Ways to feel more connected to God and each other
It is hard to believe we are coming to the end of Lent. While last year’s Holy Week was incredibly difficult for many, this year’s Holy Week brings a profound sense of hope and renewed strength in the death and resurrection of our Lord. We are consoled by His promise to bring forth new life in each of us.
For the past 40 days at Hallow, we have meditated on the virtues of St. Joseph. We have sought to grow in holiness through our prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Now, as we transition into the holiest week of the year, we invite you to join us in further contemplation and prayer.
Whether you are staying home or hope to spend time in your parish, here are a few ways to connect with God and each other in special ways this Holy Week.
It has been a gift to pray with you this Lent, and we hope you will continue to journey with us through the joyous liturgical season of Easter!
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.”
On Palm Sunday, we meditate on Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem. Last Palm Sunday, few people had access to palms. This Palm Sunday, if you are able to attend mass, you will receive your palms. If, however, you are not attending in-person masses, some parishes are offering to distribute palms for pickup, or you can make your own.
- In the Hallow app, we encourage you to listen to the Daily Gospel Lectio Divina where we’ll pray with the Gospel passage read before mass during the procession of the psalms.
- You can also make your own Palm Sunday procession. Load up the car and visit family and friends that you haven’t seen lately. Even while staying socially distanced, a simple wave and smile from the car can make someone’s day.
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Holy Thursday is the start of the Triduum, which includes Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
The mass on Thursday is the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, celebrating the last meal Jesus had with his disciples and the establishment of the Eucharist. It also commemorates the institution of the priesthood.
There is a lot that happens at this mass: washing feet, the final distribution of the Eucharist until the Easter Vigil, and Adoration.
If you are able to attend in-person mass for Holy Thursday, we definitely encourage you to, but if you are unable, here are some ways you can celebrate this holy day at home.
- We recommend downloading the Catholic Family Crate Holy Week at Home Resources where you can find engaging activities for the whole family like washing each other’s feet, praying for priests, and sharing family prayer petitions.
- A really engaging idea for families is to host a Last Supper Dinner on Thursday night. Here is one that is very kid-friendly, and here is one that is a bit simpler. Our family did the Lenten tea last Lent and it was incredibly fun to put together and really engaging for our toddler!
- In the Hallow App we’ll have several options for prayer during the Triduum, which you can find on the Home tab. On Holy Thursday, you can:
- Meditate with “Stay with Me,” a beautiful song by Taize in the #Pray40 Challenge
- Make a Holy Hour (a tradition that began with Jesus’ prayer at Gethsemane)
- Spend time in Lectio Divina and offer a prayer for Spiritual Communion
“But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed.”
Good Friday, the day our Lord bore the weight of the sins of the world for all time, is a solemn day where traditionally masses are not celebrated and the Eucharist is not distributed.
We are encouraged to fast, pray, and venerate the cross where Christ gave up His last breath to offer us eternal life. Some churches will open for Stations of the Cross or a service, but if you are unable to be present in church, here are a few things we recommend:
- Print Stations of the Cross coloring pages and listen to a meditation on the Stations while you color.
- Participate in a technology blackout beginning at 12 pm and going until Saturday.
- Pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet and venerate your cross at 3 pm, the hour of the Lord’s death.
- Join our Stations of the Cross live meditation.
- In the Hallow App, you can pray with:
- An instrumental version of “O Sacred Head Surrounded” composed by Sean Beeson
- A Holy Hour with a meditation on the Stations of the Cross
- Lectio Divina on the Good Friday readings
- This year, we will begin the Divine Mercy Novena on Good Friday leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday. This beautiful novena is being led in the app by Jonathan Roumie.
Holy Saturday is a day of waiting and silence, the only day of the entire year in which mass is not celebrated.
- While you await the resurrection, engage your family with crafts like painting eggs, making a pascal candle, or baking. The Holy Week at Home guide from Catholic Family Crate has a great recipe for resurrection cookies.
- In the Hallow App you can enter into the waiting of this day with:
- Music from Harpa Dei
- A Holy Hour based on the Psalms
- A silent meditation
“Your right hand, O LORD, magnificent in power, your right hand, O LORD, has shattered the enemy.”
The Easter Vigil is one of the greatest liturgies of the entire year. The Pascal Candle is lit and passed around the church, signifying Christ, the Light of the World. The Liturgy of the Word has at least 3 Old Testament Readings that cause us to meditate on God’s faithfulness to His people throughout time. Then, new members are brought into the Church through Baptism and we are encouraged to renew our Baptismal promises. Finally, we are called to partake in the Eucharist for the first time since Holy Thursday.
- In Hallow, the Easter Vigil meditations are intended to be done after sundown and include the Easter Proclamation and the Litany of the Saints, both of which are prayed during Easter Vigil.
“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.”
The day that we have been anticipating the last 40 days has finally come, Easter Sunday, the day that Christ conquered death with His resurrection. Easter represents the fulfillment of God’s promises to all mankind; it is a day of feasting and rejoicing.
We encourage you to celebrate Easter in whatever way you feel most comfortable. As churches begin to open, you might be able to attend an in-person service for Easter. If not, spend the day doing a fun activity with your family.
- Make a special meal, such as a delicious Easter Brunch on Sunday. If you’re not into brunch, many enjoy an Easter dinner of ham or lamb to represent the Paschal Lamb. Tell your children the story of the resurrection and its significance to their lives.
- Enjoy the good things that you have forgone in fasting from for the last 40 days. No matter what you do, make it a celebration because freedom from the slavery of sin is something to celebrate!
- In the Hallow App, meditate with a Lectio Divina or joyfully pray with music from The Vigil Project.
We pray that your Holy Week is immensely blessed with moments of connection to God and to each other. This week, we hope you remember how much you are loved by your Heavenly Father and share that love with others.
May God bless you and your family this Holy Week!
Be sure to download your Holy Week at Home Success Kit from Catholic Family Crate!