Holy Week at home

Published on 01 Apr 2020
A crucifix and the words 'Holy Week at home'

Ten ways to take part in Holy Week when you can’t get to church

Christians around the world will be unable to attend our local churches to pray together during the most holy time of year for us. We know that there are lots of churches which are livestreaming their services, this includes The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street and many others around the country. What other things can we do to help us to get into the spirit of Holy Week? 

We have a special Holy Week reflection sheet by St Beuno's Outreach with prayers and beautiful art for each day helping you pray with the senses. You can also find some Holy Week reading on Thinking Faith. You could join in the final stages of our online Lent Retreat with scripture and prayers for each day.
You might only be able to do one or two things on this list but we hope you will find these suggestions helpful. 

  1. Palm Sunday –  assuming that you are able to go out to your garden or a local park, why not find branches of greenery to bring in to your home? Most of us will not be able to have a palm cross this year but it is good to remember that the people of Jerusalem were gathering what was available to them! In some places for example, they use pussy willow branches, which are in season at this time. It might also be a good way to connect with your neighbours if you place some of the branches in your windows. You could also create some paper streamers or improvise with other materials if you don’t want to leave the house due to self-isolation.
  2. The Sunday service on Radio 4 is a broadcast from The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, you can listen online or on Radio 4 at 8.10 am. 
  3. Have you listened to our Imaginative Conversations series? There are episodes for each day of Holy Week and will help you enter into the scenes which the scriptures describe. 
  4. Make space in a corner of your house for prayer, If you haven’t done this already due to lack of space or time, then Holy Week might be a good time to do this. It doesn't need to be elaborate, but means you have a focal point. 
  5. You can use our Praying with Art series which has videos connected with different scenes from the Passion of Christ.
  6. On Holy Thursday you could follow the Jewish Passover tradition by talking at your family or household meal about the history of God’s people using some bible stories. Is there a special act of service you can make for family, friends, or other people, just like Jesus washed his disciples feet?
  7. We have several versions of the Stations of the Cross available on Pathways to God. You can choose which you would prefer to use and pray with two stations each day, or pray with all the stations on Good Friday. Try Stations of the Cross with Nick King, Scriptural Stations of the Cross by David Stewart SJ, or Pray as you go Stations of the Cross.
  8. On Holy Saturday, we recommend you listen to Women of the Cross. You could also spend some time in silent prayer. Perhaps take a walk outside if you can or sit in the garden. 
  9. On the evening of the Paschal Vigil or on Easter Sunday, you could light a candle in your home to remind you of Christ’s light. 
  10. If you have access to the right materials, you could make an Easter Garden. You will need a tray or container, a plant pot or some stones to make a tomb and some lollypop sticks, twigs or bamboo cane to make crosses. To decorate your garden, you can use moss, grass, small plants like daisies which might grow nearby, or anything else you can find. 

Elizabeth Harrison


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