Celebrating Holy Week
 
 While we may be practicing social distancing at this time, we can continue to worship as a church and we can make the week a very meaningful one by trying some new traditions. Below we offer you a few ideas to inspire you during the Holy Week, and as we continue the days ahead in isolation. Check back often as we will continue to try and add new ideas. Please contact us with your own suggestions and ideas that we could add to this list.
 
Check out information under the "Services" tab to help you celebrate Maundy Thursday and Good Friday with services you can perform at home. 
 

 
Holy Week: 
 
 Start the week off by creating cards for members of our congregation that may not be able to worship with us online, or for anyone that you would like to spread the joy of Easter to. 
 
 
 
 
Get your kids creative juices working and spend some time creating your own mini production or newscast. These ideas could be a weekend project or something to work on all week.
  • Research and then perform the Passion as a shadow play. All you need is a large white or light-colored sheet, and a bright light to shine behind the actors. Costumes can be anything around the house that would help create the appropriate shadow. After reading about the passion of Christ, the children could create their own script or perform it silently. This is a photo of a production my daughter was in many years ago for reference, but you could make your play as simple or complex as you want.

  • Another idea is to have your children imagine they were in Jerusalem as Jesus entered the city on the little donkey. Challenge them to become a reporter during the time and interview Jesus and the crowd. This could be something to record and produce like a newscast, or simply use it as a dinner conversation starter.
  • Spend time this week preparing yourself and your family for the resurrection of the Lord. In many homes children receive Easter baskets full of treats on Easter morning. Whether you have children at home or have been preparing yourself during Lent for His Resurrection, you can spend this week by participating in an examination of your conscience that can draw you nearer to God. Begin the week with a basket or container of some kind. Each day write down one thing/sin about yourself that you could improve in your actions or behavior that keeps you separated from God. Crumple up the paper so it resembles a rock, or if available you could write the things on rocks, and then place them in your basket. "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26 On Saturday cover the basket with a red cloth to symbolize the blood Jesus shed on the cross for us. Easter morning the children can find their baskets of treats. You can discuss with them or remind yourself of the joy we celebrate on Easter; the grace that we have had our sins forgiven by the sacrifice Jesus made for us. Read more about this tradition here at "Oh, Amanda"  
 
  • Bake Pretzels during the week to discuss with your family the significance of prayer in our lives. Here is a simple recipe and a prayer to go with it from totalhealthnow.me but there are also many other sites you can find with more explanation about why pretzels are a Lenten tradition.

  • On Good Friday make Hot Cross Buns. Here is a recipe from King Arthur Flour . Spending time in the kitchen together is one of the best times to tell stories, talk about family and religious traditions, and discuss your beliefs. 

  • On Holy Saturday prepare Easter Story Cookies. This is one of my families' favorite traditions, and my grown kids still ask if we are making them. Our recipe was given to us many years ago from a family friend. Here is a link to The Idea Room for a similar recipe. Each ingredient you add has a scripture verse and allows you to discuss with your children (or contemplate for yourself) the sacrifice Jesus had to go through, and when you wake in the morning there will be a sweet revelation.  

  •  We can't all be in one place together to worship on Easter Sunday, but it is a joyous day to celebrate none the less. Wake up early today and make a special Sunrise breakfast to share with your family. Perhaps you could make it a picnic outside to celebrate the dawning of a new day. The tomb is empty! Jesus has risen!