Ash Wednesday Craft – Cross
Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter, for Western Christianity (Eastern Orthodox starts 40 days prior to Palm Sunday and they don’t observe Ash Wednesday). It is not a Biblical feast, but is a seasonal preparation for Easter. In some traditions, the sign of the cross is put on the foreheads of worshipers, symbolizing a period of mourning.
For us, not belonging to a liturgical denomination, we miss out on quite a few of the liturgical practices that make my faith more real to me, so we do observe in our own family. Last year was the first year we’ve done this, and it brought so much more meaning to me through the Lenten season. To kick off the observances, we did an Ash Wednesday craft that brought home what the observance meant, and gave something practical for the boys to do and see. Just sticking my finger in the soot in the fireplace and marking their foreheads with a brief prayer of blessing could have been enough, but they are entering a period of loving to craft, so this Ash Wednesday Cross craft was just perfect for us.
- Heavy paper – we chose red as a symbol of the blood shed on the Cross by Christ for our sins
- box of matches – burned. Be sure to have adult supervision for this part. I did it with the boys so they could blow out the matches, but if you have worries of future firebugs, burn them ahead of time.
- Glue - use a liquid glue, not stick
Break off the burned ends of 2 matches. Cut one of those in half. Glue the backs of each. Form the Cross just above the middle of your page. Begin laying out the burned matches in the corners, diagonally, following the pattern in the photo. You can either glue the back of each stick, or lay out some glue on the paper. Either way works. The glue will dry and not be visible, so don’t worry if it gets a little messy.
We hung our Cross in a frame on the wall for the Lenten season as a visible reminder. We don’t make Lent a period of mourning and sadness because there is a wonderful Promise come Easter Sunday, but we do often remind each other of the sacrifice that came with that Promise.
I hope that this craft helps with your observances of the Lenten Season in preparation for Easter. What other things do you observe, as a family, for Lent?
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