What are your plans for Holy Week? Yet again, I have been frantically pinning to by Easter board on Pinterest and trying to make plans but sadly, a combination of a horrid bout of strep throat (is there any other kind) and a general lack of direction on my part have led me, yet again, to having no great plan. I'd so like to make Holy Week special - for me, anyway, it is at least as significant, if not more so, than Christmas and we do SO much to prepare for Christmas. I'd like Easter to be the same. On the other hand, though, as my father raised a few years ago, when a blogger I was reading had suggested that we listen to Easter music in the period leading up to Easter to prepare, as we do before Christmas, it doesn't seem right to be singing about resurrection when the horrible stuff hasn't happened yet. Personally, I'd rather experience each part as it comes so that by the time we make it to Easter, the full import of the sacrifice made and the power of the gift given seem so much more real. Decorating and the joyful Easter music need to wait until Easter Sunday morning in our house.
So, what WILL we do? Well, we began with Palm Sunday at church today. It was wonderful and PK has been so excited because they had been told last week that Pastor S was going to call them up and they would get to sing and march around the church. She couldn't wait! We got up this morning and watched out kids Bible DVDs to see the triumphal entry and I tried to be sure that the kids had some understanding of what was happening (although, frankly, it's taken me probably most of my 40 years to really develop my own understanding of all of the complexities of the sin offering and what it meant to the Jewish people in their relationship with God). It was wonderful to see the church so filled with children (and to have my son decide that he was going to be the life of the party, laughing his head off and deciding that while everyone else was going around the outside of the church, he was going to proudly march down the centre aisle, making sure everyone appreciated how cute he was and how exciting this was). It made my heart sing to see the kids so excited. I have to admit, it was a Sunday, though, that also made me the tiniest bit sad. As you know if you have been around here a while, we have been in the process of probably making a church shift (no final decisions have been made but it's feeling like we are where we need to be, at least for now). Our new church is very contemporary in terms of music and at times like this, I sometimes really miss the old favourites that were such a part of my childhood. My dad and I have this odd tradition of sobbing through, "Ride On, Ride On in Majesty" when we come to the line about the angels looking down in horror at the sacrifice to come. I missed that.
So, how are we going to spend the rest of the week?
Here are a few things I have planned:
1. I found a terrific printable resurrection scene and the kids and I have already starting putting it together. My mom always did this with us as kids and my own kids are old enough now to enjoy it as well, Click here to print off your own copy and a huge thank you to Catholic Icing for sharing this wonderful resource.
2. We will hang our "Names of Jesus" banner which I found several years ago at "The Homespun Heart", which has also become a thing that we treasure each year.3. The kids and I have put together little gift bags for all of their friends for Easter. If we are sharing little gifts at Christmas, it just seems more appropriate than ever to do so at Easter, a time when we should be sharing the good news. Pk will take them to school and LB will give them to his friends at daycare. I wouldn't want my kids to force their faith on others but I think that giving an Easter treat is a nice way to instigate a conversation with someone who is interested.
4. Pk is singing in the kids choir for Easter Sunday morning and so we have been deep in listening to "When I Survey," "Nothing but the Blood" and "Amazing Grace" for weeks now. While we aren't going to be able to go to a sunrise service (which I would have loved to do - there is a local Salvation Army core that does it on the shore of a lake and we have gone to that before and loved it!), at least the concert at church will ensure how special it will feel.
5. I am hoping to find a local Maundy Thursday service (this is something from my home church in childhood that was always part of Easter and both the church that we were attending and our new church don't hold a service Thursday night, which makes me sad).
6. Of course, we will be visiting family a lot and trying to remind the kids that Easter is about much more than the bunny and candy. We do have the bunny come and we have friends coming to go to an egg hunt with us Saturday but we tell our kids that the bunny is celebrating the resurrection, too. I know, some people think that's a cop out but I'm fine with being Christians who have fun. If the time that our Saviour was resurrected isn't time for joy and celebration, what is?
I'd love to hear any suggestions that you have or to see some fun links. I'd love to add to our repertoire and make this meaningful for my family.