With the advance of technology and medical care, we have separated death from our daily lives. But especially during Holy Week, we need to talk about it. As Wendy Claire Barrie blogged about this week "This day is hard for adults, let alone kids, and it’s really important to resist skipping over it and going straight to Easter."
I bring my children to Holy Week services with me. They are a little leary of having their feet washed but they see the connections to understand why it is "Good" Friday as Barrie writes about and know that Easter is more than a bunny that fills up a basket on Sunday morning.
|Leading children's stations of the cross last Holy Week|
One of the services we went to this year to prepare for Easter was a living stations of the cross at a local Catholic Church. It was put on by the middle school students from their parochial school so I felt comfortable bringing a 5 and 7 year old. There were only a few children but they were paying attention and mostly asking appropriate questions. As they started each station, my daughter would loud whisper "is he dead yet?" over and over again until her godmother, who had invited us, and I had to stifle our giggles. I told her that Jesus had to talk to God first and then it would be time. After he died and we talked about why, I thought her questions would be over but at the next station she piped up with "is he back alive yet?"
It was a good reminder to me that we have to be patient this week. We can't rush ahead to Easter. One of my annual Holy Week traditions is to read Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. I try to read the narrative from each day on the appropriate day. Following through Jesus' week helps me put it in context and feel all the emotions that prepare me for Easter morning.
There is also the "busy"ness of preparing for Stations of the Cross, the Easter Egg Hunt, finding the flowering cross and banner in the storage unit as a church-worker. But focusing on the week and preparing lets me have the calm exterior to help open the children's minds to this awesome experience.
What are you doing this week to prepare for Easter? Please share in the comments, especially if it includes children!
Side note: If you are looking for a church for Easter and/or the Sacred Triduum, I would love to help you find one in your area for whatever faith tradition or style you prefer. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Facebook.