Holy Week at Home 2021


Holy Week 2021

Hello Friends and Families! Last year, Holy Week was wholly different! Would you ever have imagined that we would not be able to participate in the Triduum or Easter liturgies? Thankfully, this year we will be able to once again go to church to remember Jesus’ passion, celebrate his resurrection and give thanks to God who loves us! Even still, our homes are where we find the domestic Church, and we are pleased to share this resource with you and your family. Enjoy this collection of activities, prayers, and inspirational articles. As you enter into the sacred Paschal Mystery this year, may you give your heart more fully to the One who gave                                          everything for you. Wishing you and yours a blessed Holy Week and Easter.

Journey to Jerusalem: The Story of Holy Week


Liturgy of the Hours

During Holy Week, it might be time to increase the Liturgy of the Hours in your domestic Church. The Liturgy of the Hours or the Divine Office is the way that the universal Church meditates on the Liturgy of the Word, from daily Mass, throughout the day. There is an excellent book by Fr. Timothy Gallagher that explains what praying the Liturgy of the Hours might look like for the laity.  One of his suggestions is to use a modified version of the Morning and Evening prayer from the Magnificat. Magnificat has made their online resources free during the crisis, I have linked these resources for each day below.

Holy Week Devotions and Home Liturgies

Here is an idea on how to make Holy Week more prayerful in your homes beginning with Palm Sunday. The goal is to refrain from using artificial light from the evening of Palm Sunday to the Easter Vigil, in order to foster more family time, prayer, and rest.  Luke Arrendondo and his wife Elena are using Facebook to spread this devotional practice

A few quick notes about liturgies in your domestic church or online classroom:

  1. Home liturgy is a real participation in the liturgical life of the Universal Church.
  2. It’s ok if you don’t do everything.
  3. It’s ok if it gets a little giggly (this is bound to happen). Just as you would with any distraction, gently begin again. 
  4. Liturgical prayer is praying in community, not a substitute for personal quiet prayer. You may need some personal prayer later.
  5. Praising the Lord takes many forms, He is pleased with all of them.

Holy Monday

Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer

The Gospel for Holy Monday is the story of Mary of Bethany anointing the feet of Jesus (John 12: 1-11). It is a beautiful story, and here is a Lectio Divina guide (PDF, DOC) to help children engage in today’s Gospel.

And for younger children here is a coloring page

Holy Tuesday

Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer

The Gospel for today is from the Last Supper (John 13: 21-33, 36-38). It focuses on how Jesus knows that one of the disciples is going to betray Him. Here is a Lectio Divina guide (PDF, DOC) to help children engage in today’s Gospel.

Here is a coloring page for today's Gospel.

Holy Wednesday (Spy Wednesday)

Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer

The Gospel is from Matthew. It recounts the story of Judas's conversation with the chief priests and his deception of Our Lord at the Last supper.  Here is a Lectio Divina guide (PDF, DOC) to help children engage in today’s Gospel.

Haven't heard the expression "Spy Wednesday?" Check out this short video.

And here is a coloring page from this Gospel scene.

Holy Thursday

Morning Prayer  and Evening Prayer

Holy Thursday is always a packed day. It is a commemoration of the establishment of two sacraments, Holy Orders and the Holy Eucharist. See the lessons above about how to describe Holy Thursday. Here is another article on the Chrism Mass. The evening Mass is the beginning of the Triduum and a celebration of the institution of Eucharist, but this is also the night of the Agony of the Garden. Joy and sorrow are hallmarks of our existence on earth. 

Here is a home tradition that might be worth thinking about:

Here is a coloring page of Christ Washing Peter’s Feet, and another one of the Garden of Gethsemane.

Good Friday

Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer

Tenebrae is a special Matins and Lauds combination for Good Friday morning and Holy Saturday. Here is a 7-minute video explanation. Here is a modified version from the Magnificat magazine (not the traditional 2 ½ hours) and here is another version brilliantly modified for families. 

During the day, between the hours of 12 pm-3 pm, it is a good idea to schedule quiet time to commemorate Our Lord’s hours on the cross. When we were little this included the rosary, coloring pages, and sometimes a quiet walk. When our parents were solemn and quiet, we knew that something important was happening. For older children, the Stations of the Cross might be a better option. 

Holy Saturday

Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer

This can be a day for crafts. Will your parish be welcoming new people into the Church at the Easter Vigil this year? Here’s an idea. Make them a card or gift. Reach out to the person who coordinates the RCIA program and make arrangements to get your gift to them so they can give it to the candidate(s). What a lovely way to make the new members feel part of the Church and your parish family!

The Easter Vigil traditionally starts before midnight and at midnight the Gloria is sung, and the Epistle and Gospel are read. Find all the bells and noisemakers for the children to ring at midnight during the Gloria. If you don’t want to stay up that late you could include a few of the liturgies before going to bed or first thing in the morning. 

And if you have older children, consider dancing until dawn! 

Easter Sunday

Morning Prayer 

Readings from the Easter Vigil, there are seven Old Testament Readings, and the Epistle and Gospel.

Readings from Easter Sunday, there is a special sequence for this Mass.

A lesson for younger children on the Sunday Gospel, and the student pages.

A lesson for older children on the Sunday Gospel, and the student pages.

More coloring pages for the Resurrection:

One variation of the egg hunt is this one. Your participants pair up, one team member is blindfolded and allowed to pick up the eggs, and the other can guide and direct them with verbal instructions. All other egg hunt rules apply! 


Here are a few inspirational articles for family time:


Other articles and resources to find additional crafts and traditions: 


*Please note that some of the links above will take you to external sites which may include ads or other content beyond the control of Sophia Institute for Teachers.