20 Ideas for Holy Week
Oftentimes Christians feel like they should do something during Holy Week (besides attending services on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday). So here are some ideas that you might consider using during Holy Week. Consider picking one or two things and then make sure you put plans in place to make it happen.
- Read a gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) from start to finish, either by yourself or with your family.
- Pick a hymn and learn it by heart (listening to it on an mp3 player, spotify, YouTube, etc., can be help you do this).
- Memorize Scripture. Here are some good verses, that you might not yet know, but are very much worth memorizing.
- Review the catechism, using each day of Holy Week to review one of the 6 chief parts.
- Pray for your pastor and all pastors as they prepare to proclaim the gospel.
- Pray for your fellow church members, going through a directory and praying for each member by name.
- Ask your neighbors how you can pray for them.
- Invite a neighbor to join you for Good Friday and Easter services.
- Fast from food for a specific meal throughout the week, for a day, or longer. Use the time you would have spend eating, praying instead.
- Ask your pastor and/or church secretary if there are ways you could help at church during Holy Week. With the extra services, there is extra cleaning, communion preparation and clean-up, preparing and folding of bulletins, etc., and extra help is always appreciated.
- Read a good Christian book. Below are some suggestions.
"The Hammer of God" by Bo Giertz
"The Spirituality of the Cross" by Gene Edward Veith
"Life Together" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Follow Me: Discipleship According to Matthew" by Martin Franzmann
"Grace Upon Grace: Spirituality for Today" by John Kleinig
- Read some sermons by Martin Luther
- Read "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis (or any of the Narnia books) and be on watch for gospel nuggets and biblical connections.
- Watch "The Gospel of John."
- Watch "The Prince of Egypt" with your children or grandchildren and talk with them about how the Exodus points forward to Jesus saving work.
- Listen to a recording of Handel's Messiah, Bach's St. Matthew Passion (I enjoy an English translation done by Leonard Bernstein), Bach's St. John Passion, or for a more modern take, Andrew Peterson's "Behold the Lamb of God."
- Listen to "Lutheran Public Radio."
- Watch a study from "Men's NetWork from Lutheran Hour Ministries" and be better prepared to share and defend the faith.
- Plant some seeds in small containers with your children or grandchildren and watch as the seed begins to become a plant. Talk about how this is like what God does for us through Jesus resurrection (see 1 Corinthians 15 for more information).
- Make some cards in the shape of a butterfly and give them away, along with a description of the symbolism of the butterfly as connected with the resurrection.