Anna's Hosannas!
Free Worship Resources for Use with the Lectionary
 
Lenten Wreath
One thing I've used for the season of Lent is  a Lenten wreath, in the tradition of an Advent wreath.  I use six purple candles, which are all  lit at the beginning of the season, one being extinguished each Sunday of Lent.  (Palm Sunday the last one goes out.)  If you have crafty people, I think it's effective to arrange the six candles in a wreath that looks like a crown of thorns, but a simple grapevine wreath works well too.   These meditations were composed to accompany the extinguishing of a candle each week.
 
Lent 1A



Lent 2A
Nicodemus, confused and curious, you ponder the mystery of this rabbi.  This man who doesn't follow into your thoughtful logic, but challenges you to abandon logic altogether.  To set aside your years of carefully tending knowledge, and to become a child again.  What a strange suggestion - you, an old man!  And yet appealing too, is it not?  To think of regaining that childish delight of learning something anew, of being able to ponder your life and still see the possibility of mystery, of adventure.  Could this be what he's offering you?  To begin again?  And yet it is difficult to let go of what you have treasured so long.  The light of your own wisdom distracts you from the Light which will rebirth you.  What will you choose, Nicodemus?  (put out second candle)

Lent 3A
Thirsty woman, drawn to the well.  You come for water to quench your physical need, and you discover a need you didn't know you had.  He is there, in the middle of the day.  Why would he be here now, at this time, in this place?  He is a stranger, and people like him despise you.  And yet, his eyes are gentle, his words welcoming.  He sees your heart and begins to unbind it, to reveal your secrets so you can be healed.  Why is he here, at this time, in this place?  To see you, thirsty daughter.  And to give you life.  The darkness grows, the cross grows closer, but your story is one of hope. (put out third candle)

Lent 4A
Man blind from birth, how often did you pray for deliverance?  How many times did you hope against hope that the darkening veil would be ripped away, so you could finally see the sun?  But even before your eyes are freed, you can see.  You hear his voice, you feel his Spirit wash over you, and you know.  This is a holy visitation.  This is the presence of God.  You see it with your heart.  Yet the religious leaders continue in darkness.  As your eyes are brought into light, their blindness grows deeper.  And their growing fear and confusion bring the cross ever closer.  (Put out fourth candle)

Lent 5A
Wrapped in darkness, the darkness also within you, you wait, O Lazarus.  While your family and friends mourn, while Jesus weeps himself outside your tomb, you wait.  You have no strength left, no will left, to fight.  You must wait in the darkness, and see what God will do next. Enclosed in shroud, sealed behind a stone, what do you wait for?  The impossible.  The return of life.  It's all you can do. It's all we can do too.  As we draw nearer the mystery and horror of the cross, we too grow weak.  We begin to feel ourselves entangled in shroud, threatened by tomb.  We will wait with you, brother Lazarus.  We will wait, and as those who watch for the morning.  (put out fifth candle)

Lent 6A
Rowdy crowd, shouting for Jesus.  You celebrate his coming, but your shouts carry a desperate hope.  Hosanna, you beg.  Save us, O God!  You suffer in your bodies and your souls, and  you seek relief.  Surely he is the answer!  Surely he will deliver us - from our enemy, from our sickness, from our hopelessness.  Poor Jerusalem, still blind to the promise of the Christ.  His deliverance isn't to remove your suffering from you, but to strengthen you to walk through it  yourselves, and to grow in your compassion as you do so.  You will not be delivered from the world, but to the world - to become Christ to all.  But you don't understand, not  yet.  The final light goes out; it is time for the cross.  (extinguish last candle)