Holy Week (mostly in pictures)

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!

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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.

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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.

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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).

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Holy Saturday:

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.

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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.

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Easter celebration

April 4:

We had a beautiful Easter celebration…delicious food, nice weather, wonderful company, and of course, the promise of life everlasting…can’t get any better than that! 

The boys in their matching Easter outfits.

Oh, a new bug catcher!

Wow, check out that bug!

An Easter basket from Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Gary

Oh Joseph, look!

Cool sunglasses!

While William is off chasing his ball, Joseph is surveying William's baskets.

Too cool!

The family celebration…

You know y'all aren't on the same team, right?

1st bite of cake...ever.

Playing washers

Easter eggs

Saturday evening before Easter, Joseph dyed eggs.  First he and Dax decorated the eggs using crayons and then I helped him mix the dye.  He very gently dropped each egg in and was absolutely amazed to see them change color! 

Resurrection Eggs

This was the 1st year that Joseph was able to hunt for eggs.  Last year I had planned to do an egg hunt with him, but William was born on Good Friday and all of my Easter celebration plans went by the wayside.  So I spent some time during Lent this year finishing my homemade Catholic version of Resurrection eggs and Easter morning after Mass, Joseph hunted for the eggs…

If you’ve never seen Resurrection eggs, it’s a really neat idea.  Basically you take 12 plastic eggs, number them and you choose 12 of the main events of Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with, of course, the resurrection.  Then you put a symbol of each event into the corresponding egg.  Here’s what I chose:

1: Jesus enters Jerusalem…a piece of a palm branch

2:  Jesus washes his disciples’ feet…a piece of a towel

3:  The Last Supper…a piece of bread

4:  The Agony in the Garden and Judas Betrays Jesus…a prayer and some coins

5:  Jesus is Questioned by Pilate…King of the Jews sign

6:  The Soliders Mock Jesus…a purple cloth and a thorn

7:  The Scourging at the Pillar and Pilate Condemns Jesus to Death…a rope

8:   The Way of the Cross…a small cross

9:  Jesus is crucified…a nail

10:  Jesus dies…dice (for when the soldiers cast lots)

11:  The Burial of Jesus…a rock

12:  The Resurrection…I left this one empty to represent the empty tomb on Easter morning

Then on Easter morning, you bury the eggs.  The kids hunt for the eggs, but they don’t open them until all of the eggs have been found.  Once all 12 eggs are found, together you open them one by one, telling the story as you go.  I simply found a picture of each event, mounted it on cardstock with the title of the event and laminated them.  The pictures helped me tell the story, but the lack of words on each page allow me the luxury of adapting the story from year to year based on age range (good thinking, huh?)  Joseph LOVED it!  Definitely worth the time and effort to make them and certainly a tradition we’ll continue!