Holy Week and Easter at Home

Resources for Formation and Worship at Home during the COVID-19 Pandemic
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Ritualize your faith at home

One-year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our congregations plan to hold in-person worship services for Holy Week and Easter according to our safety guidelines. While last year we were all at home, some of us this year may have health conditions that prevent us from attending in-person worship or may not feel safe attending if not fully vaccinated. With that in mind, we present to you again the wonderful resources put together by our Diocesan Christian Formation Council last year. Some of these you can use in your congregations over Zoom worship or simply share with parishioners who may be staying home. Blessings to you all this Lenten and Easter season.

Beyond the Sunday School Classroom and the Church Building

We are offering formation and worship resources for those celebrating Holy Week and Easter at Home as a supplement to participating in livestreamed worship or even attending in-person worship. Included are prayer rituals and activities that can be done in the home or neighborhood (following safe outside distancing and crowding protocols). We hope that everyone can take advantage of this opportunity to ritualize our faith more deeply in our homes.

Holy Week and Easter at Home: Resources for formation and worship during a time of quarantine

presented by your diocesan Christian Formation Council and Diocesan Staff

01.

Worship at home – Streamlined home worship you can offer your congregations or adapt.

Palm Sunday

Maundy Thursday

Good Friday

Easter Vigil

Easter Day

02.

In order to prepare your home for the sacredness of Holy Week and Easter, create a sacred space / home altar to help you remember that God is with you on this journey. For tips on creating a sacred space at home:

  • Watch this video by Hannah Graham, director of Christian Formation at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Glenwood and chair of our diocesan Christian Formation Council
  • Read this article by Sharon Ely Pearson on creating a home altar
  • Create Holy Week Passports. These are fun for everyone. In place of the usual stickers, draw your passport stamp with markers of pens you have in your home.

Palm Sunday

Watch livestreamed worship from the Cathedral of the Incarnation or from your own congregation. Below are three activities for you to choose from.

  1. Gather branches in your own yard and bless them to honor Jesus as he enters Jerusalem this day.
  2. If you do not have access to an outdoor area, take a piece of green paper and fold it like a fan to represent a palm branch. In the absence of green paper, use a light colored paper and decorate with green pens, markers, or crayons. Here is a link to a printable palm for coloring, also.
  3. Go for a walk, take sidewalk chalk an draw a palm, a Christian fish (ichthus) or write Hosanna on the sidewalk. If you find something you love, such as a rock or leaf put it on your home altar and share why it reminds you of God. You can share with family or roommates, or, especially if you live alone, share a beautiful photo on social media. Your photos might become a virtual walk for your friends. Use the hashtags #communityoflove and #palmsunday

Good Friday

Watch livestreamed worship from the Cathedral of the Incarnation. Below are two activities for you to choose from.

  1. Stations of the Cross, woodcut images and meditations.
  2. Watch the Godly Play Stations of the Cross video Faces of Christ – video (Graham)

This is the Godly Play story the Faces of Christ, published by Church Publishing Inc. This material is under copyright and owned by Godly Play. From The Complete Guide to Godly Play, Volume 4.

Maundy Thursday

Watch livestreamed worship from the Cathedral of the Incarnation or from your own congregation. Below are four activities for you to choose from.

  1. Clean your dining room table, mantel piece, top shelf of a bookshelf, wide windowsill, formal living room, or home altar space of fancy things in remembrance of the stripping of the altar and Jesus’ approaching death.

Read Maundy Thursday at Home by Sharon Ely Pearson on Building Faith for further instructions.

  1. Have special blessing over a simple meal.
  2. Hold a special time of handwashing. Talk about how sacred handwashing is different from everyday handwashing and how intentional handwashing in this time of pandemic is both important and holy. This sacred handwashing is in lieu of footwashing. The traditional Maundy Thursday footwashing is an act of great service. Families discuss or individuals meditate on what act of great service you will do during the pandemic, after it, or in an ongoing fashion. How can you practice servanthood as Jesus did? Talk about an act of service you can do during or after quarantine for others or those in your household and discuss or think about the servant leadership of the Church in the community and the world.

Easter Vigil

Watch livestreamed worship from the Cathedral of the Incarnation or from your own congregation.

Easter Day

Watch livestreamed worship at the Cathedral of the Incarnation or your own congregation. Below are three activities for you to choose from.

  1. Godly Play story of Easter – watch this video created by Hannah Graham.
  2. Hang decorated paper Easter eggs in your windows and / or use sidewalk chalk and draw eggs around the neighborhood. These serve as a beacon of hope to children and adults out walking on Easter Day.
  3. If you have a printer at home, use these templates to decorate eggs and create a paper plate wreath to hang on your door / or virtual Easter egg hunt in the home. If you don’t have a printer, draw and decorate your own paper eggs with any art supplies you have in the home. Be creative!
  4. Find a bell or use pots and pans to make a joyful noise at Noon in honor of the resurrection! Go outside and declare “He is risen! The Lord is risen, indeed! Alleluia!”

Record your celebration as a Boomerang or video from your phone and share on social media. Use hashtags #HappyEaster #communityoflove #HeisRisen #Alleluia and tag the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland: @episcopalmaryland on Facebook, @episcomd on Twitter and Instagram. Happy Easter!

 

This is the Godly Play story of Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene, published by Church Publishing Inc. This material is under copyright and owned by Godly Play.