Lent will begin on Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2024, and Easter is on Sunday, March 31. Now is the time to 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 more, 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 2024. Most of the studies on the chart can be borrowed from the NC Conference Media Center, and many of them are listed on this page.
Discipleship Ministries Worship Series
Depths of Love: The Season of Lent is a time of self-reflection, of spiritual examination. While that is a healthy and necessary exercise, we don’t examine ourselves in isolation. Instead, we are invited to lay our lives alongside the life of Jesus. It is a sobering exercise to say the least. And yet, what we discover in this examination of his life and ours, is not condemnation or recrimination. Instead, we are overwhelmed, the farther we go on this journey with him, by the depths of love he has for all of us. Lent is a time for getting our spiritual house in order, that is true. But above all, it is an invitation to once again commit to love like Christ loves.
Preaching Lent Webinar
Join Mike Graves for Preaching Lent: What not to give up, a webinar hosted by Market Square Books, on January 30th at 11:00am. Giving something up for Lent is commonplace, and some of us might wish it could be preaching itself during this heaviest season of the year. Together we’ll consider anew the challenges and opportunities of preaching during the Lenten season.
New Lenten Resources for 2024
New DVD Studies for 2024
The Third Day: Living the Resurrection by Tom Berlin. Bishop Tom Berlin uses his gifts of storytelling and understanding the Scriptures to connect the reader to the experiences of several individuals around Jesus in his final days, focusing on new life and redemption rather than loss. Join Peter, Mary Magdalene, and Thomas as they feel the despair of losing Jesus and the surprise and joy that awaits them in the resurrection.
Remember: God’s Covenants and the Cross by Susan Robb. United Methodist Pastor Susan Robb leads readers through the covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses and Israel, and David, followed by the New Covenant established on Maundy Thursday. The Lenten story culminates with an examination of the cross as another example of God’s promise for a new world.
Lenten Studies Webinar
Amplify Media offered a two-part webinar with Susan Robb and Tom Berlin, hosted by Magrey deVega. God’s Story is Our Story was recorded and can be viewed online.
The first session features Susan Robb, author of Remember: God’s Covenants and the Cross, who will reflect on the rich narratives of the Old Testament, exploring the stories of those who made covenants with God and the profound significance of the cross as a promise for a new world.
In the second session, Tom Berlin, author of The Third Day: Living the Resurrection, will consider the transformative power of the resurrection and the new life it brings, focusing on the stories of figures like Peter and Mary Magdalene.
New Book Studies
Where We Meet: A Lenten Study of Systems, Stories, and Hope by Rachel Gilmore, Candace Lewis, Tyler Sit, and Matt Temple. Four members of the Intersect network invite you to immerse yourself in the stories of Jesus and the early church. The authors guide you through a series of daily reflections, exploring a spectrum of critical themes-from diversity and equity to the challenges of the post-colonial church. They will also delve into the vital need for innovation and contextualization in doing the work Jesus had called us to do.
Hard and Holy Work: A Lenten Journey through the Book of Exodus by Mary Alice Birdwhistell and Tyler D. Mayfield. The authors reflect on the brave action of the midwives Shiphrah and Puah and other faithful women in Exodus, Moses’ awakening to the plight of the Hebrew people, Moses’ life-changing encounter with the burning bush, the Israelites taking the risk of crossing the Red Sea, and more, alongside numerous contemporary stories, to help readers to see anew and contemplate how God is calling them to respond to what is not right in the world: racial injustice, especially borne by women of color, houselessness, and discrimination against LGBTQ+ communities and people with disabilities. Includes daily reflections for individuals, prompts for small group discussion, and ideas for taking action in the outward work of justice and liberation. A free sermon series guide and video playlist are available online.
Have a Beautiful, Terrible Day! Daily Meditations for the Ups, Downs & In-Betweens by Kate Bowler. Lent is full of hard truths. And it is a perfect moment for spiritual honesty. We can look on this tragicomedy with love and bemusement as we wait for the someday that will be God’s promised future. There, God’s kingdom comes. God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And in the meantime, there’s this . . . our beautiful, terrible days. A free weekly group discussion guide for small groups, book clubs, supper clubs, or Sunday Schools to use for Lent (includes tips and tricks for leading a group discussion) is available to download from the author’s website.
New Worship & Devotional Resources
Gospel Voices: Forty New Testament Characters Telling Their Stories
By Neil Thorogood
Foreword by Anna Carter Florence
These forty monologues offer new ways into familiar texts, sitting alongside biblical passages to open fresh encounters with Scripture and all it reveals.
WesleyMen offers the Triptych series for Lent. A “triptych” is an art piece in three panels or sections, often hinged together, both literally and thematically. This ebook is a daily scripture, reflection, and prayer guide that covers Feb 14 – Mar 31, 2024. Available in paperback from the Media Center or in PDF, Kindle, and e-pub formats from FastPrayGive.org.
Lent & Anti-Racism Study & Devotional Resources (PDF Download)
Faithful Lent: Connecting the Practices of Lent and Anti-racism is a Lenten resource for congregations to use 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 purchased and downloaded from The General Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church.
GCORR invites you to use this Lenten devotional, Transform Us: Journeying with Jesus Towards a New Church, for personal or congregational use. This devotional was inspired by themes from our Racial Justice Prayer and Action Challenge: lament, repentance, hope, liberation, healing, and reconciliation. Free download.
More DVD Studies for Lent
Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and Outlaws by Adam Hamilton. Jesus brought the good news of God’s kingdom to those who most needed to hear it. In this 6-week study, Adam Hamilton explores the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus as told in the Gospel of Luke. Through Luke’s stories, we find Jesus’ care and compassion for all as he welcomes sinners and outcasts. As we study Luke and see Jesus’ concern for those who were considered unimportant, we hear a hopeful and inspiring word for our lives today.
Jesus Revealed: The I Am Statements in the Gospel of John by Matt Rawle. Rawle explores the “I Am” statements in John as works of art that resonate throughout the Gospel and all of Scripture. He shows how these words point beyond themselves to the deep mystery of Jesus Christ.
Finding Jesus in the Psalms: A Lenten Journey by Barb Roose. Combining an interpretation of the psalms with real-life stories, this 6-week study moves through the familiar words of Psalm 23 toward the painful cries of Psalm 22 uttered by Jesus on the cross. The study includes reflections on the life of King David and the original context of the writings, along with connections between the psalms and the life and death of Jesus the Messiah.
In the Footsteps of the Savior: Following Jesus through the Holy Land by Max Lucado. Lucado shares key teachings from the Gospels and Acts on the people and places that shaped Jesus’ life. Filmed entirely in the Holy Land, Max weaves together in-depth teachings with reflections on his time in the Holy Land, guiding you through the events that took place in Israel.
Witness at the Cross: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Friday by Amy-Jill Levine. Levine shows how the people at the cross each have distinct roles to play. 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.
The Lord’s Prayer: The Meaning and Power of the Prayer Jesus Taught by Adam Hamilton. Hamilton explores each of the rich lines of the Lord’s Prayer and their meaning in the Bible, illuminating what we ask of God and what we ask of ourselves through its words. And he teaches us how to use it as a pattern for our own prayer life.
Even More DVD Studies for Lent!
The Media Center has 46 total DVD studies designed to be used in small groups during the Lenten season. Browse the full list and discover something new! The list also contains movies and documentaries that you can use to supplement your study.
More Book Studies for Lent
Toward the Cross: Heart-Shaping Lessons for Lent and Easter by Taylor W. Mills with Gary Thompson and Michelle Morris. In a world that constantly tries to define our priorities for us, commitment to Christ demands that we reclaim that responsibility and right for ourselves. The season of Lent offers us space and time for to engage in that sacred work. This book serves as a guide through these weeks, helping us explore qualities and characteristics of Christian discipleship that demonstrate following Jesus is our highest priority. The chapters and daily readings challenge our thoughts, words, and actions in light of the teachings of Jesus.
Invite the author to your group discussion! Rev. Taylor Mills can join your group discussion of his book if you meet locally, on Zoom, or on Google Meet. You can reach him through the Contact page on his blog.
Struggle to the Cross: A Lenten Study for Individuals and Groups by Sharma D. Lewis. United Methodist Bishop Lewis invites readers to observe Lent by introspection, repentance, forgiveness, renewal, prayer, fasting, and Biblical study. Each daily reading ends with the “My Action” section, inviting readers to put into practice what they have read and reflected upon. Each Sunday, readers are asked to reflect and journal on the past week’s study using questions provided by the author.
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. Olu reminds the reader that God is available to lead and guide us every step of the way.
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.
Even More Book Studies!
The Media Center has 28 book-based studies that were designed for small groups to use during the Lenten season. Browse the full list to find the right study for your group.
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.
A Just Passion: A Six-Week Lenten Journey by Esau McCaulley, Tish Harrison Warren, Sheila Wise Rowe, Ruth Haley Barton, and others. To better confront oppression in the world, we must own that reality and look to Christ our liberator. Lent is the opportune time for this as we contemplate his suffering together. With selections from a diverse range of InterVarsity Press books, A Just Passion has been curated to hold in tension the immense weight and hope of the Lenten season. This collection of short readings, breath prayers, and Scripture passages from the First Nations Version guides readers through a six-week journey of repentance, lament, worship, and healing.
My Body Is Good: Giving Up Diet Culture and Embracing Body Positivity for Lent by Anne Cumings. Equipped with a body-positive mindset, Cumings has created an engaging and uplifting study to guide readers through a Lenten season of celebrating their bodies. Written specifically for women, each daily meditation offers a scripture passage, a reflection, and a prayer. Readers are encouraged to capture their questions, ideas, and thoughts through journaling and other spiritual practices, all with the intention of healing from diet culture. Join her on this Lenten journey, and never again forget that your God-given body, made from dust, is good.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More Devotional Books!
The Media Center has 24 devotional books designed for individual or group use during the Lenten season. Browse the full list to choose the right devotional for you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lent: A Journey of Discovery by Addition, Subtraction and Introspection by Erik E. Willits. This little book is a guide…a help…a companion on the 40-day journey of prayer and Christian practice known as Lent. On this journey, you’ll practice the disciplines of addition, subtraction, and introspection so that you may more fully participate in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
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.
Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter by Laura Alary. This book uniquely connects its projects to the story of Jesus. Simple and practical activities such as baking bread, having a neighbor over for dinner, uncluttering your room, and watching less TV become acts of justice and kindness, part of a life of following and imitating Christ, and a way to make room for God in our lives and in the world around us.
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.
Download Lent Curriculum for Youth & Children
Cokesbury offers several Lenten curricula for youth and children that can be downloaded directly from their website. They are:
- Deep Blue Life: Spiritual Practices
- LIFT Holy Week Stories for Lent
- Fathom Bible Studies: The Passion
- Spice Rack: Lent
More Resources for Children & Families!
The Media Center has 17 resources for youth to use during Lent. Many of these are companions to adult studies. Browse the full list to find the right Lenten study for your youth group.
The Media Center has 16 DVDs and 35 picture books for children that are related to the Lenten season. Browse the full list to choose videos and books that will help you teach your children about Lent and Easter.
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.
Request These Resources
These resources can be borrowed for free by anyone involved with a United Methodist Church in the North Carolina Conference. We will mail them to your home! All you need to do is fill out the Resource Request Form.