Holy Week is almost as exciting for my kids as Easter. I love that because I don't remember looking forward to this time as a kid. We have established a few traditions during this time that they really look forward to. We did our Resurrection Rolls during homeschool preschool, but another favorite of the kids is making unleavened bread to eat on Holy Thursday.
I hope someday to actually get my whole family to mass on Holy Thursday night, but on a school and work night it is pretty difficult to do with my small children (epecially since it is a really long mass). We did it once when Jimmy was our only one and even then we decided it was not the best idea with kids. It is not a Holy day of obligation, but it is a very important day so we have started to celebrate our own Christian Seder to remember the Last Supper. Aunt Nat, our friend, Courtney, and our godson Jayber all joined us. This year we splurged for a lamb roast (other years I have done other meat) and we eat our unleavened bread along with wine and grape juice. We have other traditional sides and I usually make asparagus. We have cards Jimmy asks questions from and Zach reads explanations of each traditional food and how to eat it. We also put pillows behind our backs because you are supposed to eat the meal reclining. The version we use ties in the Old Testament Tradition with what Christ did on this day. The kids just refer to it as "our feast."
After dinner we wash each other's feet, oldest to youngest, to remember that Christ did this for his disciples.
On good Friday we usually go to Mount Claret (a retreat center at the base of Camelback Mountain) to do their outdoor Stations of the Cross. It is a lovely place and you do the walk on your own time, but it can get a little hot walking through the dessert with the kids and sometimes they get cranky. Really it is a kind of a good reminder that our suffering doesn't even come close to that of Christ.
Good Friday is also the day we make our Resurrection Garden. We assembled it in the morning. We usually try to start the stations around noon and stay quiet until 3:00 to be reverent during the hours Jesus was on the cross. At 3:00 we wrap our Playmobil Jesus in a white cloth and put him in our tomb.
Then we put a big rock over the tomb.
I think it was one of our prettiest ones yet. We bought succulents and used our rock and sea shell collection from California to decorate around it.
On Holy Saturday, I finally let the kids put up our Easter decorations and we dye eggs.
There is usually a lot of eating of eggs as well.
We also use this last day before Easter to clean our house and prepare for the next day's celebration.