Seven Easy Crosses to Make and Use in Worship

Linda Witte Henke describes seven easy ideas for participatory worship with crosses.

Linda Witte Henke pastored two Lutheran churches before becoming a full-time liturgical textile artist. At a recent Calvin Symposium on Worship, she described seven easy cross-themed, participatory visual arts projects for worship.

  • Take headshots of people in your congregation. Attach the headshots to a cross made of wood, cardboard, foam board or fabric.
  • Enlist many people to help make luminaries. Arrange them into a cross on the floor of your worship space. You can also buy luminary bag sets for indoor use.
  • Use fabric or another lightweight material to make a four-dimensional cross. Hang it from the ceiling above the platform, altar, communion table or baptismal font.
  • Use tape to outline a cross on the floor of your worship space. Hand out Post-Its and pencils for people to write a sin they’d like to be delivered from, confession, gift of time or skill, adoration or prayer. Invite them to add their Post-It to the cross during worship.
  • Build an upright cross from pegboard. Hand out slips of paper and pencils. Invite people to write a prayer request, roll the paper and slide it into a pegboard hole during worship. With ideas #4 and #5, you can add an invitation to take someone else’s prayer and pray for them.
  • Ask liturgical dancers to hold onto four white bedsheets to form a cross during worship.
  • Invite people to shape bread dough clay into loaves of various shapes. After baking and cooling the loaves, coat them with several layers of matte varnish. Arrange them in a cross shape on your communion table or build an open cross-shaped wooden box about four inches deep. When Henke did this project for a series of Lutheran worship workshops, a woodworker drilled a hole in one leg of the cross. Worship leaders inserted a pole to make it into a processional bread cross. Church members have carried this cross while walking in a CROP Hunger Walk.

Find more ideas for cross-themed experiential worship on Google Image and Pinterest.