Lament isn’t a word we hear used often. Other related words are more common: grief, mourning, sorrow, sadness. Human beings all experience profound sadness or loss that cause us to cry out in anguish. Entire communities also lament. Much of the Old Testament was written during a time of forced exile and we find many examples of laments in the Bible, such as when Jesus lamented the death of his friend Lazarus and the state of his people.
Jewish and Christian faith connect lament and hope. Through studying this practice, participants will learn how the laments in the Old Testament express raw emotion, but also confidence that God is listening and will eventually set things right. For Christians, Jesus’ death was not permanent. God raised him from the dead, showing that the forces of life ultimately prevail. While much of American culture does not encourage lament, there can be healing in lament. Having recognized its value, our faith ancestors developed and utilized the ritual of lament both in public worship and personal prayers. This unit focuses on four practices in the ritual of lament, including name wounds, weep and wail, remember the crucified one, and dance between lament and hope.
Youth Leader's Guide
This leader’s guide is for youth ages 11–18. It contains helpful information for the leader, including information about leading youth, background information about the practice, a note about supplies, and other helpful information for each session. There are symbols for each activity within the session that allow a leader to see at a glance the type of activity and customize each session for their group of youth. Our youth leader guide activity symbols assist the leader in accommodating both concrete- and abstract-thinking youth. Each session includes resource pages that may be copied, printed, or sent out electronically to participants. There are other helpful pieces for youth in the Congregational Guide.
Featured in the Youth Leader’s Guide:
- Naming Our Hurt (Lamentations 3:42–48)
- Cry Out (Luke 23:26–31)
- Remember You Are Not Alone (1 Corinthians 11:23–25)
- Recognize Hope (Lamentations 5:19–22)
Follow Me: Biblical Practices for Faithful Living is a thirty-six-unit curriculum based on practices Jesus did and taught us to do as faithful followers. Written for people of all ages who wish to live out their faith, this new curriculum examines where these practices are found in the Bible and how they have been used in Christian faith then and now.
To learn more about the curriculum and view a sample of each component, visit our Follow Me webpage or watch the Follow Me trailer on our YouTube channel.