The Labyrinth and Stations of the Cross

Some time ago I published this picture of two boys in our 3rd-5th grade class using two labyrinths we have. I am not a labyrinth person (caution would make me add “yet” to that sentence…) but I have many devotees of labyrinths among my friends and family (namely my 20-year-old daughter, away at college).

We have the two labyrinths in our classroom. One is the sand labyrinth, and one is a quilted lap labyrinth I bought in the bookstore at Kanuga Conference Center several years ago.

Our church is fortunate to have a canvas labyrinth that fits in our parish hall. I was allowed to help put it out for a few days on Lent 5, as well as to reserve a time for our children to use it. Unfortunately, while I hoped for swarms of children, I got several friendly adults, a teen, and a mother, and one child in “our” age group. Next year, perhaps, we can do more research to find a time when more can participate.

Early that day during our Sunday School class, we had the gift of a new (to us) parishioner sharing a Stations of the Cross suitable for children ages 4 through 5th grade. Although our parish does a Stations of the Cross at our 7:00 p.m. Good Friday service, we had never done anything with young children. We were able to use our parish hall that day to have a different space for this experience.

Diane had 10 stations set up. We had pictures for 7 of the Stations from an old set that had been used in church until they upgraded. We also had a cross (made with 2 x 4s) that we use in our annual Holy Week Walk during the Sunday School hour on Palm Sunday. Beyond that, Diane promised to bring all the necessary supplies. I had no idea what to expect!

She managed to slowly move through 10 stations in our allotted 50 minutes. Each station had some sort of brief activity (one involved tying two sticks together to make a simple cross; this was the only activity that required help from the adults present).

I thought the activities were perfect for meditation for this age group. At one station, she invited the children to dip a Q-tip into vinegar to taste the vinegar Jesus was given on the cross.

At the station depicting Jesus being nailed to the cross, she invited the children to write their names on a piece of ripped cloth (as Jesus’s clothes had been ripped) and “nail” this cloth to the cross with pins. No one made a sound during this activity.

In the final station, when Jesus is taken from the cross and laid in the tomb, she had each child dip a finger into olive oil and make the sign of a cross on the palm of the person next to them. One first grader told me later that this was the “best” station.

This entry was posted in Finding Stories Outside the Classroom, Lent, Seasons of the Church Year, Stations of the Cross and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Labyrinth and Stations of the Cross

  1. Fran says:

    Wow! This is awesome. Does Diane have this packaged for others to obtain and use? Or does she tour to other locations? It really sounds so perfect for kids. Thanks for sharing the details.

  2. Karen Slayen says:

    Likewise as Fran inquired. does Diane have more details of this. I am keen to do a ‘Stations’ for children next lent. We have always had traditional ‘Stations of the Cross’ but this year we experimented with a different format using the Turvey Abbey pictures. Next year I’d like to build on what we have done and introduce more creative liturgy particularly for children.

    • browniesmoke says:

      Karen (and Fran!),

      I’ll ask Diane if she will share her “script” (or, if published, its source) as soon as we Meet again. Thanks for asking! It was a special morning for all of us.

      I’ll let you know as soon as I get in touch with Diane!

  3. Mandy says:

    We would love to do something like this for Palm Sunday this year. Would it be possible to get the script and/or some more details? Thanks!

  4. Jaimie says:

    Did you ever get the script for this? I would love to use it this year!

  5. Elise Schlaikjer says:

    I, too, would love a copy of this script if you ever get it ready to share.
    Elise

  6. browniesmoke says:

    Thanks for your interest! The Stations of the Cross for Children has become a staple in our planning each year, and we are so thankful to Diane for continuing to share it with us. I later linked to the script in this post: http://www.browniesmoke.com/?p=258. Please let me know if you can’t reach it that way and I will get on it!

    Jill

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