House For Six

Ideas For Celebrating Holy Week and Easter With Kids

Deme Crinion5 Comments
I'm officially letting myself off the hook.  There's three days until Easter and I have nary a dyed egg or cotton ball bunny to show for it.  And odds are I'm not going to squeeze them in between now and our Easter celebration.

Much like this past Christmas, crafts and decking the halls fell by the wayside.  Four months after our move, we still haven't fully unpacked and have a long way to go in the way of "setting up house".  Honestly, it might take me this first year, to get all our household systems in place....and by that time, things will surely change and will need to be tweaked.  #constantblogcontent.

Holding myself to a must-produce-Easter-cuteness quota just might push me over the edge of sanity.  So, I'm letting it go.  But this is Holy Week, so we've tried to come up with a few ways to make this week more tangible for our kids (and for us).  They mostly involve food.  Because we may not have time to craft, but we all need to eat, right?

Food is such a natural part of our daily rhythm that using the preparation and sharing of our meals to focus on a particular season is an easy way to direct little hearts and minds.  We have a few other things that have come in handy with young kids over the years too, so here's what we're going to try....




Holy Thursday

We're going to try a new tradition for Holy Thursday.  This is the day Jesus broke bread with his disciples for the last time before the cross.  And it's probably the most important dinner in the history of dinners.  He starts with a truly humble act of love as he lowers himself to wash his disciples' feet, giving us a picture of how we are to love his people after he is gone.  He then forever changes the way see the basic elements of bread and wine...telling us they will be his redemptive body and blood.

So, today we're doing a couple of simple things.  After the kids naps, we're going to make our own bread (it might involve a bread machine).   We'll have it with soup and grape juice/wine for dinner, reading the story of the Last Supper from the Bible at our dinner table.

After dinner, we'll have baths where our kids wash each other's feet.  Nothing fancy, just a couple of little things to help that important night not feel so distant.


Good Friday

I would love for this to be a totally quiet and prayerful day, but......kids.  I can't make them sit in silence all day, but we can make a few changes so they know this day is different.   The electronics will stay off (including me browsing on my phone) and hopefully the weather will let us burn some energy outside so we can have a good quiet time in the afternoon.

When Mia was younger I struggled with how much to share with her about the crucifixion - would it be too much?  How much could she handle?  In the early years, we mostly focus on how much God loves us and Easter being his greatest gift to us.  Mia's godmother and I had a chat about it and she sent us this book.... 

It's perfect for those tender years.  It explains the Cross in a non-gruesome, age-appropriate way.  It gives an introduction to Jesus then guides you through 15 stations of the cross (beginning with Jesus being condemned to death and ending with the Resurrection).  It uses just a few sentences children can understand and a small prayer for each station.  It's a beautiful tool for interactive stations of the cross and a fantastic book alternative.  We use this throughout Lent, but will be reading it together as a family on Friday.

As for the food - this is a day of fasting and abstaining from meat for us, so we'll have a simple dinner of fish, veggies and hot cross buns.  There are so many traditions around these tasting mounds, and I would love to make it a tradition of ours to bake and deliver these to friends on Good Friday.  This year, we'll make them together and include them as part of our meal.  #babysteps

I've always used a recipe from allrecipes.com for these, but I may try out this one from the Pioneer Woman
YUM!

Holy Saturday

We use this day to prepare for the Easter meal, but I'm otherwise stumped on this one - any ideas??



Easter Sunday

The celebration!  The feast!

I've always wanted to try these and I think the kids are at a great age to make Resurrection Rolls on Easter morning! 
Resurrection rolls
(via)

I love that you can easily get the kids involved in the prep and that each step walks them through Jesus' burial and resurrection.  The link above has the recipe and how to explain each step to your kids.

We're still figuring out the rest of the day, but church, an egg hunt, and yummy food with family/friends are definitely on the agenda.  I would love to hear how your family celebrates Easter and the days leading up to it...let us know in the comments!

A blessed Triduum and very happy Easter to you!!



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