new day' (Come and Praise, 106)

Publication date: March 2006   (Vol.8 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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