A Household Holy Week

As we prepare to journey to Jerusalem next week in our homes, many have been sharing ways to create a sacred space at home. How might we use these spaces for Holy Week? What objects might we place on our altars each day to remember the final week of Jesus with his disciples?

The concept of a Holy Week Box is not new, in fact I had gathered supplies to put together bags to give out to our households at my church based on what Building Faith had posted a few years ago. The original idea came from Camille LeBron Powell in the UK some years ago. Due to health and safety concerns, these won’t be distributed this year (and we’ll save them for next year). So I’ve transferred and adapted the concept into one that individuals and families can create on their own. Follow along below, or download the document here which includes the readings.

For the readings, I chose translations from the Common English Bible or God’s Word, My Voice by Lyn Zill Briggs (Church Publishing, 2015). Begin by putting your “box” on your sacred space with the following materials already inside.

Supplies

  • A small box (a shoebox or anything that can hold the following items)
  • Scissors
  • A sheet of green construction paper or a small branch from outside, like a small piece of pine branch or forsythia
  • Jesus figure – this could be a LEGO person, wooden peg, paper towel or toilet paper roll (create a Jesus in advance with markers and/or construction paper), or Flat Jesus – use your imagination!
  • A coin
  • Cotton ball or square
  • Red construction paper
  • Marker or crayon
  • Photos of people you love
  • A small white piece of fabric or white napkin (paper or cloth) large enough to cover the size of you Jesus figure
  • A cross (you can draw one on the bottom of the box, make one using wire, pipe-cleaners, nails, wixi-stix, construction paper, or two sticks tied together)

Palm Sunday
Read Mark 11:1-11

Take the green paper and the Jesus figure out of the box. Cut the paper into palm leaves. Place them and Jesus beside the closed box. The people waved palm leaves to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem. Add Jesus and the palm branches to your sacred space.

Share: How can we welcome Jesus into our home?

Together: Say the Lord’s Prayer

Holy Monday
Read Mark 11:15-19

Take the coin out of the box. Place the coin on the box with Jesus beside it. The people in the Temple were cheating others out of their money and Jesus got very cross. He said the Temple should be a place for everyone to pray.

Share: How can we use our money to help others?

Together: Say the Lord’s Prayer.

Holy Tuesday
Read John 12:1-8

Take out the photos from the box and lay them on your altar. Jesus’ friends loved him very much. They wanted him to be well fed and clean. They knew something might happen to him. Take out the cotton ball in your box. Find some scented hand cream or essential oils and carefully put some on the cotton. Smell it and “anoint” your hand with the cream or oil.

Share: How do you honor and care for the people you love?

Together: Say the Lord’s Prayer.

Holy Wednesday
Read Mark 12:28-34

Go outside and find some stones. Bring them inside and pile them on your altar. Stones are heavy, but love is stronger. Take the heart out of the box and put it on top of the stones. 

Share: How can we show love to one another?

Together: Say the Lord’s Prayer.

Maundy Thursday
Read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Draw a cup and plate on the lid of the box. Place the Jesus figure next to it. This was the last meal Jesus had with his friends.

Share: I wonder how his friends felt when they heard Jesus’ words? Do you ever celebrate this special meal to remember Jesus at church?

Together: Say the Lord’s Prayer.

Good Friday
Read Mark 15:1, 15, 22-25, 33-34, 37, 39-46 

Take out the cross out and place it against the box. Jesus’ enemies wanted him out of the way. When he was praying with his friends, they came and had him arrested. They told lies, and Jesus was put to death on the cross. His friends were very sad. They didn’t know what was happening. Wrap the Jesus figure in the white cloth, place it in the box, and close the box. Jesus’ friends buried him in a tomb and wondered what would happen next. 

Share: I wonder what it might be like not to have Jesus with us.

Together: Say the Lord’s Prayer.

Holy Saturday
Read Mark 15:46-47

Keep the box closed today. Put your stones on top of it. Jesus’ friends put his body in the tomb that belonged to a man named Joseph who was from Arimathea. The Roman authorities made sure that soldiers guarded the tomb. They didn’t want anyone to steal the body. It was a very sad day. The disciples didn’t think they would ever see Jesus again.

Share: When you are sad, what do you do to make yourself feel better?

Together: Say the Lord’s Prayer.

Easter Sunday
Read Mark 16:1-7

Gather flowers or growing things from your home or outside. Bring them to your altar space. Open the box. Place the Jesus figure beside it and place the cloth inside it. On the Sunday the women came to the tomb. They were so surprised to find an angel who said, “Jesus has been raised.” Because Jesus has been raised from death he can be with us now.

Share: I wonder when you know that Jesus is with you?

Together: Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing a happy song!

5 thoughts on “A Household Holy Week

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