Thanks to Rev. Elsa Cook for another fantastic Great Idea!

You may not know this, but there are pretzel traditions from all over the world. AND pretzel traditions are sometimes linked with Lent and/or prayer. Rev. Cook combines the pretzel histories with Lenten prayer and our current need for some connection and joy in this wonderful recipe for the whole congregation.

Rev. Cook offers links to pretzel recipes, to learn about pretzel history and legend and suggests a music playlist for the dance part of the party. However, you may find great joy in inviting your whole congregation to create your own local joyful list.

Along with developing community by baking “together” (via zoom), she encourages letting this be a time to let prayer settle into our bodies. This is a huge theme, right now, as so many of us feel trapped behind computer screens, in chairs, indoors. Let prayer be a reason to move, enjoy and stretch the body, while engaging with community!

You can find other ways to deepen the physical expression and experience of prayer through Michel Le Gribble Dates’ numerous yoga devotions, Illustrated Ministry’s 10 Ways to Pray with Kids or Building Faith’s Tactile Prayer: Using Body and Senses to Connect with God. While these two articles offer creative ways to pray, neither does justice to a fully embodied prayer. Encourage participants (kids can lead the way!) to simply “move” or dance their prayer: the dancing/movement itself is the prayer – no words or additional media necessary!

Finally, Cook emphasizes that this be an opportunity for joy and mentions closing the time with the Doxology in response to the assertion that a pretzel’s three open spaces are reminders of the Triune God’s presence. You could have some fun with the Doxology by inviting each family, your youth group, or a creative writer known to the community to create your own lyrics responsive to your setting and these times. For inspiration – or for a fun version to share as the closure (if you live in MN) – check out this Minnesota Doxology (pardon the male pronouns).

Read Rev. Cook’s entire recipe here.