What is Holy Week?
As Christian parents, one thing we want our children to understand, even if they don’t understand anything else, is what Easter is all about. Holy Week is the timeline of biblical events that happened the week leading up to Easter. Celebrating Holy Week (also called Passion Week) can add a lot of meaning to your Easter celebration. In fact, I can think of 8 reasons you don’t want to miss holy week–Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! Each day has special significance in the Easter story. When you take time each day leading up to Easter to really explore the meaning of each day with your child, the purpose behind Easter comes to life.I can think of 8 reasons you don’t want to miss holy week... Click To Tweet
Maybe you, like me, didn’t grow up celebrating Holy Week. Since the first time I celebrated it a few years ago, however, I have never looked back. There is so much to be learned when we take the time to go into depth with the story of Holy week.
Here is a deeper look at the 8 reasons you don’t want to miss Holy Week…
Palm Sunday, in a nutshell version, is the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem and the crowd waved palm branches at Him. We call this the Triumphal Entry. The people were worshipping Him with this popular custom of the time. (Mark 11:1-11)
On this day, Jesus cursed a fig tree that was not bearing fruit and made it dry up. He also chased out people who were buying and selling in the temple. Mark 11:12-19
Busy Tuesday (a.k.a. Holy Tuesday)
Busy Tuesday is aptly named for Jesus’ busy day. On Busy Tuesday, Jesus taught His disciples about the withered fig tree (Mark 12:20-25), His authority was questioned (Mark 11:27-33), Jesus taught with parables of warning (Mark 12:1-12), He debated with Jewish leaders (Mark 12:13-17), denounced scribes and pharisees (Mark 12:38-44), and taught about the end times (Mark 13).
Silent Wednesday: Silent Wednesday was just that–silent. No one is exactly sure what Jesus did that day. There are flashbacks recorded during this part of the Bible. There is discussion of the conspiracy of the Chief Priests and Judas’ betrayal, as well as the woman anointing Jesus with perfume. (Mark 14:1-11)
This is the day that Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples during their last supper. Afterwards, Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was betrayed and arrested. The term Maundy comes from an Old French and Latin word for “command.” On Maundy Thursday, Jesus gave the command for His disciples to love and serve each other. Many people wash others’ feet on this day in remembrance of Jesus’ washing His disciples feet. (Mark 14:12-72)
Good Friday was actually the worst day in history in many ways. Jesus died a horrible death on the cross. The outcome, however, was good for us. Jesus died to take our sins. Because of His ultimate act of love on Good Friday, living with Him forever is a possibility. (Mark 15:1-47)
Sad Saturday (a.k.a. Holy Saturday)
Saturday was a day of questioning and rest. The people were trying to make sense of all that had happened. They were mourning the loss of their friend and savior. It seemed to be a loss of the purpose and direction of their lives. Talk to your children about what they would have been thinking and feeling at this point in the story. Meanwhile, the chief priests and guards were making sure that they really were rid of Jesus. They had good reason to be paranoid! (Matthew 27:62-66)
Celebrate! Jesus is alive! He came back and made Himself known to those closest to Him. In fact, Easter was just the beginning of the next 40 days that He would spend with them, teaching and preparing them for the future. (Mark 16:1-20)
How Can You Celebrate Holy Week With Your Family?
Here are a few of my favorite ideas…
- Read these accounts from the Bible with your family
- Make Holy Week Handprints with your young children
- Bible Journal or Notebook Holy Week
- Discuss these stories with your children. You may be surprised by how much they understand!
Looking for More?
If you are looking for a more guided Easter experience, you can join my mailing list and download, An Easter Invitation. It has 8 days of Easter themed readings, experiences, and personal invitations so your children can understand what the Easter story means for them.An Easter Invitation--8 days of Easter themed readings, experiences, and personal invitations. Click To Tweet
There are more than 8 reasons you don’t want to miss Holy Week. Don’t miss out!
How does your family prepare their hearts for Easter?