I find it strangely ironic that, as catechists, we have always expressed a desire for parents to be more involved in their children’s faith formation and now, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents have been thrust into this role. The problem is, parents can feel as though they’ve been thrown into the deep end of the pool unless we provide them with the support they need and deserve to form their children in faith.
One such example is on our doorstep right now: the coming of Holy Week, which is the most solemn time of the year for Christians. Under normal circumstances, we catechists would be encouraging our students to participate fully in Palm Sunday and the Triduum and providing them with catechesis to prepare them for the experience. Since we won’t be able to celebrate these holy days with our parish communities this year, we need to encourage families to learn about and mark the days of Holy Week in special ways at home. With that in mind, I’d like to draw your attention to the following resources that can assist and support parents in observing Holy Week with their families at home.
- Online Stations of the Cross—Pray with children in English or in Spanish with this reflective online version of the traditional devotion.
- Stations of the Cross Booklet—Download and create mini-booklets to help in learning about and praying the Stations of the Cross.
- Seven Last Words—Use the online feature commemorating the words Jesus spoke on the Cross.
- 3-Minute Retreats for Holy Week—Pray with the 3-Minute Retreats for these special days. Families might discuss the retreats’ questions afterwards.
- Arts & Faith Videos for Holy Week—Enter into a visual prayer experience by reflecting on art evoking key moments from Palm Sunday and the Triduum.
- Holy Week Activities Pack—Download this pack including a scrambled words challenge, a crossword puzzle, a visual story strip, and a family handout on reading the Passion.
- Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search—Look up the Scripture passages associated with each of the Sorrowful Mysteries, and then pray the Rosary as a family.
Finally, a few books to consider for Holy Week:
- Seek & Find Bible—Explore the Bible with small children through this whimsically illustrated book.
- Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories—Read with older children the chapters about Jesus’ final week before the Resurrection. The stories include questions for reflection and short prayers to pray together. (Also available as an eBook.)
- Station to Station—Take an Ignatian journey through the Stations of the Cross with Gary Jansen’s book. (Also available as an eBook.)
Let’s partner with parents to bring the experience of Holy Week to Catholic homes during this challenging time.