Feb 09

A look in on our Lenten chapel services and a free resource

You may be like me, in disbelief that Lent is already here… and Easter not far behind! I thought you might like a “look in” to see how we are observing Lent in our chapel services on campus, as well as have a reminder that I have for free children’s sermons for you to use that coincide with the seasonal liturgy (more on that below)!


Each of the children received a copy of these “Stations of the Cross” Learning Cards available through Oriental Trading Company.

One of the great things about being a chaplain to children from such a variety of spiritual backgrounds is that part of my work is to help interpret for the children the breadth of religious experience, including the diversity of faith expressions within Christianity. This year, in addition to the inter-faith explorations of Purim and Passover, I decided to have the children explore the tradition of “Stations of the Cross”—a commemorative and meditative walk through the last hours of Jesus’ passion, observed traditionally in many Catholic and Anglican/Episcopal churches, as well as some Lutheran and Methodist parishes.

After an introduction into the concept of Lent as a time of slowing down and preparing our hearts for Easter, we had a special guest from St. Peter’s Cathedral, the Rev. Gabriel Morrow, come and share with us the meaning of the Stations in his observance within the Episcopal church. The children were each given and age-appropriate collection of devotional cards for each of the Father-Gabestations, available through Oriental Trading Company (see picture and click for link). Children helped read through a number of the stations in our time together, reflecting on such questions as: “Are there times when people have said hurtful things to you? Did you feel sad, scared, or angry?” (from Station 1: Jesus is Condemned to Die) After asking a reflective question, each card then has a prayer prompt, in this case: “Ask Jesus to help you remember that He is always with you especially during these times.”

Later in the month, we’ll also be taking a special field trip to the Helena Cathedral, where children will have an opportunity to not only explore this historic place of worship, but ask those conducting the tour about the Catholic practices specific to Lent and see the Stations of the Cross in that setting.

The purpose of these special trips and activities is to build a greater appreciation for the faith practices of those that share a belief in God. Even our children and staff that are not either Christian or particularly religious have expressed interest and appreciation for learning more about how many around the world and in our community observe the season of Lent and Easter. That takes me back to my offer to you… some free resources for exploring the Lenten season, either in your church or with your family.

[click here for the free Children’s Sermons for Lent]

Even if your church doesn’t formally celebrate Lent, you will hopefully find these children’s sermons helpful. There is one for each Sunday in Lent (which begins February 10th with “Ash Wednesday”) following the gospel lessons from this year’s liturgical calendar. Other resources that tie into Lent and Easter from previous years are also posted on our site here under “resources.” Feel free to look around and use anything that might be helpful in your preparations for the Easter season.

So, enjoy these children’s sermons and watch for even more “free goodies!” I hope they are a blessing to you, and I’d love your feedback on anything I can do to improve not only these resources, but also my efforts to bless you and your ministry in the year ahead.


Chaplain Chris Haughee