Home for the Holy Days

Celebrating Holy Week at Home

We may be physically sequestered, but we are not separated. We are united as the Body of Christ. We are the Church. We are St. John.

Here are some resources to help us to be connected and to make your celebrations at home more meaningful for Holy Week.

Create a reverent place to observe Holy Week by preparing an altar in your living room, put a computer or TV monitor in the center, and light candles to join the services via the Facebook page of St. John the Evangelist Church.

The Busted Halo website also contains helpful information and explanations of Holy Week/Triduum traditions.

Palm Sunday
Sunday, April 5, 2020
9 AM Mass Livestream on Facebook
Blessed palms will be available once church reopens.

On Palm Sunday morning, place any green branch you can find on the door of your home or on the window to celebrate Palm Sunday. Printable palms are available at: www.catholicicing.com/printable-palms-for-palmsunday-free/. Process around your home or yard. Make banners or homemade tambourines out of beans and paper plates to use in the procession.

Holy Thursday – click here for a Worship Music Resource
Thursday, April 9, 2020
Mass of the Lord’s Supper – 7 PM Livestream on Facebook

Just as Jesus washed the feet of His disciples at the Last Supper, the priest washes others’ feet each year on Holy Thursday. You can do this at home, too, as a symbol of service to one another. All you need is a pitcher, a basin, a towel and some feet!

Good Friday
Friday, April 10, 2020
Stations of the Cross – 2 PM Recorded Video on Facebook; also available here
Solemn Celebration of the Lord’s Passion – 7 PM Livestream on Facebook

Between the hours of 12-3 PM, try to focus on making this a prayerful, quiet time, reflecting on the sacrifice Jesus made for us.
Veneration of the Cross at Home – Set up a cross or crucifix at home. (Don’t have one? Make one of two sticks or even draw one.) During Veneration of the Cross, reverently pass the cross around to members of your family to prayerfully kiss the cross.

Holy Saturday
Saturday, April 11, 2020
Blessing of Easter Food

Many Catholics observe the annual tradition of taking their baskets of Easter food to church so that the priest  can bless the contents. At home, you can say the following prayer:

Let us pray: Lord Jesus Christ, who the day before Your passion and death told Your disciples to prepare the paschal supper, let us in faith experience Your presence amongst us during our Easter repast that we might rejoice, taking part in Your life and Resurrection.

Bless each food item with holy water or make the sign of the cross over it as you read the blessing words:

Living Bread, who gives us life in Holy Communion, bless this bread and holiday baked goods in memory of the bread with which You fed people in the desert and which You prepared for Your disciples.

Lord of Life, bless the Easter Butter Lamb that represents the sacrificial Pascal lamb wielding a red banner with golden cross, proclaiming victory of life over death.

Lamb of God, bless this meat: ham and sausage, and the horseradish that symbolizes Christ’s suffering on the Cross. Bless the salt, an essential for survival, and the pepper, one of the bitter herbs of Passover. Bless the vinegar that Jesus was given while hanging on the cross and the wine that represents His blood shed on the cross.

Lord Jesus Christ, bless these eggs, the sign of new life, so that, when we share them with our families, we could share the joy that You are with us. May we attain Your Eternal Feast there, where You live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

Easter Vigil  – click here for a Worship Music Resource
Saturday, April 11, 2020
7 PM Livestream on Facebook

Prepare a candle (or have each person hold their own),  which you will light when the Paschal Candle is lit in the Church during the Vigil Service. If you have your family’s baptismal candles, this is a great time to pull them out! This is the light of Christ now shining in your homes for your family.

Easter Sunday
Sunday, April 12, 2020
9 AM Livestream on Facebook

Create a beautiful prayer space with flowers or greenery, and a bowl of holy water. No holy water? Ask God to bless a bowl of water, a sign of new life in Christ, as a reminder of our baptism. Invite each person to sign themselves with the water.