Written by Rev. Dr. Stephen Herbert
The sixth week of Lent is Holy Week, the week before Easter. It begins with great rejoicing on Palm Sunday and ends with the three darkest days of the Christian year – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday – when we recall the betrayal, arrest, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus. These three days are called the Triduum (TRID-ee-um). It is traditional not to light a fire on these three days, as a way of remembering that the Light has gone out of the world. In our house, we remember that by simply not lighting the candle at our evening meal and by saying a different litany those days.
Palm Sunday March 29, 2015
Scripture: John 12:12-15
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the King. You are good and humble and powerful and gentle. We praise You, our King. Amen.
Question: Why are the people in this story so excited? What do you do when you're excited? What would you do if you knew Jesus was coming to our town/city?
Scripture: Isaiah 42:1-4
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are God's Son, the servant who tenderly cares for those who are lonely, sad, lost, and broken. Thank You for Your faithful love for us. Amen.
Question: What is a smoldering wick (use the words from verse 3 of your translation)? Why do you think the servant won't put out a smoldering wick? What kind of person do you think the servant is? Who do you think the servant is?
Scripture: Psalm 31:13-16
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You trusted Your Father, even when Your life was scary and You were afraid. Help us to trust You when we are afraid. Amen.
Question: How does it feel to be afraid? Who can we turn to when we are afraid? What can we do?
Scripture: Mark 14:1
Prayer: Lord Jesus, when You went to Jerusalem You knew You were going to be killed, but You went because You trusted Your Father and because You love Your people. We are so grateful that You love us that much. Amen.
Question: What do the priests want to do to Jesus? How do you think Jesus felt, knowing this?
Maundy Thursday: Betrayed and Arrested
Scripture: Mark 14:43-46
Prayer: Lord Jesus, this is a dark day. It is the day You were betrayed and arrested. Help us to remember You today and remember what You suffered because You love us. Amen.
Question: Why do you think Judas, who was Jesus' friend, betrayed Him? How do you think Jesus felt when Judas betrayed Him? How did He feel when the crowd seized Him? Where do you think they will take Him?
Good Friday: Crucified April 3, 2015
Scripture: Luke 23:18-21, 32-33
Prayer: Lord Jesus, this is a dark day. It is the day You were crucified and died. Help us to remember You today and to remember what you suffered because You love us. Amen.
Question: Why did Jesus die? (There are lots of answers here. Encourage older children especially to think beyond the rote "for our sins.")
Holy Saturday: Laid in the Earth
Scripture: Mark 15:42-46
Prayer: Lord Jesus, this is a dark day. It is the day You lay in the earth, dead and buried. Help us to remember You today and to remember what You suffered because You love us. Amen.
Question: Why did Joseph ask for Jesus' body? What did he do with it? How do you think he felt about Jesus' death? How do you feel about Jesus' death?
Easter Sunday: Christ is Risen! April 5, 2015
Scripture: Mark 16:1-7
Prayer: Lord Jesus, this is a bright and glorious day. It is the day You rose from the dead. You beat death and sin and sadness and pain. Help us to remember Your amazing triumph today. We give You praise and honor and glory. Amen.
Question: Why did Jesus rise from the dead? How does that make you feel?