Holy Week and Easter in your home
There are many ways to observe Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter in your home – setting aside sacred space, making preparations for worship, and discussing scripture as a family or on the phone with friends. Here are suggestions for preparing for and observing Holy Week with worship services on Good Friday and Easter Sunday (including Holy Communion).
Preparations for Holy Week (before Sunday, April 5)
- Create some sacred space in your home designated for worship and prayer.
- Print out stained glass coloring sheets to decorate your sacred space.
- On Palm Sunday, the crowds welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem by waving whatever branches they could find. Gather greenery from your yard and put it in your sacred space as a visual reminder of Holy Week.
- Sometime this week, write your sins on paper or an index card. We will be burning them on Good Friday.
Palm Sunday Worship – April 5
- Gather greenery to wave during worship.
- Print the bulletin or have it available electronically to fully participate in worship.
Maundy Thursday – April 9
This worship service typically includes the confession of sins, foot washing, Holy Communion, and the stripping of the altar. In lieu of a formal worship service, follow these suggestions for creative ways to celebrate Maundy Thursday in your home or call a friend to discuss things over the phone.
- We will share an order of confession live on Cross of Life Lutheran Church Facebook page and our website at 6:00 p.m. Please join us.
- Read aloud John 13:1-17, 31b-35. Maundy Thursday gets its name from the Latin word Mandatum which means Command. In this passage, what does Jesus command his followers to do? How do you follow this command to love and serve one another? What tangible actions can you take to serve those in need during this crisis?
- If there are multiple people in your family, have a home foot washing ceremony. With The Servant Song playing in the background, simply wash one another’s feet. And mix it up a bit. If Dad typically does bath time, then kids wash his feet, or if Mom usually oversees homework, she can wash the kid’s feet. If there are not others in your home, focus on the words to the song and how God is calling you to serve your neighbor.
- Consider each family member drawing a part of a “comic strip” showing everything that took place on the night of the Last Supper. Or you could cut images out of a magazine or print images from a computer which exemplify being a servant to one another.
- Prepare for Easter Sunday worship where we will celebrate Holy Communion by baking unleavened communion bread together as a family. Here’s a recipe.
- While your bread is baking, watch “The Prince of Egypt” or “The Ten Commandments,”, both of which are available for low cost on multiple video platforms.
- Read 1st Corinthians 11:23-26. As a family, discuss the connection between the Exodus, Passover and Holy Communion.
- As someone reads Psalm 22, have the kids strip the altar by removing the white cloth, the candles and the greenery (or drape it with a dark shroud). Don’t throw it away your greenery – you’ll need it on Easter morning! If you are on your own, simply read the Psalm and then strip the altar.
- In preparation for Good Friday, place seven candles on your bare altar.
Good Friday – April 10
- Join our live stream worship at our Cross of Life Lutheran Facebook page or on our church website at 7 p.m. We will begin worship with burning our sins. Please have matches and a grill or outside area available.
- If you were able to set up a worship space with candles, light all seven candles at the beginning of worship.
- Either print the bulletin or have it available electronically.
- The rest of the worship service will be shared live.
Holy Saturday – April 11
In preparation for Easter worship, make sure you have bread and wine/grape juice to Holy Communion.
Easter Sunday – April 12
- Worship will be live streamed at our Cross of Life Lutheran Facebook page and on our church website at 10 a.m.
- Prior to worship, take your greenery from Palm Sunday and decorate it with flowers – like we do with the cross at church. Take a family photo with our “flowered cross” and post it on our Facebook Page or in our Members and Friends Group.
- Please have your communion elements available in your sacred space, ready for Holy Communion.
- Print the bulletin that will be sent next week or have it available electronically so you can fully participate in the worship service.
Through intentionally participating in such Holy Week observances, God’s sacrificial love and victorious rising can be experienced in your home in powerful ways.