“Experiencing the stories of Holy Week at home is a powerful way to share and reinforce stories that sometimes get put aside during the program year.”
A Journey through Holy Week
Holy Week in a Box uses simple objects tucked into a small box, along with scripture, to tell the story of Holy Week. Each item in the box is a symbol, representing a piece of the gospel narrative: from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, through the Last Supper, betrayal, burial, and finally the empty tomb on Easter morning.
Piece of cloth
Palm Sunday: Paper Palm Fronds
It’s Palm Sunday. The people cut down palms and cheered as Jesus entered Jerusalem. Read Mark 11:1-10.
How can we welcome Jesus into our lives and homes?
Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday: Coins
When Jesus came to Jerusalem, he went into the Temple. There were people cheating others out of their money. Jesus was very angry.
Read Mark 11:15-19. How can we use our money wisely?
Put a second coin on the box. The religious leaders asked Jesus if it was right to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor.
Read Jesus’ answer in Mark 12:13-17. I wonder how we can give to God?
Holy Wednesday: Add a Coin
Place the third coin on the box. Jesus watched people in the Temple giving money to God. Some made a big show of giving lots of money. But one person didn’t. Read her story.
Read Mark 12:41-44.
How can we give to God’s kingdom?
Maundy Thursday: Table
Today we remember the last Passover meal Jesus had with his friends. Use the top of the box as a table. Draw a cup and plate on it, or make a cup and plate out of modelling clay. Place Jesus by the table.
Read Mark 14:12-25.
In church, how do we remember this meal?
Good Friday: Cross
The religious leaders wanted to get rid of Jesus. They told lies about him. Jesus was arrested. It was a very sad day, because the authorities put Jesus to death on a cross. Make a cross out of the pipe cleaner and place it with Jesus in front of the box.
Read Mark 15:1, 15, 22-25, 37, 39.
How do we see Jesus loving us through the cross?
Good Friday Continued: Cloth and Tomb
When Jesus had died, his friends took his body down from the cross and wrapped it in linen cloth. They placed Jesus’ body in a tomb cut out of rock. Wrap Jesus in the cloth. Place him in the box and put the lid on.
Read Mark 15:40-43, 46, 47.
I wonder how his friends felt?
On the Saturday, everything was so still you could almost hear the earth breathe. There was nothing that could be done. Holy Saturday is a waiting day. Place a tea-light by your box as a way of showing that you are waiting.
Easter: Empty Tomb
Early on the Sunday morning, the women went to the tomb and had an amazing surprise. Open the box. Place Jesus at the side of it and the cloth neatly wrapped in the bottom of it.
Read about it in Mark 16:1-8.
I wonder what difference it makes that God raised Jesus to life?
Credits for Holy Week in a Box
Holy Week in a Box was originally created by Linda LeBron and posted online in 2013 by her daughter, Camille LeBron Powell. This version was adapted by the Rev. Mary Hawes, who has created a Facebook page, The Holy Week Box. An additional version can be found at GodVenture.co.uk. Readings can be found as a printable document created by Day Smith Pritchartt here.
Our thanks to Camille LeBron Powell, Mary Hawes, and Day Smith Pritchartt.