Free Holy Week stuff!

12Tomorrow is our day on Creative Holy Week for All Ages – so for those of you who can’t be there, here are all the resources.

You’ll find:

  1. A script for a walk-through of the whole Passion story. This is great for Messy Church or clubs or other settings where the children probably won’t be in church for Holy Week itself and may not get anything between Palm Sunday and Easter (or not even that). This is in the file labelled “Risen With Christ Resource Pack” and is based on the Prayer Walk in Gretchen Wolff Pritchard’s book Risen With Christ, which you can get here. (It’s worth dealing with the antiquated website and having to order by email or post – it’s a very useful book.)
  2. A summary of how we used the imagery of trees throughout our worship in Lent, Holy Week, and Easter (also in the first file below).
  3. A plan for an all-age Maundy Thursday service. This works for groups up to about 20 – for larger groups, you’ll need to rework it. We have our all-age service at 5:30 and our main Eucharist at 8 – the all-age service tends to attract families and older people who don’t want to be out late, while the Eucharist gets those in between.
  4. The Beulah Land Exodus story script, which is used in the Maundy Thursday service.
  5. The service sheet for my Children’s Stations of the Cross, which provides pretty much everything you need to re-create the service.
  6. Materials which make the transition period of the Great Vigil of Easter much more interactive and dramatic. Many of these are also based on what’s found in Risen With Christ, which in turn was largely inspired by Rick Fabian and Don Schell, who planted the church of St. Gregory of Nyssa in San Francisco (in this setup, the service starts with the kindling of the New Fire and then moves on to the Old Testament readings, instead of vice versa):
    1. The Noble Joseph” – Orthodox Bulgarian chant, used at the end of the Old Testament lessons.
    2. The Litany of the Saints – used for procession to the font before the Exsultet.
    3. The Easter Sermon of St. John Chrysostom – used after the Exsultet, culminating in the first proclamation of the resurrection

Don’t forget to also check out my Lent and Easter Pinterest board – and send me anything you find that you think I should add to it!

 

risen-with-christ-resource-pack

maundy-thursday-family-service-plan

7_exodus

stations-of-the-cross-service-leaflet

noble-joseph

the-litany-of-the-saints

easter-sermon-of-st-john-chrysostom

Holy Week Ideas, Part I: Palm Sunday

palm-sundayProcession:

If you have a live donkey, encourage children to invite friends to come to Palm Sunday.  The donkey can be a real selling point, and allow children who might otherwise be shy a way in to asking friends to church.

If you don’t have a live donkey, spend your children’s time this Sunday making a banner, or donkey puppets, or posters (which you can then laminate and put on sticks to make placards) or something else, for children to carry or use in the procession.

Buy real palms, not just palm crosses.  The fun of waving around big branches adds a real element of participation and excitement to this festival.  And they’re not that expensive.  If you have a large church garden, or parishioners with large gardens, you could ask people to bring in a branch or two from whatever shrubs or small trees they have, or provide branches from the church garden.

 

Storytelling:

The Passion reading is very dramatic, but many churches stick to the traditional way of reading it – a few adults standing in a line at the front.

With an hour’s rehearsal, the adults can dramatise it – act it out, use simple costume pieces – or with a bit more time, you could include children.

Include the congregation as the crowd and the soldiers. The drama of going, in half an hour, from shouting “hosanna!” to shouting “crucify him!” is incredibly powerful, and underlines the culpability of all of us in the death of Jesus. It wasn’t a few specific people in a faraway time who bear the guilt of his death – it’s the sin we all share.

 

Music:

Many churches will be singing “All Glory, Laud, and Honour” – the chorus is easy to learn, and allows children to participate more fully in the procession. Take some time the week before, or a few minutes at the start of your procession, to teach the chorus so children can sing it with the rest of the congregation.

 

Holy-Week-Box-all-contents-inside-300x300Take-home:

Send home materials for the Holy Week Box, a wonderful way of extending children’s exploration of the story at home throughout the week.