Traditionally for Catholics, the first few days of Holy Week are spent giving your home a top to bottom cleaning. The best cleaning of the entire year. Also, much of the latter part of the week is spent baking for Easter. This year, we are away, so I am doing neither. Except, of course, for fasting. You can fast wherever you happen to be.
While I'm sure many of you are increasing your fasting and penance and other spiritual practices this week, I'd still like to invite you to join me in a Tuesday lenten fast. Fast from a meal, fast from snacks or fast from all your food today, the choice is yours. And don't forget to double your dose of Christ then, to replace the food. Pray, meditate, take a little more time to nourish yourself with the Word of God. In a house full of kids, that generally translates into stolen moments and prayers muttered under your breath while your feel you are going to blow your top. Its okay, my confessor once told me such prayers are more effective amongst these distractions.
What does the rest of your Holy Week look like? Ours will be simple enough. I don't have a lot of craft supplies with me, we don't have specific commitments to any activities, and my husband is on vacation this week and next - he's never home during Holy Week so that is something new too.
Holy Thursday - Lent ends this afternoon and the Church celebrates a great feast that is Holy Thursday - where Christ gave us both the Eucharist and Holy Orders. We have decided, for this feast, to make a nice supper of roast beef, salad, potatoes and gravy, and a simple dessert, like ice cream. We will do our own reading of the Last Supper and a foot-washing ceremony of some sort. I'm ok with that since I recently had a pedicure ha! I think we will be super-primed to enter into the Triduum Liturgy which will begin at 7pm.
The other activity for Holy Thursday I'd like to try and pull together is the Last Supper Craft from Catholic Icing. Just need a few basic supplies I think I can orchestrate, with the help of my sister's printer. That would be great, too, because we're planning on attending the Da Vinci exhibit at the Science Center here in Phoenix - so it would be another opportunity to familiarize ourselves with him.
Good Friday - things are a little different here in that most parishes have outdoor Stations of the Cross at 3pm and the Veneration of the Cross at 7pm. The only close parish with a 3pm Veneration does pretty much the entire service in chant. Which is fine, except the chant is highly elaborate chant, and exceptionally long. Either way, my plan is not to take the little girls - Tom and I will either switch hit different services or we will have extended family watch the little girls. Three hours is just sooooo long for sitting still ... But we will make the traditional pretzels for lunch on this day of abstinence and fasting.
Holy Saturday - we wait. The church is in waiting. I think we will spend this day colouring and decorating Easter eggs if we haven't done it by then already. Did that last year and it was a good activity to keep the littles and even the bigs busy. We will also do the Easter Story Cookies. Yum Yum. We won't be attending the vigil service here as it isn't practical for the littles but we'll attend the Easter Sunday outdoor Mass bright and early Sunday morning.
That's our plan. What's yours?