Creative Ways to Lean Into Holy Week (When You Don’t Feel Like You Can)

I don’t know about you, friend, but this has been about the Lentiest Lent ever. Who knew at the beginning of Lent that we’d all be home Sunday after Sunday watching live-streamed Mass from our respective parishes – or even taking a tour around the world to watch live-streamed Masses from other places. Certainly not me. While our Faith is universal and the beauty of that connectedness now more than ever realized when we visit other churches during their Mass times, it does not make up for the fact that we are hurting for and with Jesus. We crave worship with Jesus in His house and partaking of Him – Body, Blood, Soul, & Divinity. While we continue to wait for the outcome of this virus and its effects on our society, now more than ever we can lean into some creative ways to walk with Jesus this Holy Week. Let’s jump right in and see what’s going on around the Catholic blogging world for ways we can embrace our walking the way of Calvary.

While this list isn’t meant to be exhaustive, it also isn’t meant to exhaust you. Pick one to do or read or watch. Do what you can. I certainly don’t want this to feel like you should do all the things. Do you have any links to add that we’ve missed? Share in the comments with us!

Comfort Reading & Activities

Maundy Thursday

Good Friday

O Lord, as we gaze upon You nailed to the cross, we wonder why God chose this path for our redemption. Why did there have to be such pain? Why such gore and brutality? Why did You have to go through betrayal, mockery, and emptiness? Why did the Father have to forsake You in the hour of Your greatest need?

Jesus, the mystery of suffering is hard for us to grasp. We will understand it fully in eternity, but we do know some things now. We know that You chose to be lifted up on a cross out of love for us. We know that suffering purifies us, that, if borne with fortitude and patience, it leads us to gratitude and a greater love for You. Because our sins cause others to suffer, suffering can make reparation for the sins we commit, if we join them to Your Sacrifice. In every situation where we cry with bewilderment, “why?”, God answers us with a vision of Your Passion. Help us to enter deeply into the mystery of Your suffering and death this day, and to listen what You say to us in our hearts. Amen.

Holy Saturday

The Lord’s Descent into Hell (A reading from an ancient homily for Holy Saturday)

“What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.

Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam’s son.

The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.

‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.

‘I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.

‘For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form; that of slave; for you, I who am above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, man, I became as a man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden, I was handed over to Jews from a garden and crucified in a garden.

‘Look at the spittle on my face, which I received because of you, in order to restore you to that first divine inbreathing at creation. See the blows on my cheeks, which I accepted in order to refashion your distorted form to my own image.

‘See the scourging of my back, which I accepted in order to disperse the load of your sins which was laid upon your back. See my hands nailed to the tree for a good purpose, for you, who stretched out your hand to the tree for an evil one.

`I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side, for you, who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side healed the pain of your side; my sleep will release you from your sleep in Hades; my sword has checked the sword which was turned against you.

‘But arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but on the throne of heaven. I denied you the tree of life, which was a figure, but now I myself am united to you, I who am life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make the cherubim worship you as they would God.

“The cherubim throne has been prepared, the bearers are ready and waiting, the bridal chamber is in order, the food is provided, the everlasting houses and rooms are in readiness; the treasures of good things have been opened; the kingdom of heaven has been prepared before the ages.”

Prayer

Almighty, ever-living God, whose Only-begotten Son descended to the realm of the dead, and rose from there to glory, grant that your faithful people, who were buried with him in baptism, may, by his resurrection, obtain eternal life.

(We make our prayer) through our Lord. 

(Through Christ our Lord.)