We are smack dab in the middle of Holy Week! Has this Lent gone by fast to you? It sure has for me – but I LOVE Holy Week, so I am savoring each day.
This year my family and I decided to give up screen time for the entire week. This doesn’t mean that I can’t work, but it does mean our TVs, game systems, tablets, etc. aren’t to be used for entertainment. My kids are actually doing quite well. Our older boys get it, the 4 year old had a bit of difficulty but is doing pretty well.
Instead of watching TV before bed my husband and I are reading – which is fantastic because I have started about 20 books and keep buying more. It’s a problem, I know! But it’s books not boots so that’s okay, right? It would be one thing if I finished the books but most of the time I don’t. I am happy to report that I have completed one book from start to finish and I am half way through a second (but only because I had already read through half of the book before being distracted by another one). This might be something we need to keep doing, at least a few times a week.
As a family, we have also been listening to Father Rocky’s 5-part Holy Week Mission from Relevant Radio. It’s called Close to Jesus to the Last and is the Passion of Christ in 5 parts. It’s not too late to start listening. It is prayer, reflection, teaching, music – I just love it and it has really enhanced by Holy Week experience over the past couple of years. This is the first year we are listening to it as a family. We listen to the first half during dinner and the last half, 30 minutes before bedtime. In years past we have done something similar, by listening to an audio recording of the Bible that I purchased from EWTN.
Today, is Spy Wednesday and I came across a wonderful reflection on the Gospels reading. You should take a moment to check it out…
I may hide 30 pieces of silver (quarters) but even as I type this, I am still undecided. I just envision a big fight and something getting broken – but it could be really fun too. We’ll see.
Tomorrow for Holy Thursday, my older boys will be participating in a prayer service, followed by a re-enactment of the Last Supper. I also, for the first time ever, plan to do a small Last Supper/Passover meal. During CCD when I was a child, we did one – and it made a big impression because after all these years, I still remember it. I have read pros and cons regarding doing a Seder Meal, which I do not plan to do, but I think it will be a good learning/discussion time for our family to incorporate some of the foods that would be served during Passover and talk about the meaning behind them. This article has some good information connecting the Last Supper and Passover: How Does the Last Supper Relate to Passover?
The Last Supper is also when Jesus instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (read: Evidence Christ Offered the Last Supper as a Sacrifice via Catholic.com), so that in and of itself is worth reflecting upon, which is another reason I thought it would be nice to do.
On Good Friday, we fast and abstain from meat. My children have a 1/2 day for Good Friday but in the morning the Middle School students participate in an absolutely AMAZING Shadow Stations of the Cross. It is so well done and something that school families (Catholic and non-Catholic alike), as well as parishioners, look forward to every year. It is a beautiful and emotional experience. Below, you will find a YouTube video that gives you and idea of what Shadow Stations looks like but it isn’t from the school my children attend. This is a condensed version, less than 5 minutes, and still brought tears to my eyes!
We will attend The Passion of the Lord that evening at our parish and Venerate the Cross.
On Holy Saturday, I may try to make it over to Morning Prayer and later that evening, before the Easter Vigil, the Boy Scouts will build a Vigil Fire. My boys are new to Scouting, so this will be the first time we participate in it. We won’t be attending Vigil Mass because with a 4 year old, it could get a bit uncomfortable. However, when my boys are older I definitely want to start attending those regularly. Instead, we travel to my Mom’s Parish for Mass on Easter Sunday, which is always a wonderful experience.
So, that is how we are doing Holy Week! Nothing too crazy but hopefully starting some new traditions that will make this week even more meaningful to our family.
What are your plans?
May the LORD bless and keep you!