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Good Friday to Easter Sunday: An activity guide for families

These are holy-days, not just holidays.

Image source: congerdesign | pixabay.com

Good Friday to Easter Sunday: An activity guide for families

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez (Philstar.com) - March 30, 2018 - 11:58am

It’s Good Friday today and many Filipino families are probably looking for ways to express their faith in a meaningful way… at least, that is what I hope. 

You see, as Catholic Christians, my family and I try to observe Holy Week and the Easter Triduum (which begins on the evening of Holy Thursday and lasts till Easter Sunday). We believe that these days are not mere holidays, but truly “holy-days.”

These are not just days to rest and relax with our loved ones, but, more importantly, days to reflect on Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection… all because of His great love for us. 

So, to help families out there who may want to observe these holy-days in a meaningful way, here are some suggested activities:

Good Friday

These are holy-days, not just holidays. Image source: congerdesign l pixabay.com 
  • Observe the traditions of fasting, abstinence and solemn reflection. 
  • Listen to or read the Seven Last Words of Jesus. 
  • Attend the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion and venerate the cross. (Check your local parish for the schedule.) If you won't be able to, go to church anyway and venerate the cross if you can. 
  • Try to spend most of the day in silence, praying and thinking about the Lord’s great sacrifice for us.
  • For families with younger kids, staying silent may not be a feasible thing but you can tell your kids to refrain from boisterous activities as a sign of penance and sorrow for Jesus’ death. Try looking for quiet activities that they can do, like crafts or videos related to Jesus. (The internet has lots of resources if you try searching for “Good Friday Activities for Kids” or “Holy Week Activities for  Kids.”)
  • Pray the Stations of the Cross together at home or in a nearby church.
  • Pray together as a family in the evening and ask forgiveness from one another, just as Jesus forgave those who crucified Him.

Holy Saturday

  • Refrain from attending Easter Egg Hunts. (Reserve this for Easter Sunday!)
  • Continue to reflect on Jesus’ death and resurrection with your loved ones.
  • Make your own Easter eggs if you want to. (The kids in your family will probably love this!) You can check the Internet for tips on how to do this.
  • Decorate your home for Easter. Even simple decorations like a printed out or handmade “Jesus Is Risen” will do.  Or you can even browse through Pinterest or other websites for more ideas.
  • Prepare simple Easter gifts for the children in your family. We do this every year, and usually give our kids books related to Easter or Jesus, books that they have told us they like, and small items from religious stores like St. Paul’s. (If you don’t have the time to do this particular activity this weekend, you can still do it even beyond Easter Sunday, because the Easter season actually lasts 50 days for us Catholics.)
  • Attend the Easter Vigil if you can, as a family.

Easter Sunday

  • Hang a simple “Alleluia” sign somewhere in your home to signify that Easter has finally come.
  • Go to Easter Sunday Mass as a family.  If you’re from Manila or willing to travel, you might want to consider attending the afternoon session of the “Deeper” Grand Easter Feast from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. (Tickets are available at SM Tickets.) 

The Grand Easter Feast—led by Catholic lay preacher and author Bo Sanchez—will begin with the Holy Mass, after which there will be inspiring talks and praise and worship sessions. (The morning session is specifically for the “Deeper” Holy Week Retreat participants.)

  • Wear white if you can since white is the liturgical color for Easter.
  • Attend an Easter Egg Hunt or have one of your own at home. Explain to your kids the significance of the Easter Egg in relation to Jesus’ resurrection.
  • Light a candle at home in the evening, and pray together as a family. Thank Jesus for the gift of new life and His resurrection. Greet one another with “Christ is risen” and respond with “Alleluia!”

Of course, this is not the be-all and end-all guide to observing these holy-days. What matters most is that you do everything with love and honor for the Lord, and that everything you do brings you closer together as a family, too.

How are you observing these holy days and the days to come?

FOR EASTER SUNDAY GOOD FRIDAY MEANINGFUL HOLY WEEK
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