On January 18th, the Feast of the Confession of St. Peter, the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity begins. During these eight days, Christians around the world, from various denominations, join together in prayer for the unity of Christians, to reflect together on scripture, to participate in jointly-organized worship services, and to share in acts of outreach and fellowship. The theme for 2024 is drawn from Luke 10:27: “You shall love the Lord your God…and your neighbor as yourself.”
Involve your children in the prayers for Christian unity with these simple woven heart baskets. Every part of the craft is filled with meaning: the colors green and white for the season of Epiphany, hearts for the love that Jesus calls us to, and construction paper that is not very strong yet becomes strong when woven together. Eight baskets for the eight days of prayer for unity.
I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another” (John 13:34)
After you have made the baskets, print out the scriptures, cut them out, fold them up, and place them in the corresponding heart baskets. You could even add a piece of candy for each child in each basket. Every night, gather as a family, bring down the appropriate heart, read the scripture, and pray. After you are done praying, let them enjoy the treat!
Woven Heart Baskets
5 sheets of green construction paper (1 sheet is for the handles)
4 sheets of white construction paper
Take 4 sheets of green and 4 sheets of white construction paper, and fold each one in half width-wise. Cut in half. Fold each sheet in half width-wise, cut in half. Cut a rounded edge along the open side of each piece of construction paper. Turn to the folded side of the paper and cut three strips of equal size, stopping about an inch before the rounded top.
Label the tips of the 3 strips. This will make it much easier to follow the succeeding weaving steps. Use a pencil to label the left-hand template with C-B-A and the right-hand template with 1-2-3.
Place the right-hand template under the left-hand template. Rotate the two templates so that they are at right angles to each other. To start weaving, take Strip 1 and weave it through the loop of Strip A.
Next, weave Strip 1 around Strip B. Continue by weaving Strip 1 through the loop of Strip C. Move Strip 1 up until it touches the top of the slits.
Now take Strip 2 and weave it around Strip A. Weave Strip 2 through Strip B. Then weave Strip 2 around Strip C.
Weave Strip 3 similar to Strip 1 and like Strip 2. Gently ease the strips towards the edges. Erase any pencil marks.
Cut a strip of green construction paper to make the handle. Glue the ends on the inside of the heart basket.
Once the glue dries, fill the basket with candy and the scripture.