Upcycle the Blue Hymnal: Epiphany Activities

Of all the stuff I've written over the years, including a number of very popular pieces, one post leaves the rest in the dust: the one I wrote about making new things out of the "old" Presbyterian hymnal. Whoa! Here's what I wrote:

If and when we find a new home for our old hymnals, there will be some random extras that are in such poor condition that they can’t be passed along. I myself have 2 or 3 hymnals floating around my house and study, and they are not fit to donate.

So… how about upcycling the copies that have lived a good life and are ready for some transformation? Old sheet music is beautiful and historic and a lovely material to work with. It’s good stewardship to give these old books new life.

My first post offered five Advent/Christmas related activities, and at least one congregation incorporated my ideas into their programming. Cool!

I said at the time that I'd offer suggestions for other liturgical seasons as well. The rest of the year pales in comparison to Advent/Christmas for sheer craftiness. But I'm up for a challenge!

Epiphany is now upon us: the season of light, in which we remember the magi's visit to the Christ child, Jesus' baptism, and the early moments of Jesus' ministry. Here are a few ways to use old falling-apart hymnals to reinforce these stories:

Epiphany Wreath

Walls and doors can feel pretty bare once the Christmas decorations come down. So how about an epiphany wreath? This one is inspired by the story of the wise ones following a star to find the Christ child:

Upcycle the Blue Hymnal: Epiphany Activities

I think some kind of sturdy ring shape (posterboard or foam core) with stars glued to it would do the trick.


Epiphany Candle

Another option for the season of light: a candle holder using pages of epiphany hymns:

Upcycle the Blue Hymnal: Epiphany Activities

You need a jar, pages from the hymnal, ribbon or hemp string for the top, and a tea light. You might use a star shape as a cut-out instead of a heart. It's not clear to me from the picture, but it looks like the pages are inside the jar? Maybe an electric tea light would be better.


Epiphany Poems

This is a repeat from Advent, but it's such a neat activity that it would work in any season:

Upcycle the Blue Hymnal: Epiphany Activities

This is a craft and a contemplative activity rolled into one—great for a prayer gathering. Take a favorite epiphany hymn (or maybe a non-favorite) and read through it for words or phrases you might string together to make a new poem. Circle those words and doodle the rest of the page as shown.


Baptism of the Lord Ornament

This coming Sunday we will hear the story of Jesus' baptism, in which the Spirit descends on him like a dove. How about a dove decoration?

Upcycle the Blue Hymnal: Epiphany Activities

Here's a screen shot of the pattern. Just print it out to be the right size for the hymnal page and you're good to go. The wings go in a slit in the bird's back, and the tail feathers through a slot as shown in the picture.

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 4.09.26 PM

What other possibilities can you think of?


Yes, most of this stuff comes from Pinterest.  You can follow me there. Lots more hymnal crafts in addition to quotes I like, running stuff, and more slowcooker recipes than you can shake a slotted spoon at.

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