Dying Easter eggs and preparing for Easter celebrations are great things to do, but Holy Week also offers many opportunities to dig in deeper with your children. To help you prepare here are four different practices for Holy Week. Hopefully, these can be hands-on ways to experience Holy Week, and can give hooks for explaining faith, as well as starting rituals in your house that can deepen in meaning as your child(ren) grow(s). These rituals can be done separately or together, on the same day or on separate days (traditionally, the first three would be done on Maundy Thursday, and the fourth would be on Good Friday).
We know that during Holy Week, Jesus was in Jerusalem celebrating the Jewish Passover with the rest of his community. Practicing this ties us to the rich heritage of faith that precedes Christianity.
We celebrate communion in faith communities, but in many communities, children are not encouraged to receive communion. Yet participating in this ritual helps them to learn the story, and gives deeper meaning to what they observe in church. By doing this ritual during Holy Week, families can enact this important part of the story of Jesus.
Jesus did something very unusual with his disciples - he washed their feet. Doing this ritual together helps us serve each other in a way that is tangible and concrete.
Jesus’ resurrection is very hard to understand. And when we go straight from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday with no Holy Week mourning in between, it’s hard for Easter Sunday to have any meaning. Here is a way to experience and celebrate the resurrection with even the littlest ones.