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Planning for Lent, Palm Sunday, Easter: Helpful ideas for an inspiring holy season

Knowing that preachers and teachers are in the midst of worship and sermon planning, we searched our affiliate group sites for great resources and inspiring articles about worship and sermon topics. We hope these links to resources will enliven and inspire your own creative thinking about Lent, Palm Sunday, and Easter.

Resources for Lent

Resources for Palm Sunday

Resources for Easter

Resources for Lent

Lenten Bible Study from the National Council of Churches, and an article, "A Church's Lenten Journey Through Johannesburg," the story about how one church,  Madison Avenue Presbyterian in New York City, spent seven Sundays watching and discussing a documentary film about the anti-Aparteid movement as an example of how churches can use the season to educate parishioners and help the world

The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship provides worship service planning guides and outlines, sample prayers, sermon series guides, and more. If you're looking for music ideas, check out "top ten songs for Lent" and another list of songs for Lent; and "meditations on Lenten hymns." Calvin's Lent resource guide offers guidance for preparing a Lent worship series; and, an article on using the Lenten Triad, shows how to adapt the Advent wreath for Lenten celebrations.

Faith & Leadership from Duke Divinity, reminds us that Lent calls us to our rightful mind, to the hard work of dismantling the defenses that divide us from others and from God. Another article explores giving up spending for Lent; Lisa Nichols Hickman writes about a "mid-Lent crisis," and writer Benjamin McNutt gives up his self image for Lent.

Public Radio's On Being with Krista Tippett presents, "Do Nothing for Lent and Be Grateful" — an alternative to what she says is the meaningless "giving up" of material things. Another piece, "40 Days 40 Deeds," features an organization that started a movement to make small changes throughout Lent. Find more, including articles, videos and interviews on the On Being website.

The PBS religion news program, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, offers stories and ideas, including Lenten meals, the significance of ashes, and pilgrimages for Lent.

Kimberly Winston at Religion News Service explores the idea of an "athiest Lent," where nonbelievers practice some of the Lenten practices outside the context of faith. 

Resources for Palm Sunday

The African American Lectionary offers worship planning help throughout the church year, including creative ideas for Palm Sunday by Charles B. Cotton, Jr., African American Lectionary young adult liturgist; and lectionary commentaryworship and music resources, and cultural resources.

In "Visual Arts In Holy Week (Palm Sunday)" the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship displays a slideshow of art installations used by various churches to inspire worship in Holy Week. Calvin's "Service Plan For Lent" offers sermon and activity ideas for Palm/Passion Sunday. And, "Were You There in Jerusalem When He Rode Into Town," is an inspiring Palm Sunday service plan celebrating Christ's triumphal entry.

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly offers a variety of resources including a "Pilgrimage Through Holy Week" series that explains the season's traditions, beginning with Palm Sunday; and "Easter Hope in New Orleans" is the story of how one church celebrates Palm Sunday.

Resources for Easter

The African American Lectionary offers scriptural texts that the Lectionary suggests for this moment on the calendar, along with a sermonic outline and others resources. The Lectionary also provides additional information on Easter in its archives.

In "Visual Arts In Holy Week" the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship displays a slideshow of art installations used by various churches to inspire worship in Holy Week. Calvin's Easter Resource Guide is an extensive page of articles, worship services, planning resources, arts ideas, songs, blessings, prayers and more.

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly's "Easter Music," explores how music plays a crucial role in the Easter services; "On Easter and Updike" is a touching recollection of the unstated Easter hope for eternal life in the author's work; 

The Center for Congregations offers a "Godly Play" resource guide for churches wishing to stage a Passion Play.



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