I began teaching Holy Week with these lessons here. Now I have decided to make a ‘ Way’ with pictures along the hall and back room wall that the children (and anyone else) can walk along as they move through the story.
We are labelling them as Via Dolorosa and Via Crucis so they get a bit o’Latin too.
Saturday before Palm Sunday
The raising of Lazarus at Bethany. Lazarus had been dead four days. Mary his sister was sitting Shiva and there were a lot of the elders there to see it.
Judas saw it too.
PALM SUNDAY: Jesus enters Jerusalem riding a donkey with it’s colt. He enters through the King’s gate (bricked up by Muslim conquerors in the middle ages to prevent the Messiah prophecy. A bit late me thinks). He fulfils the prophecy of Zachariah
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, Shout O daughter of Jerusalem: Behold your King is coming to you;…He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Zach.9:9-10).
A donkey (usually a white one apparently which the artist here has portrayed) was ridden by a king who came in peace. He would ride a horse for war.
Jesus finds the Court of the Gentiles made into a market place. What would Jesus do? Get angry and turn over tables.
His anger is not just because a holy place has been desecrated in this way- it is because it physically prevented Gentile prayer.
The temple was laid out with various prayer spaces: The court of Woman was a separate and grated off space and beyond that was the Court of the gentiles. It was a place that recognised the fulfilment of prophecy that all Israel would be saved and that the gentiles would be part of that.
The massive loss of belief in the coming of a Messiah meant that the court of the gentiles was shockingly misused. In effect saying God lied-the gentiles can never be saved. So lets not bother.
HOLY TUESDAY- traditionally on this day Eastern Rite Christians remember the parable of the ten virgins. This reminds us that Christ is the Bridegroom who in His Passion pours Himself out for His Bride and He will return to Her whom He never leaves.
The Wise Virgins keep ready and wait. The Foolish ones don’t and get shut out of the banquet in the end.
Judas goes to the Chief priests and sells Jesus for 30 pieces of silver; the price of a slave.
For Maundy Thursday I have a set of pictures showing the story of Passover, the Seda meal and four wine glasses plus the glass for Elijah. We have a picture of the Matzoh wrapped in linen; all the symbols of Christ’s passion and resurrection.
Then the Stations of the Cross ending with a picture of the Resurrection.
It’s a simple way of telling what happened and introducing the children to some good paintings and some traditional prayers.