A Different Holy Week

By Miriam Rossow, communications coordinator

Holy Week and Easter are full of activities. There are multiple church services that help set the scene with many different styles of music, drama as the altar is stripped and then comes to life on Easter morning. Easter egg hunts abound and gatherings with families fill our stomachs and our hearts.
The clothes we wear even help set the scene and tell the story. On Maundy Thursday, I always wear some kind of purple to represent the wine. Good Friday, I wear all black and Easter Sunday is full of color! It is fun to get extra dressed up on the occasion of Easter Sunday as we celebrate the empty tomb. We enjoy giving hugs and smiles to our church family and taking pictures next to the beautifully decorated altar.

And the smell of Easter from the candles and the altar full of lilies brings joy to the day. Justin and I both remember growing up with amazing music from choirs singing Alleluia and the brass blowing a loud sound to help us celebrate, The Risen Christ! It is a favorite week of the church year for followers of Jesus. It is the week that our faith is grounded in, the suffering of the innocent God on our behalf and His victory over death, is something to be celebrated in a big and bold way!

This year will be different. This year we find ourselves in a place that we have never experienced. We have never found our selves in a time when for the safety of the people we as a church have been asked to not gather together. It may feel like a violation of our rights (we can discuss that at a different time), but for now the right thing to do is to follow the recommendations and stay home. The right thing to do feels very strange and unknown for us.

This year, Holy Week and Easter will be celebrated in our homes. While we will have church services, watching and participating in them in our living rooms and comfy chair is sure to feel different and not right. Children and adults alike will have a harder time getting in the right frame of mind watching the pastor speak of the walk to Good Friday while sitting in their pajamas. And joining together with your family on Easter morning to sing the joyous hymns will certainly not be the same as joining with the choir and brass filling the church with Alleluias.

This year will not be the same and yet we can find blessing in the change. This year during Holy Week your schedule is empty. You don’t have to decide between an activity and church. Many of you don’t have to come home from a long day at work and rush to get the family out of the door and to church. This year you don’t have to cook for 30 people! This year you don’t even have to have your house in perfect order.

This year you have the blessing of time to sit with this central story with your family and soak it all in. You can stop the sermon and talk about a point right when it happens. You can play all of your favorite hymns and praise songs singing as loudly as you want in the comfort of your own home with out worry of what the person next to you thinks. This year you get explore this story of Jesus death and resurrection with your family in a way that you have not before! This is a blessing.

No matter if we are in our churches or in our homes to celebrate Jesus death and resurrection His victory over the grave and sin for us is still sure! 

We want to give you some ways that you can deepen your Holy Week experience. Go to the blog Celebrate Holy Week at Home or The Triumphal Entry for resources and ideas to do at home. We hope you find this a blessing and we encourage you to share how you and your family celebrated this very different Holy Week together! Share what blessings you received during this different Holy Week in the comments on the blog, on Facebook in our group or on our page.

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