A Very Holy Week
The first Easter Sunday was the best day EVER. Easter reminds us that Jesus is stronger than sin and death. Because Jesus died and then rose again, everyone who believes in him is saved!
Christians remember Jesus’ victory over sin and death every Sunday. But every spring we also celebrate Holy Week—the seven days before Easter Sunday.
Holy Week begins on March 20 this year. How will YOU celebrate?
What Is Holy Week?
There are four special days in Holy Week:
Palm Sunday—On the Sunday before Easter, we remember how Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. (Read about it in Mark 11:1-11.)
Maundy Thursday—On the Thursday before Easter, we remember the Last Supper that Jesus shared with his disciples.
Good Friday—This day reminds us that Jesus died a painful death because he loves us and wants us to be right with God.
Holy Saturday—Jesus was dead. His disciples and friends thought he was gone forever. But God had a surprise for them. On Easter morning Jesus was alive again!
Holy Week Story Jar
This craft would be fun for your whole family to do together. First, read the Holy Week and Easter story together from the Bible or from a Bible storybook. Then talk together about what parts of the story stand out for each of you. Make a story jar to show the words, ideas, and objects that mean the most to your family.
Here’s what you need:
- Glass jar, big enough to put your hand inside
- Green tissue paper
- Craft supplies to decorate the jar: construction paper, craft sticks, and other items
Here’s what you do:
- Wad up some green tissue paper and put it in the jar.
- Then add words, pictures, and objects. You might add a picture of a loaf of bread or a cross made of craft sticks. You can also add a nail, a stone, or other things that remind you of the story of Holy Week.
Holy Week around the World
Christians celebrate Holy Week in many different ways. Here are some of the traditions that remind people what Jesus did for us.
Palm Sunday Street Carpets
In some cities in Guatemala, people use colored sawdust, pine needles, and flower petals to make fancy “carpets” on the streets. This reminds them of the coats that people threw onto the road when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Maundy Thursday Foot Washing
Before the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. He did this to show them how much he loved them, and to teach them to love others in the same way. Last year Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, visited a prison in Rome on Maundy Thursday. He washed some of the prisoners’ feet as a way to show them love. Would you ever do that?
Good Friday Kite Flying
In Bermuda, people fly beautiful handmade kites on Good Friday. This tradition may have started when a Sunday school teacher flew a kite to teach students about Jesus ascending into heaven.
Holy Saturday Church Services
In Ethiopia, some church services start on the evening of Holy Saturday and last until 3:00 a.m. on Easter Sunday! Most people stay for the whole service, and they wear special white clothes.
Make a Good Friday Cross
Here’s what you need:
- One sheet of craft foam cut to 4 x 6 inches (10 x 15 cm)
- Foil tape (made of aluminum), 2 inches (6 cm) wide, available at home improvement stores
- Ballpoint pen
Here’s what you do:
- Cut two pieces of foil tape. One piece should be 5 inches (12 cm) long. The other piece should be 7 inches (18 cm) long.
- Stick the two pieces of foil tape onto the craft foam in the shape of a cross. Wrap the extra ends of the tape around to the back of the craft foam.
- Use scissors to cut out the cross.
- Decorate the cross by making designs on it with the ballpoint pen. (The ink won’t show, but the pen will make lines on the foil.)
Circle these words from the Holy Week and Easter story. Look across, down, diagonally, and backwards.
C P E S E L P I C S I D X C A
W R I V M L Z A B J Y C E E N
C I U L I Z Z P X E X N O N G
D U N C A L T S C R T D B O E
R N D E I T A V X U L R Z T L
S E M I S F E R R S E U Y S S
Y B T U K D I I K A K N E I N
H I S S Z R O E D L V B K X U
E E G D O N Z D D E C R N O Z
J K J T H O R N S M O T O M B
S M L A P L R G W I J O D Y C
E F J F C T P Z V S L J F M E
J D I T H M B A L V J C N J S
M J D U F N S S B T I N G R L
V R U Y T V N K X G C K S M R