You’ll see many pictures here, mostly because it’s easier to show you than to try to explain. Each of the major events (Palm Sunday, the washing of the feet, the Last Supper, the Way of the Cross, etc) are acted out in some way. There are a few options that we typically use: our Betty Lukens feltboard, our Worship Woodworks pieces, our Jesse Box, or our peg dolls (or some combination of those things!).
Aside from the activities mentioned here, we also use the following DVDs to enhance our Holy Week: The Miracle Maker: The Story of Jesus; The Easter Story; Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bible: The Last Supper, Crucifixion, and Resurrection.
Our Easter Book Basket is full, too, of course!
Palm Sunday: Jesus arrives in Jerusalem
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday. We usually re-enact the Palm Sunday procession, sometimes with ourselves as the characters; sometimes with peg dolls or other figures. This year we also built Jerusalem and began our Holy Week in Handprints book.
Holy Thursday: Jesus washes His disciples’ feet and celebrates the Last Supper; the Garden of Gethsemane and the Betrayal of Judas
On Holy Thursday, we take turns washing each others’ feet just as Jesus did for His disciples. In past years, we’ve prepared unleavened bread (this year, since we were gluten free, we substituted with corn tortillas!). We continued with our handprints for our Holy Week book. We finished Holy Thursday with our Lenten meal (which lends itself so nicely to chicken tacos). This year Joseph wrote out all the labels for the meal and the Bible verses which accompanied each food. It made it very easy to sit down for dinner and as we filled our plates, someone read each Bible verse and explained the significance of the food. I did not capture all of the details here, but for the most part, for this meal we stick to Alice’s suggestions for her 1st Lenten meal.
Good Friday: Jesus is condemned; The Way of the Cross; The Crucifixion
We typically pray the Stations of the Cross using either our Stations of the Cross eggs or our three part cards. This year we did a few notebooking pages (here you’ll see both Thursday and Friday’s completed pages) and worked on our Holy Week in Handprints book. Our Stations of the Cross meal (designed by Joseph, inspired by Alice at Cottage Blessings…we even use some of her suggestions from her 2nd Lenten meal here) completes our day and with it, we’re able to focus on all the events that happened along the way of the cross. (We’re missing a few dinner photos here…we serve grapes along with the king’s crown for the 1st station to represent the purple robe; we serve french fries as the 2nd station to represent the beams of wood for the cross; on the 5th station, we serve fish to represent Simon of Cyrene, who was on his way into town, most likely to see his goods (perhaps fish?) when he was called upon by the soldiers to help Jesus carry his cross).
We usually begin our Holy Saturday with a recap of the week’s events, beginning with Palm Sunday. We use this day as a day of preparation for the excitement of tomorrow. We dye and decorate eggs, prepare the lamb cake (but don’t decorate it yet!), and this year, we continued our handprints book.
Easter Sunday: The Resurrection
Alleluia! Christ has risen! Today is a day for celebration! Church is followed by a big breakfast (this year breakfast was at Grandma Nury’s with an egg hunt there). At home, we read the Gospel together, decorate the lamb cake, hunt for eggs (confetti eggs, birdseed eggs, and our resurrection eggs), pack away Lent and decorate for Easter, and crack open our Resurrection eggs (these same eggs are used year after year). This year we also finished our handprint books and opened Easter baskets from Granny and Pappy.
Since Easter lasts for an entire season in the Church (Easter lasts 50 days until Pentecost Sunday!), if we don’t finish everything on this day, we happily spread it out over the next few days. In a few days, we’ll borrow Alice’s idea to have an Easter Tea to celebrate, through food, the events of the Easter season.