Celebrating Easter Sunday

The Empty Tomb, a small table covered with a white cloth pulled back to revel just the rocks and cloth bands used to cover our Jesus figure, who is no longer there

The day to celebrate

the resurrection The Empty Tomb, a small table covered with a white cloth pulled back to revel just the rocks and cloth bands used to cover our Jesus figure, who is no longer there of Jesus

is our highest holy day.

We celebrate this day

in a number of ways

in our home. The

table that has been

Golgotha and then the

tomb on Good Friday

and Holy Saturday

has been transformed.

It is covered with 

a white and gold

cloth which is

pulled aside to

reveal only the 

rocks and cloth

bands that were

used to cover Jesus.  An

Easter lily has also been

placed next to the table.

In the dining room, our best white table cloth covers the table, a resurrected

Jesus figure stands next to the new Christ candle and the table is set with

our best dishes.  On each plate is a chocolate lamb.  We light the new Christ

candle (see candle lighting), read the story from the gospel of John (20: 1-18)

pray and sing a joyous hymn.  Then we feast on a wonderful breakfast,

usually waffles with strawberries and sparkling apple juice, before getting ready 

for worship.  Often there is the gift of new clothes set out, at least for our

son (this harks back to the white robe that new Christians were given after

their baptism at worship on Easter).

We highly recommend gathering with fellow Christians, preferably the whole

congregation or at least as many as can gather, for a champagne lunch 

together after worship.  As our North American culture becomes increasingly

secular (those who hold to no religion) and pluralistic (a number of religions 

existing along side one another) the feast day of Jesus’ resurrection will 

become less of a family celebration and more of a church family celebration.

 

Posted in Christian Season of Easter | Leave a comment

Candle Lighting – Easter Sunday

A resurrected Jesus figure stands next the new Easter Christ candle

A resurrected Jesus figure stands next the new Easter Christ candle

Light the new Christ candle.

 

Question:   Why do we light this candle?

Response:    We light this candle because Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!

 

Read:    John 20: 1-18

 

Pray:     You, our glorious risen Lord, have changed the world!  What was

             impossible is possible.  Even death is not final any more.  Now our

             hope can not end if our hope is in You.  Hallelujah!     Amen.

 

Sing:    Sing a joyous Easter hymn together, such as Jesus Christ is risen today.

Posted in Christian Season of Easter | Leave a comment

Marking Holy Saturday

A tomb with a large round stone sealing it

A tomb with a large round stone sealing  it

Holy Saturday is a day of grief. It is a day marking the abrupt,

astonishing end of Jesus and the hope he had engendered.  It is

the day between death and the new life that can not as yet

even be glimpsed or imagined.

We try not to do any errands or play sports or partake of

entertainment on this day.  It is not a buying and selling day.

It is a quiet day for prayer, reflection, going on walks together.

We go about this day with the Christ candle on the table and

the “tomb” draped in black cloth (see Marking Good Friday).

In our North American culture that struggles with grief and

lamentation and their expression, this day has things to teach

us.  

Posted in Christian Season of Holy Week | Leave a comment

Marking Good Friday

Three crosses stand on a small table covered with a red cloth

Good Friday is often not a worship service

with the church that is inclusive of children.

By stating this I am not referring to theThree crosses stand on a  small table covered with a red cloth

subject matter of the worship service

but rather to the way the service is

performed – lots of words and little

movement.

We have tended to mark this day at

home with our son the last few years.

The table we use in our living room

for Golgotha is covered with a red

cloth and the crosses we have made

from the branches of trees in our

yard are propped up with rocks

that we also gather from our yard.

We gather here at three in the

afternoon (the time Jesus died as

recorded in the gospels of 

Matthew, Mark and Luke).

The Jesus figure we have walked to

our living room Jerusalem throughout

Lent (and who arrived on Palm Sunday), is moved the the Golgotha table

and stands next the the centre cross.  Then we read the story (this year from

either John 18:28 – 19:42 or Luke 22:63 -23:56) together.

Next, our Jesus figure is wrapped in cloth bands (cheesecloth works well) and 

we place him in the “tomb” we make on the shelf below the crosses, using the

rocks that have held up the crosses.  The entire table is then covered with a

black cloth and remains this way until Sunday morning.

 

Posted in Christian Season of Holy Week | Leave a comment

Marking Holy [Maundy] Thursday

The Last Supper

The Last Supper

Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday (the term “maundy” comes from the Latin,

“mandatum” or “mandate”, “commandment” and refers to the new

commandment Jesus gives to his disciples – to love one another as he has loved

us – as found in John 13: 34-35) is best marked with fellow disciples.  Many

churches do the best job of including children on this day in Holy Week, hosting

potluck suppers, foot washings and shared Eucharist.

 

Jesus washing Peter's feet

If this is

not the

case for

you then

do take

the time

to read

John 13

together.

Then

wash one

another’s

feet. 

This

is a

powerful

way to

mark together the

new commandment given to us by Jesus to be servant leaders.

Finish reading the story together for this day at John 18: 1-27.

 

Posted in Christian Season of Holy Week | Leave a comment

Marking Holy Monday to Wednesday

Our Jesus figure has arrived in our living room Jerusalem

Our Jesus figure has arrived in our living room Jerusalem

 

Following is a way you can mark Holy Monday to Wednesday in your home, especially

if you have not been lighting candles through Lent, and now extinguishing them

through Holy Week:

 

Monday of Holy Week:

Symbol – place a small toy table (such as from a doll’s house) overturned in a spot

            easily noticed, such as on your own dining room table

Read –  Luke 19: 45-48 together (try and find a picture to go with this story, such

             as from an illustrated Bible);  talk about the story and what is happening –

             the tables overturned and people driven out of the Temple by Jesus are

             those who exchange money for visitors and those who sell some of the birds

             available for sacrifice (see Mark 11: 15-16);  many of these exchangers and

             sellers would take advantage of those who visited the Temple for their

             own profit

 

Tuesday of Holy Week:

Symbol – place a coin, such as a quarter or dollar in the same spot as the overturned

             table

Read –   Luke 10: 20-26 together;  talk about what is happening in this story –

            the question the scribes and chief priests put to Jesus about paying

            taxes is to try and trick Jesus into saying something for which they

            could have him arrested but his answer both avoids that danger and

            makes the point, as every Jew would know, that everything belongs

            to God

 

Wednesday of Holy Week:

Symbol – place a few small coins, such as pennies or nickels, in a small bowl with the

              other symbols from Monday and Tuesday

Read –   Luke 20:45 – 21: 6 together (try and find a picture to go along with this story);

             talk about what is happening in this story – a commentator has said that

             perhaps watching the widow give all she had to live on helped Jesus give

             all he had just days later;  note what is said is happening to widow’s in the

             first part of this text [widows were some of the most vulnerable people in

             Jesus’ time on earth] and what Jesus says will happen to this corrupt system

             at the end of this text

 

 

Posted in Christian Season of Holy Week | Leave a comment

Candle Lighting – Holy Saturday

The Lenten table centrepiece remains covered with a black cloth.

 The Lenten table centrepiece remains covered with a black cloth.

NOTE:   Though there are no candles to light this day, the following will acknowledge

             that Holy Saturday marks the time between Jesus’ death, his absence and

             his resurrection.

 

Read:     Lamentations 1: 16

 

Question:    Why do we light no candles this day?

Response:    We light no candles this day to remind us that Jesus died, was buried

                    and descended to the dead.

Question:    Where does our hope lay?

Read:           Lamentations 3: 21-24

 

Pray:      We miss You.  Holy Saturdays are the hardest days.  But we will trust

              You, for nothing is impossible for God.   Amen.

Posted in Christian Season of Holy Week | Leave a comment

Candle Lighting – Good Friday, Year C, 2010

The Lenten table centrepiece remains covered with a black cloth.

The Lenten Table centrepiece is covered with a black cloth

 

Take all the purple candles out of their holders and lay them down around

the Christ candle.  Cover the entire centrepiece with a black cloth.

 

Question:    Why do we not even light the Christ candle this day?

Response:    We light no candles today, not even the Christ candle,

                     to remind us that on this day Jesus was crucified, died

                     and was buried.

 

Pray:    We are sad this day that we choose to silence You with violence.

            Help us not to do this again.     Amen.

 

NOTE:   See the article, “Good Friday”, for ideas on how to share the story

             of this day together as a family.

Posted in Christian Season of Holy Week | Leave a comment

Candle Lighting – Maundy Thursday

The lite Christ candle is surrounded by six purple candles, only one of which is lite.

The lite Christ candle is surrounded by six purple candles, only one of which is lite.

NOTE:   The term, “Maundy” comes from the Latin mandatum, or “mandate”,

            “commandment” and is in reference to the new commandment Jesus

             gives his disciples in John 13: 34-35

 

Light the Christ candle.  Light only one of the six purple candles.

 

Question:   Why do we light only one purple candle?

Response:     We light only one purple candle to remind us that we have not

                      always loved one another as Jesus loves us.

 

Read:     John 13: 1-15, [16-33], 34-35

 

Reflect:     What does loving each other the way Jesus loves us look like?

                 Where and why have we failed to do this?

 

Pray:      Help us to love one another as You have loved us.      Amen.

 

Extinguish the one purple candle that is lite.

 

Question:    Why do we put out the light from the last purple candle?

Response:   We put out the light from the last purple candle to remind us that

                     at the end of this night, Jesus stood alone, abandoned by all his

                     disciples.

Posted in Christian Season of Holy Week | Leave a comment

Candle Lighting – Wednesday of Holy Week, Year C, 2010

The lite Christ candle is surrounded by six purple candles, only two of which are lite

The lite Christ candle is surrounded by six purple candles, only two of which are lite

 

Light the Christ candle.  Light only two of the purple candles.

 

Question:   Why do we light only two purple candles?

Response:     We light only two purple candles to remind us that we have at

                       times not kept our eyes on Jesus.

 

Read:      Hebrews 12: 1-2

 

Reflect:    Who are some of the saints for you who are witnesses to Christ?

                 What happens in a race when the runner loses their focus?  Where 

                 has this occurred in our life of faith?

 

Pray:    Help us to be faithful witnesses to You.  Amen.

 

Posted in Christian Season of Holy Week | Leave a comment