Sunday, March 20, 2016

Traditions to Begin Holy Week

I am not quite sure how it is Holy Week already. 

Back in February, I had planned for the children and I to slowly savor our Lenten journey
this year, engaging in meaningful prayer, fasting, and almsgiving activities that would keep us continually focused on faith, love, and mercy.  My plan, however, was foiled the busyness of life.

we prayed (often, but sometimes in too cursory a manner), fasted (with some degree of success), and offered time, talent, and treasure to others (yet did not manage to fulfill all of the children's Lenten chain suggestions).  However, the slow, savoring?  Yea, that does not come easy for me and, therefore, it is not something my children are well-practiced at either. 

As I reflect on the fact that our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving sometimes fell short and that most of this Lent has already passed us by, I realize that this Holy Week must be spent with more intentional management of our time and greater focus on the final steps Lenten journey.  So, as I look toward the week ahead, I think about which of our past Holy Week traditions we'll choose to revisit and how we might best focus ourselves on faith rather than our propensity toward busyness.  
Our calendar, thankfully, is less full than it often is and, better still, many of the commitments on it are faith-based ones.  That said, there still isn't a lot of white space on our calendar, and I am also well aware that things such as work contracts that are coming due, tax prep that is still undone, and home issues that have literally been tripping us up all beg for time this week.  Yep, the mundane things of this world vie for my attention, threatening to edge out the miraculous moments of Holy Week and Easter.  Meaning sometimes gets lost in the hulabaloo of daily living.  My intent and my prayer is to choose not to let that continue to happen this week.

Starting Holy Week Off with Faith and Family

Today, of course, is a day set aside for faith and family.  Mass, family time, prayer, simply breathing in and exhaling in gratitude.

We have already been blessed by a secret stop by from a friend who left our children palm crosses.  

We were also blessed by participation in the celebration of a beautiful family Mass, where the children received their palms and, asked if they could use them later to dramatize Jesus' entry into Jeruselum.  I am sure the rest of the day will unfold with blessings and traditions, too.

{Disclosure:  Some links which follow are affiliate ones.  Should you click through the to make any purchase we may receive small compensation at no extra cost to you, which, of course, we put right back into training our children up and sharing about it here.}

Praying with The Easter Story

After the children enjoy their Sunday treat of online time, we'll cuddle up to read one of the books from our Lent and Easter collection, most likely The Easter Story, since it gently retells the events leading from when Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem until he rose again.


Then, since we'll already be focused on the Easter story, I will ask the children if they'd like to make Holy Week Art again this year...

Of, if they'd like to begin diving into the Word by using our beautiful new wooden Resurrection Eggs.

Likewise, we many also revisit our notebooks from Stickfiguring through Lent with our
The Resurrection: Beginner study.

Plus, since it is chilly out and my youngest has been asking to watch The Gospel of John, all week, we might just pop some popcorn and hunker down to watch this new to us film.

Fasting while Planning to Give

Every Sunday, our children get a small sweet treat to eat after Mass as well as their "treat time" online or doing something else they want to do.  However, we do not go overboard with too many sweets.  So, they will practice fasting while we chat about who to egg this year and, possibly begin preparing eggs for this fun yearly tradition.  (Please feel free to use our free printable if you would like to start this tradition, too.)

We'll also revisit our Lenten chain strips to see if the suggestions of any of the links we have taken down but have not acted upon might be fulfilled today if we fast from personal pursuits in order to honor our self-made promises.

Giving Time, Talent, and Treasure

Before Mass, we dropped some hand-me-downs off at a collection bin, and, later, I will ask the children to shop our cupboards for items we can bring the pantry tomorrow when we go to help prepare Easter meal boxes for the needy.  We'll also each make an offering to the Labels Are for Jars collection jar we have near our kitchen table.   (I just love this local project to feed the hungry and am so glad our parish priest introduced it to us.)
Please check out Labels Are For Jars, where this logo is taken from.

We'll also make time to visit some elderly neighbors who are unable to make it to Mass.  My daughter wants to bring them palms.

Who knows what other simple ways the Spirit will guide us to pray, fast, and give on this first day of Holy Week as we close our Lenten journey.

Praying for a Meaningful Week

My prayer is that we are able to stay tuned to the Holy Spirit's prompts today and all throughout this Holy Week, avoiding the temptation to allow the the busyness of life to crowd out the beauty of this final part of our Lenten Journey.

May your Holy Week be blessed and the remainder of your Lenten Journey lead you to Easter joy!


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