by Veronica Glenn
A Lent-Easter wreath can help students pray through Lent—the same way an Advent wreath helps students pray through Advent—and celebrate Easter. I made a Lent-Easter wreath out of a piece of white poster board, pieces of violet, rose, and red construction paper, and tree twigs (all for Lent, on one side of the wreath) and bright spring-colored blooms cut from construction paper (for Easter, on the other side of the wreath).
I cut a circle from a piece of white poster board and then cut a circle out of the center of that to form the wreath itself. I cut different shapes of triangles from construction paper, in shades of violet, rose, and red, and glued the pieces all over the wreath (creating a mosaic look). Then I glued on a few tree twigs here and there around the wreath. Then I cut blooms from spring-colored construction paper and glued them to the other side of the wreath.
I put the wreath on our prayer table, Lent side up, and around the outer edge of the wreath, I put six tea-light candles; our class meets six times during Lent. During the first class in Lent, I explain that we will gather for prayer around the Lent wreath at the beginning and end of each class. I explain the symbolism of the wreath like this:
* The wreath is a circle that reminds us of eternity and life everlasting, which is ours because of Jesus’ death and Resurrection.
* The color violet symbolizes our acts of self-sacrifice during Lent in penance for our sins and in preparation to celebrate the Resurrection. The priest wears violet vestments on Ash Wednesday and the First, Second, Third, and Fifth Sundays of Lent.
* The color rose symbolizes the joy we experience as we anticipate the Resurrection. The priest wears rose vestments on the Fourth Sunday of Lent.
* The color red represents sacrifice. The priest wears red vestments on Palm Sunday.
* The tree twigs represent the crown of thorns that was part of the suffering Jesus endured.
The first week of Lent, I light one tea-light for our prayer. I light two tea-lights for our prayer during the second week of Lent, and so forth.
The first week that the students are back in class after Easter, I have the Easter side of the wreath displayed, surrounded with the six tea-lights, and one large white candle in the center of the wreath. For our prayer that first week after Easter, I light all the candles and our prayer focuses on Jesus, the Light of the World.
Veronica Glenn has taught fourth-grade students for four years and is a member of the RCIA team in her parish. She is the mother of two children and has been married for 17 years.
Copyright 2011, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc.
This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, January 2011.
Image Credit: Thoom/Shutter Stock 559092118