Whether you did this project years ago but have forgotten it in recent years, or whether this tradition is completely new to you, I’d like to share with you one of our family’s favorite Lenten practices for children: the Crown of Thorns.
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 50-100 toothpicks
- First mix flour and salt.
- Add about 1 cup of warm water – enough to make a stiff clay.
- Knead the dough until smooth, removing any air bubbles.
- Roll out three long ropes and loosely braid them together.
- Form the braid into a circle.
- Loosely insert the toothpicks (so they are not too difficult to remove later).
- Bake at 350 for 1 hour (optional – brush with egg wash and cinnamon mixture 15 minutes before removing from oven).
For each Lenten sacrifice a family member makes, he or she pulls a toothpick from the crown. The underlying idea is that Jesus suffered because of our sins, and his crown of thorns was part of that suffering. Each time we do something good, it alleviates his suffering, and the thorns are a sign of our sins that caused Jesus to suffer. The representative crown of thorns is a daily reminder to us that we are called to love as Christ loved us.
The goal is to remove all the thorns by Easter Sunday. Once all the thorns have been removed, you can paint the crown gold using paint, jewels, glitter, etc., and turn it into a King’s crown!