Ash Wednesday at Home
A Few Plans for the Day

A Quick Lenten Craft

As I mentioned in my morning post, I cannot find our Alleluia letters! (So much for being organized, lol.) The boys really enjoyed this activity last year, so I decided to make up something different to use this Lent. I first heard of this old custom last year at 4Real, and that thread (which I can't locate just now) led me to this quote in Around the Year with the Trapp Family (a beloved book I borrow from the library repeatedly; you can also read it online here):

"In medieval times they used to "bury the Alleluia" solemnly in the cathedral and in the abbey churches. This custom was nearly forgotten, but we came across it again on the happy day when we were privileged to celebrate Holy Mass in the creative and inspired parish of our friend, Monsignor Martin Hellriegel. There, in a solemn procession, the school children carried a wooden tablet on which was engraved the word "Alleluia" through the main aisle of the church over to the altar of the Blessed Mother where they put it at her feet and covered it with a purple cloth. There it would remain until Easter, when, in a triumphant tone of voice, the priest would intone, for the first time after forty days, a three-fold Alleluia."

As you all know I really love hands-on visual kinds of projects for my boys. I feel these kinds of activities are not only a fun way to learn, but also make the deepest impressions.

So when I found myself with no letters and no chance of getting to the craft store anytime soon, I rummaged around in my craft bins to see what I could come up with:


I happened to have a small oval wooden plaque on hand - one of those things you pick up thinking, I'll bet this comes in handy one day. (And that's why I have so many craft bins, lol.) I also found a sheet of golden alphabet stickers and some white and gold paint. I couldn't find any suitable floral stickers, so instead, I checked a favorite online source and found a lovely dove image. I printed it out and cut it to fit the raised portion of the plaque.

We first painted the wood white, and then I carefully glued the dove image on front:


(There's probably a proper way to decoupage a paper image onto wood, but the Elmer's seemed to do the trick.)

Once the glue was dry, Bookworm applied the golden letters ...


Now you can't blame the boy for spelling the word wrong - I handed him the stickers, lol! I have such a knack for mispelling that word! It was Bookworm who said, Mama, are you sure that's how it's spelled? Luckily, the stickers were repositionable, so we were able to quickly remedy the situation. ;)

As a final step, I painted the rim of the plaque in a soft gold ...


... and then our Alleluia was ready for "hiding."

I wrapped it in purple tissue paper and twine and the boys buried it deep beneath the couch cushions where it will hide throughout Lent.


The trick, of course, will be remembering where we hid it come Easter morn!

I think this little plaque will look nice hanging on the front of our grapevine cross, surrounded by fresh Easter flowers and a golden ribbon or two. I also think this craft would make a lovely gift for Valentines, Easter or Mother's Day. The image and message could change to fit any season, and it was really very easy for the kids to do. (I did the shaping and painted the edges but the rest the boys could easily handle.)

Well, I've got a few chapters of The Penderwicks awaiting me (and my Crackerjack) so I'd best be going now. Thanks for stopping by and have a great night!