Lent will begin on Ash Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022, and Easter is on Sunday, April 17th. You can go ahead and request resources that your church or small group would like to use during the Lenten season.
On this page, we have highlighted new and popular resources used during Lent and Easter, but the NC Conference Media Center offers many others, including:
- Video-based small group studies
- Book-based small group studies
- Documentary and dramatized DVD movies
- Program and worship planning books
- Youth and children’s curriculum
- Activity books for use with children and families
- Animated videos for children
- Picture books for children
All of our Lent and Easter Resources
The Media Center offers these pathfinders that contain complete lists of all of our resources designed to be used during Lent and Easter.
Study Comparison Chart
Cokesbury offers a Lenten Studies Interactive Comparison Chart for 2022. All of the studies on the chart can be borrowed from the NC Conference Media Center, and many of them are listed on this page.
New Lenten Resources for 2022
The Lord’s Prayer: The Meaning and Power of the Prayer Jesus Taught by Adam Hamilton. Hamilton explores each of the Lord’s Prayer’s rich lines and their meaning in the Bible, illuminating what we ask of God and what we ask of ourselves through its words. He also teaches us how to use it as a pattern for our own prayer life. Six sessions with 15-minute videos. A DVD, leader guide, and book are available for borrowing.
Witness at the Cross: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Friday by Amy-Jill Levine. Experience Holy Friday from the perspective of those who watched Jesus die. Each Evangelist presents a distinct picture of the death of Jesus. Each portrays different individuals and groups of people at the cross, each offers different images and dialogues, and so from each, we learn how those meanings and messages cross the centuries to any who would come to the cross today. Six sessions with 13-minute videos. A DVD, leader guide, and book are available for borrowing.
Book Studies, Devotionals & More
Our Lenten Prayer: Reflections and Observations from The Lord’s Prayer: A Lenten Study by Olu Brown. Rev. Brown believes that God is challenging us to fully release and trust God for all things in our lives during this Lenten season. It doesn’t mean we literally stop and cease to do anything, but we live and operate with the mindset that God is in control and has our best interests at heart even when we don’t fully understand what God is doing or perceive God’s presence in our lives and world. We need to be open and willing to ask God for help and direction. Olu reminds the reader that God is available to lead and guide us every step of the way.
Unrevealed Until Its Season: A Lenten Journey with Hymns by James C. Howell. Howell takes readers on a 40-day journey through popular songs of the church. Reflecting on well-loved hymn phrases, Howell helps readers discover who God is and what following Jesus means. A great Lenten devotional guide for individuals, small groups, and church choirs, this book is also an invaluable resource for musicians as they prepare for worship and for ministers as they preach and lead worship.
A Time to Grow: Lenten Lessons from the Garden to the Table by Kara Eidson. Eidson encourages readers to slow down, move through the painstaking process of growth, and end together with great feasting and celebration of the resurrection. Readers will explore the intricacies of how faith is required to produce food and how that faith can lead us all to feast at the table on Easter morning. Additional elements are included to enhance communal spiritual practice for small groups or the entire congregation during Lent. These elements include sermon prompts, liturgies with communal responses, altar art ideas for decorating worship spaces, and prompts for children’s time in worship.
Gifts of the Spiritual Wilderness by J. Dana Trent. In this daily devotional, readers will explore: What Jesus’s experience teaches us about the gifts to be found in our modern wilderness experiences; How a spiritual drought can create a more meaningful Lent experience; What fasting, sacrifice, and temptation look like in our daily lives; and How we prepare to experience new life on the side of the Lenten journey. Through daily devotions with Scripture, meditations, practices, prayers, and living water tools for our parched lives, Trent guides us on a contemplative and transformative journey through the wilderness to resurrection living.
Rise: An Authentic Lenten Devotional by John Pavlovitz. Like the human experience, the spiritual journey is not a level path. It is about the falling and the rising. We allow our hopes to rise when we are in the middle of the struggle. We wait for the sun to rise, knowing that joy comes in the morning. We rise to our feet after falling to our knees in desperate prayer. We rise when we are knocked from our feet, persistent in this. We rise to meet the coming day, knowing we are held by a Love that will have the last word. Rise is a 40-day journey of elevated hopes and ascending spirits. Each entry includes Scripture, a reflection, and a prayer.
Hearing God in Poetry: Fifty Poems for Lent and Easter by Richard Harries. From Yehuda Amichai and W. H. Auden to Phyllis Wheatley and Walt Whitman, this book invites you to take a closer look at fifty great poems by some of the finest poets in the English language. This beautiful Lent book for 2022 offers six poems for every week from Ash Wednesday, leading up to Holy Week, with ten poems specially chosen for Easter. A short reflection from Richard Harries accompanies each poet and the poem, drawing out their spiritual insights and how they communicate God’s presence.
Lent & Anti-Racism Study (PDF Download)
Faithful Lent: Connecting the Practices of Lent and Anti-racism. This new Lenten resource for congregations is designed to be used in a small group setting. The purpose of this study is to make explicit connections between the traditions of Lent and the work of anti-racism without forcing either one to be what they are not.
This study has been created with the faith-filled assumption that when we take seriously our Lenten traditions and what is necessary for the work of anti-racism, we find the two complement each other, not compete. Thus, what results is anti-racism work which emerges faithfully from engaging in authentic and tradition-based Lenten practices. Much of this study is organized along with worship-based categories such as scripture reading, scripture reflection, and prayer.
This study must be ordered and downloaded from The General Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church.
Lenten Guide: 40 Days of Positive Change
The NC Council of Churches offers this calendar for Lent. Each day suggests one action for positive change. These quick, easy-to-do tasks include prayer, songs, action steps, and educational opportunities arranged around the six focus areas currently at the forefront of the Council’s work.
More DVD Studies for Lent
Savior: What the Bible Says about the Cross by Magrey R. deVega. You’ll be introduced to several biblically based ways of understanding Jesus’ death on the cross that may go beyond the explanations you’ve heard before. By exploring the mystery of salvation through the cross, you’ll find a deeper love for God and others while strengthening your commitment to follow Jesus.
Seven Words: Listening to Christ from the Cross by Susan Robb. As Jesus draws his final breath and utters his last words, it is then that his deep trust in the Father and his divine glory are revealed. Robb looks at Christ’s final words from a biblical and historical perspective, showing how we can find life and hope in them.
The Passion Play: Living the Story of Christ’s Last Days by Rob Fuquay. Jesus’ Passion story is presented each Lent in countless churches every year. But one play presented by the inhabitants of the village of Oberammergau in Bavaria, Germany, may be one of the longest-running performances of all. In this study, Fuquay follows the biblical story of the Passion and shows how this amazing play has been used both as a ritual of praise and later as a weapon through its anti-Semitic past.
Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week by Amy-Jill Levine. Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the Passion story. She shows us how the text raises ethical and spiritual questions for the reader and how we all face risk in our Christian experience.
Restored: Finding Redemption in Our Mess by Tom Berlin. Berlin encourages us to reflect and meditate through our own brokenness, showing us that it is only when we focus on the cross as a place to surrender control that we can leave our mess and find true redemption.
The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus by Adam Hamilton. Using historical information, archaeological data, and stories of the faith, Hamilton follows in the footsteps of Jesus from his baptism to the temptations to the heart of his ministry, including the people he loved, the parables he taught, the enemies he made, and the healing he brought.
Book Studies for Lent
Atone: The Difference the Cross Makes by Wil Cantrell. Cantrell explores the great mystery behind all the theories of how Jesus’ sacrifice enables us to be at one with God, ourselves, and others. Readers will be challenged to move beyond solely intellectual discussions to atonement and to experience for themselves the transformation made possible by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Written especially for the Lenten season, the book is divided into six chapters designed to be used as weekly studies for individuals and small groups during Lent.
A Resurrection-Shaped Life: Dying and Rising on Planet Earth by Jake Owensby. Owensby leads us through a re-examination of the biblical concept of resurrection and illustrates how it can influence us as Christians every day. We’ll learn that a resurrection-shaped life finds hope through honest reflection on the past, moves beyond shame and blame toward self-acceptance and compassion, and draws strength from the hope of life after life.
Embracing the Uncertain: A Lenten Study for Unsteady Times by Magrey deVega. Engage and wrestle with life’s uncertainties, not ignore them. The six chapters focus on six post-Transfiguration, pre-Passion stories in the Gospels. Each of these stories is a signpost in the gospel narrative, pointing down at a world filled with uncertainty but pointing us forward to a cross that can show us how to follow Jesus with courage, hope, and obedience. Includes discussion questions that can be used in small-group Bible study sessions or for personal growth.
Wind in the Wilderness: A Lenten Study From the Prophets by DJ del Rosario. This book calls our attention to the issues of justice in today’s world. You’ll explore the continuity between prophetic emphasis and Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom of God. Each chapter includes questions for reflection or discussion, a brief prayer, and a focus for the week.
Plenty Good Room: A Lenten Bible Study Based on African American Spirituals by Marilyn E. Thornton with Lewis V. Baldwin. This unique short-term Bible study combines an in-depth look at Scripture, American history, and the music and lyrics of six African American spirituals. The six-session study provides biblical, social, and historical analyses of the spirituals. Leader helps can be found in the book providing discussion questions and activities.
Near the Cross: A Lenten Journey of Prayer by Kenneth H. Carter, Jr. It is by coming near the cross through prayer that we can know and imitate the heart of Christ, and this thematic Bible study for both individuals and small groups will guide you to a deeper life of prayer and spiritual transformation this Lenten season. You’ll learn how prayer nurtures our faith and encourages spiritual growth with practical, everyday applications. In addition to the main content, each chapter offers questions for reflection and discussion, a brief prayer, and a focus for the week.
Not Your Standard Lenten Study
Looking for a Lenten study that is a bit off the beaten path? These DVD studies offer an unusual subject matter or more sessions than the typical six weeks.
Words of Life: Jesus and the Promise of the Ten Commandments Today by Adam Hamilton. Hamilton brings modern eyes to the most important set of ethics in history. He considers the commandments in their historical context, considering the meaning of each commandment in Hebrew, unpacking how Jesus reinterpreted them, and showing how every thou-shalt-not was intended to point to a life-giving “thou shalt.” This study can be completed in 6 or 10 sessions.
The Grace of Les Miserables by Matt Rawle. Rawle dives into six ideals found in the story of Les Misérables—grace, justice, poverty, revolution, love, and hope—each represented by a character in Victor Hugo’s story. Rawle draws parallels between the iconic story and musical and our Christian calling, inspiring us to both understand our faith and live it out in the world.
The Passion Narratives by Mickey Efird. If you are looking for an in-depth biblical study, join Dr. Efird as he walks students through each of the four Gospel accounts of Christ’s last days. The DVD has twelve 20-minute sessions.
Surprised By Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church by N.T. Wright. Jesus called his followers the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Your life here and now is of tremendous consequence, and what you believe about the future has a direct impact on how you live in the present. In six transforming, faith-inspiring sessions, premiere biblical scholar N. T. Wright opens your eyes to the amazing full scope of what God’s Word has to say about the world to come and the world that is.
The John Wayne Movie Bible Study by Stephen Skelton. Angel and the Badman is the most Christian film the Duke ever made. It is the redemption story of a wounded gunfighter and the Quaker family that helps him to heal—not only physically but also spiritually. These four sessions consider vice, virtue, decision, and redemption with clips of the movie. The student book can be copied for everyone in your group.
Easter from the Back Side by J. Ellsworth Kalas. Kalas looks beyond the traditional gospel scriptures to connect the story of Christ’s resurrection with other stories and scriptures throughout the Bible, including both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Kalas’s creative approach both clarifies basic teachings and introduces new possibilities of meaning, even for those who are most familiar with the Easter story.
Lent of Liberation: Confronting the Legacy of American Slavery by Cheri L. Mills. Each of these forty devotions for Lent includes the testimony of a person who escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad, a Scripture passage, and a reflection connecting biblical and historical themes to challenge modern readers to work for liberation.
Walking in the Wilderness: Seeking God during Lent by Beth A. Richardson. We spend 40 days in the wilderness during Lent–days in which God calls us to self-examination, repentance, and making room for the Holy One in our lives. Our task during Lent is to clear away the clutter from our hearts so we can be fully present to God and our neighbors.
The 40-Day Social Media Fast: Exchange Your Online Distractions for Real-Life Devotion by Wendy Speake. This book will help you unplug from screens in order to plug into your real life–with the help of a very real God. Imagine taking a much-needed break from social media in order to get social with God and your loved ones again.
40 Days of Doubt: Devotions for the Skeptic by Eric Huffman. Huffman helps us understand how we can deal with our doubt and provides candid, insightful answers for those times in our spiritual journey when our minds and souls are fighting. You’ll not only find solace in these wonder-filled reflections; you’ll also discover that you are aren’t abnormal, after all, for having doubt.
40 Days with Wesley: A Daily Devotional Journey by Rueben P. Job. This engaging daily devotional weaves quotes and excerpts from John Wesley, the father of Methodism, with inspirational readings on faith and prayer from Rueben P. Job, well-known leader in spiritual formation. Each selection offers a simple daily pattern of reflection with a prayer, Scripture, and short readings that make this daily devotional an easy read.
Interruptions: A 40-Day Journey with Jesus by Jacob Armstrong. This book provides a chance for you to set aside your stress for a bit and refocus on God. Jacob Armstrong looks at the life of Jesus and gives insights on how you might respond to all the interruptions in your life. He weaves together biblical and contemporary stories in these short, effective devotions.
Program and Worship Planning
Faithful Families for Lent, Easter, & Resurrection: Simple Ways to Create Meaning for the Season by Traci Smith. Parents, guardians, teachers, and ministers will find dozens of fun and easy practices for celebrating the Easter season with our kids. Smith also offers theological notes guiding parents on addressing the violence of the crucifixion and the meaning of Jesus’ death.
Messy Easter: Three Complete Sessions and a Treasure Trove of Ideas for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter by Jane Leadbetter. This book offers your church a tool to bring together people of all ages and stages of faith for a unique come-as-you-are experience of creativity—allowing space for all to play and create, celebration—worshiping God and his redeeming work in Jesus, hospitality—sharing a meal where all are welcome. These three once-a-month sessions include ideas for activities, games, crafts, food, and much more to help us learn about Lent, Holy Week, and Easter in an excitedly messy way.
Essential Lent: Holy Moments and Sacred Experiences for Your Whole Congregation by Aimee J. Jannsohn. This book offers interesting, easy-to-prepare activities and worship resources that invite your church to delve a little deeper into this season and make it more meaningful than ever. You’ll be encouraged to try new things in worship, but will find it equally fulfilling to practice traditional Lenten rituals included here, such as foot washing, stations of the cross, and more. It is designed to engage everyone in your congregation, regardless of age or individual faith journey.
Palm Sunday and Holy Week Services by Robin Knowles Wallace. This book features ready-to-use lectionary-based worship and preaching resources for Palm Sunday and Holy Week. It includes three options for Palm Sunday services, including procession suggestions with special emphasis on participation by children. Includes ready-to-use Palm Sunday and Holy Week services for worship with multiple worship options for each lectionary year scripture and gives suggested liturgies for each service, including those related to Taize.
Easter Services, Sermons, and Prayers by Kenneth H. Carter, Jr. Based on the Revised Common Lectionary and broadly ecumenical, this book provides creative liturgies, sermon helps, and prayers for Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday, and the 40 days of Easter.
Worship in a Flash for Lent & Easter. Drawing on a vast library of worship resources, this resource provides everything you need to plan worship throughout Lent and Easter, all on a convenient USB drive with room to store your notes as you plan worship each week. The USB drive is compatible with Windows and Apple computers. It includes prayers, calls to worship, litanies, benedictions, sermons, music, projection images, and more.
For Youth & Children
Fathom: The Passion, The Death and Resurrection of Jesus by Katie Heierman. This 4-session youth study will explore the events surrounding Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion and their meaning for believers today. The lessons are a blend of narrative and traditional theological approaches to understanding the Bible story. Each lesson will focus on one passage that will launch into the larger context of God’s story, and how that story is meant to be theirs.
Children’s Dramas For The Church Year: Reproducible Dramas for Lent, Easter, and Pentecost by Linda Ray Miller. This reproducible resource consists of very simple Easter dramas that can be performed by kids of all ages. Short poems are also included for use in programs. Selections take no more than 10 minutes to perform and the number of children can vary as needed by the size of the church. Props and scenery are minimal and selections can be performed with little rehearsal.
Easter-rific! Teaching Kids… It’s More than Just One Day! by Tina Houser. This book includes nineteen stories that occurred during Holy Week, four more stories that occurred before Christ’s Ascension, and between two and four activities per story such as games, crafts, snacks, science experiments, storytelling ideas, and object lessons.
Sharing the Easter Faith with Children by Carolyn C. Brown. Being sensitive to the developmental maturity of children from ages birth to 12, Carolyn Brown provides materials, activities, and resources for congregations and families.
Touch the Water, Taste the Bread. This 6-week study, for children ages 4-8, will help you introduce your children to the sacraments, the Bible story about Jesus baptism and the Bible story about the Last Supper. This resource comes as a CD-ROM that has everything you need, the Leaders Guide, PowerPoints for teaching and lively music and sound effects that children will enjoy. Accompanying full-color storybooks are also available.
More Resources for Children & Families
The Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church published this excellent list of Lenten resources for ministries with children. It includes playlists, printables, activities, kits, and more.