“Where do you want us to make the preparations? Luke 22:9

With our Masses cancelled this year,
we must celebrate the passion and resurrection of the Lord at home,
the domestic church.

A Guide to Holy Week & Easter

Semana Santa y Guía de Pascua en español




Scripture Readings: Matthew 21:1-11; Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14—27:66

Family Activities:
      1.Watch Mass  or Read Sunday Readings

(Dramatic Reading of the Gospel)
Misa en español

      2. Make a Spiritual Communion (Prayer)

      3. Palm Procession and Prayer:
The household gathers, if possible around a crucifix. In lieu of palm branches, you may choose to cut twigs from a tree or bush in your yard and place them in your prayer space. (Children can make palms out of construction paper too.) Then the leader reads the account of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem from the family Bible (Matt. 21:1-11). Thereupon another family member, with a lighted candle, may lead a procession from one room to another. As they proceed, a song of praise may be sung or listen to and place a “palm” in each room.  End with the following prayer:

Leader: Let us pray. All-powerful, eternal God, you have chosen to give mankind a model of humility; our Savior took on our flesh, and subjected himself to the Cross. Grant us the grace to preserve faithfully the lessons he has given us in his Passion and to have a share in his resurrection. This we ask of you through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.

Family: Amen. Favor this dwelling, Lord, with your presence. Far from it repulse all the wiles of Satan. Your holy angels — let them live here, to keep us in peace. And may your blessing remain always upon us. This we ask of you through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.

Leader: Let us bless the Lord.

Family: Thanks be to God.

Leader: May the almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless and keep us.

Family: Amen.

Traditional or 




As your family prepares for the holiest three days of our Church year, the Paschal Triduum, prepare your minds, hearts and home for the celebrations of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection.

Family Activities:

1. Spring Cleaning– This traditional spring cleaning, of course, is to make the home as neat as possible for the greatest feast of the year.  Include the whole family, It keeps them busy with a task that has a special meaning and significance not only for the external celebration of Easter but also, in a symbolic way, with their internal preparation for the great feast. (Can prepare bags for good will donations as part of Lenten alms giving)

2.Spiritual Cleaning– Examination of Conscience and Act of Contrition prayer each night.
This can be a conversation about the highs and lows of the day.



The Easter Triduum begins with the Vigil of Holy Thursday. It marks the end of the forty days of Lent and the
beginning of the three-day celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ –
Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil/Easter Sunday.


The celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood, as well as Jesus’ command of love and service.

Scripture Readings: Exodus 12:1-8,11-14; Psalm 116; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-15

Family Activities:

1. Last Supper Meal:
Prepare table with table cloth and candles. Use wine glasses if possible with grape juice for the kids!
Serve grapes, unleavened bread and maybe meatloaf or other meat. (Can use ground lamb too if possible)
Read from the Bible: Luke 22:7-13 and Mark 14: 22-26

Unleavened bread Recipe:

2. Washing of Feet:
Read from the Bible: John 13:4-9
Then wash the feet of the family, usually done by the Father or Mother.

3.  Night Prayers:
 Song: Agony in the Garden 
 Remember how Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray after the Last Supper by reading from the Bible: Luke 22:39-46.
(young children can draw picture of Jesus in the Garden during the song or Bible reading)  Pray the sorrowful mysteries of the                       rosary or just a decade meditating on the Agony in the Garden. If you can, keep a quite prayerful atmosphere till bedtime.
(Perhaps keep as dark as possible, send kids to bed with flashlights.


Good Friday:

Central to our solemn celebration today is the sign of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice – the cross.
Today we recall the events of Jesus’ passion and death.

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 52:13—53:12; Psalm 31:10-25; Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9; John 18:1—19:42

Family Activities:

1. Read the dramatic reading from John’s Gospel.

2. Pray the Stations of the Cross:
Coloring pages
Via Crucis

3. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00 pm or a have a silent hour.

4.  Crucifix craft


Holy Saturday:

The Resurrection of the Lord is celebrated as the high point of the liturgical year. The Renewal of our Baptismal Promises on Easter reminds us that in dying with Christ through Baptism, so also do we share in His Resurrection.

Scripture Readings: Genesis 1:1—2:2; Genesis 22:1-18; Exodus 14:15—15:1; Isaiah 54:5-14; Isaiah 55:1-11; Baruch 3:9-15,32—4:4; Ezekiel 36:16-28; Romans 6:3-11; Mark 16:1-7

Family Activities:

1. Make an Easter Candle  Craft idea

2. Color Easter Eggs

3. Make a Easter Banner. Write “Allelulia” across the middle and decorate with Easter Symbols such as Flowers, eggs and butterflies.

4. Light Easter Candle or Bonfire and Pray.
*Pray:  The Exsultet: The Proclamation of Easter
Or listen to the prayer in song: St Bartholomew Choir singing Most Holy Night.

* Pray: Litany of the Saints.  or in Song

* Renew your baptismal promises.
Bless yourselves with holy water, if you have any at home.



Easter Sunday:

Easter is the greatest celebration in the Catholic church because it is the completion of the Holy week that ends with the resurrection of Jesus. Easter celebrates the beginning and foundation of Christianity. Jesus was raised from the dead, and conquered sin and death.

Scripture Readings: Acts of the Apostles 10:34,37-43; Psalm 118:1-2,16-17,22-23; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8; Easter Sequence, John 20:1-9

Family Activities

  1. Watch Mass or Read Sunday Readings
    Misa en español
    Children’s coloring pages and Story of Easter 
  2. Prepare a special Easter dinner and pray the Easter Table Prayer
    Use table cloth, nice plates and cups and candles.

The Easter Table Prayer
(adapted from Prayers for the Domestic Church by Edward Hays, 1979)

The family stands in prayerful silence around their table upon which there are two unlit candles.

Father [or oldest male in the household]: Blessed are You, Lord our God, who raised up Jesus from the tomb and has gathered all of us around this table.

Mother [or oldest female in the household]: As the light of God overcame the darkness of death, may these candles we now light be for us a sign of the flame of life that burns within our hearts. (Candles are lit.)

Mother [or oldest female in the household]: As these Easter candles call us to the feast of this our table, may the light of Christ call us to Your eternal Easter feast. May these candles delight our eyes and add splendor to our meal.

Father [or oldest male in the household]: With great joy, we come to our Easter dinner as we continue our celebration of the ever-newness of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We rejoice in the resurrection of spring, as birds, flowers and fields come alive after the long sleep of winter. May we, in this Easter Sunday meal, share with them the great joy of life. Let us pause and, in silence, lift up our hearts to God in gratitude for this holy Easter meal. Pause for silent prayer.

Mother [or oldest female in the household]: May the taste of goodness in this food be a promise of the eternal Easter meal we shall all share together with our Risen Lord. May this Easter dinner be a reminder of springtime, peace and eternal happiness. Alleluia! Alleluia! May God’s blessing rest upon this table and each of us. Amen.

Father [or oldest male in the household]:  He is Risen!

All: He is Risen, indeed!


3. Evening prayers on Easter Sunday
Begin with song: Christ Is Risen
Pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary or one Decade meditating on the Resurrection.




The Resurrection Story for Kids

(This version of the story is based on Matthew 28:1-10, John 20:1-10, Mark 16:1-8a, and Luke 24:1-12.
It’s a mixture from all 4 gospels, so everything included in this story is biblical,
but it doesn’t follow any one of the accounts exactly.)

After the Sabbath, early Sunday morning as the sun was coming up, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James went to the tomb where Jesus was buried. Suddenly, there was a great earthquake! An angel of the Lord came down from heaven, and rolled away the stone from the tomb. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow! The guards shook from fear and became as dead men. The angel said to the women “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised! Look, there is the place they laid him”. When they went in, they did not find the body.

So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy! They ran to tell the apostles. Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen clothes that Jesus had been wrapped in. Then, he went home, amazed at what had happened.

Mary Magdalene stood outside the tomb, crying. Then she saw 2 angels! They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?”. She said “They have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they laid him”. After she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there! She did not recognize Him at first, but then he said “Mary! Go and tell my brothers!”. So Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples “I have seen the Lord!”.

50 Days of Easter:

We are Easter people, please continue to celebrate this holy season.
Easter Season Calendar for kids