These are anxious times, and trying to plan an entire week of meaningful activities for Holy Week because church is closed doesn’t sound appealing to many of us right now. I have been thinking about this for a week or so now – how to pull my family into Holy Week in a way that is thoughtful and yet not overwhelming. This would normally be a busy time for us outside of our homes as all three of our children sing for our church’s choir and there are many liturgies this week.
For me, I think it comes down to knowing that church isn’t a building, but a community of love and grace that exists outside any walls. It exists inside my heart. So outside of our own individual spiritual work and livestreaming our liturgies, our Holy Week will include the following –
Today, beautiful Palm Sunday – We will hang palms snipped from our inside palm on our front door. We will livestream liturgy from church and enjoy the beauty of creation in our neighborhood. A possibility for those of you with small children would be to create a beautiful Easter garden with fast-growing wheatgrass – it should be sprouted by Easter to show new life.
Holy Monday – Show gratitude. Make an Easter candle that you can leave on your table unlit until Easter Sunday. If I had walnuts in the shell, I would make the little walnut boats with melted beeswax and a birthday candle in it and let my children play with this as a contemplative exercise outside on the patio.
Holy Tuesday – Listen to the birds sing. Have a special gratitude jar for this week and remember the wonderful things of light in our life and in the world.
Holy Wednesday – Dye Easter eggs because it’s a family tradition. Do a Stations of the Cross service at home. I have pictures I can use, and this is my favorite Stations of the Cross for Global Justice and Reconciliation
Maundy Thursday – This is usually the time of foot washing and the stripping of the altar. It is one of my favorite liturgies outside of Easter Vigil, so I will be livestreaming it. I have seen suggestions to wash one another’s feet at home and to strip down a table in the home, etc. These suggestions for some reason do not resonate with me for home. I am going to keep thinking on this one. We will have a simple meal, probably soup. My parish always keeps watch through the night with the entire church body taking shifts at the church to pray, and that could be done at home by setting an alarm and waking up to pray.
Good Friday -We will be reading The Passion and the solemn collects found in our Book of Common Prayer. This is a day of fasting.
Holy Saturday – At the Easter Vigil at home we will lit our Easter Candle and renew our baptismal vows.
Those are just a few of my ideas – I would love to hear what others are doing!
Many blessings and stay safe,