~5.6 min read
As Holy Week begins, many of us are facing yet another week of not being able to attend Mass in person. Lent feels extra heavy this year, and as we turn the corner into this holy week, we are struck with the sadness of no grand Easter Vigil, no glorious Easter morning mass, no get together with family and friends.
We as a Hallow team wanted to offer some ideas for how you can still intentionally enter into this week, even if from home. We offer these knowing that this is a particularly stressful season of life for everyone, so this is not meant to be a guilt trip, but instead a fun list of ideas to set next week apart:
Participate in services online
Though not a perfect substitute for the sights, sounds, and smells that fill our churches during Holy Week, participating in the Mass online can still help us enter into the incredible story of Christ’s love.
Not all parishes or dioceses are able to offer their Holy Week services online, so if your church is not doing so, here are some other options: catholictv.org, livemass.net (for extraordinary form), and Mass with Fr. Mike Schmitz on the Ascension Presents YouTube channel. If you miss them live, you can often watch them later in the day.
Spend time in prayer each day
If you aren’t able to watch services online, or in addition to them, try to spend time in prayer each day. This can look different for each person, from 5 minutes to a full hour of prayer.
Hallow will be releasing a collection of prayers for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday. There will be holy hours, taizes, spiritual communion, and lectio divina meditations on the Gospel passages from each service.
There is a lot to pray for these days, so no matter how your Lenten promises have gone so far, we’re here to journey with you towards Jesus’ cross and resurrection.
Bring physical reminders of the Triduum into your day
The Church calls the 3 days between Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday the “Paschal Triduum”. During these days, every action Jesus took came together for the purpose of opening wide the gates of heaven through his death and resurrection.
Since the liturgies of the Triduum are so rich and memorable (Washing of the Feet, Venerating the Cross, the lighting of the Paschal Candle at the Easter Vigil, to name a few!), here are a few ways to bring those moments from the Gospel into our lived experience at home:
Wash another person’s feet (while practicing good social distancing) and have a meal together (virtually for some of us) on Holy Thursday. On Good Friday, turn off all lights and electronics from noon until three in the afternoon (or for the rest of the evening!) in honor of the darkness that covered the land as Jesus hung on the cross. On Holy Saturday, have a quiet day of reflection and take even 5 minutes to write down your thoughts about all that has taken place during Holy Week and this unique Lent we have lived through.
We’ll also be praying a 24-hour rosary as a Hallow community, starting on Holy Saturday until Easter. We’ve asked medical professionals, Catholic speakers, and some of the Hallow team to help lead rosaries, and we would love to pray with you! We’ll be releasing a full schedule soon.
And on Easter… celebrate!
No matter what our individual celebrations will look like this week, by the end, Jesus Christ will be risen. Watch a Vigil service on Saturday night and then have a party at midnight (again, while practicing social distancing!) Or on Sunday morning call friends and family, make a fun meal even just for yourself, go outside and give thanks for creation. Play music and dance, wear bright colors, make yourself an Easter egg hunt. It doesn’t need to be big or creative, just something that brings you and those around you joy.
Know that we at Hallow are praying for you as we celebrate Jesus’ coming into Jerusalem today and all that is to come throughout this Holy Week.
We look forward to the day (very soon) when we can shout “Alleluia!” in praise of our Risen King, even in the midst of the hardships in our lives.