Holy Monday and Tuesday: Creative Projects

At church, on Holy Monday evening, the Orthros (Matins) service usually takes place in anticipation of the following day. So the themes mentioned on Holy Monday evening are actually the ones relevant to Holy Tuesday. The Parable of the Ten Virgins is one of them.

Similarly, the themes mentioned on Holy Tuesday evening are the ones relevant to Holy Wednesday. The anointing of Christ with myrrh by the woman at Simon’s house in Bethany is among them.

We made three projects to discuss the themes of these days.

Paper oil lamp

You will need:

  • The paper lamp templates provided in our Holy Week crafting printable packet
  • Colored paper or plain printer paper
  • Decorations of your choice (optional)
  • Pieces of tissue paper, about 4″ x 4″ each, and in colors yellow, orange, and red; paper napkins can be used instead
  • Scissors, glue, and tape

With the help of the templates, cut out two oil lamp shapes; they will become the back, bottom, and front of the lamp.

The back and bottom shapes are attached to each other, so make sure to cut that part in one piece. The bottom shape will be folded and glued onto the front shape, forming a base so that the lamp can stand upright.

You can either print and use the template itself – coloring or decorating it as desired – or use it as a guide to trace and cut shapes out of separate pieces of paper. In the example photo, we printed out the template on plain printer paper, then, using Mod Podge, we decorated the front part of the oil lamp by gluing pieces of brown and golden tissue paper on it.

Cut out a few flame shapes from the tissue paper or paper napkin. Glue them on the back of the front piece as shown.

Fold the bottom part as shown in the photo. Then glue the bottom part onto the front part of the lamp.

Fold up the front and back sides of the lamp. Using a small piece of tape, tape together the tops of both sides of the lamp. There is no need for a lot of tape or a lot of gluing – just a small point of contact close to the middle is enough for the oil lamp to close and stand upright.


In our Holy Week Craft Kit, we are offering a colorful printed template for making a paper oil lamp inspired by real Byzantine examples.

Citrus fruit oil lamp

Natalie’s mother-in-law back in Greece taught her this trick a few years ago, when Natalie’s children were little. 

Cut a citrus fruit in half – we used a tangerine, but oranges or grapefruit would still work. Hollow the fruit out with the help of a spoon or knife, leaving the center white “stem” intact; it will act as a wick. Fill with olive oil (or any vegetable oil) and light! Our sample lasted for several hours.

DIY “perfume”

For details on the Gospel stories and hymnology of the day, please CLICK HERE.

You will need:

  • Herbs, spices, flowers or citrus fruit
  • A wooden spoon
  • Two small containers
  • A small strainer
  • Lukewarm water
  • A small jar or bottle
  • Decorations of your choice
  • Food coloring or glitter (optional)

Place a small amount of each ingredient in a container, and crush everything with the back of the wooden spoon. Fill the container with lukewarm tap water. Let the mixture infuse for 5-10 minutes, then strain it into another container.

We had been reading about such “perfume” kid projects and we were skeptical – would using only water, without any other solvents, and no boiling, still work? Yes, it does! We used chopped tangerine pieces, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, cloves, anise seeds, and vanilla extract – but any flower / spice / citrus fruit combination should work. 

Store the “perfume” in a small jar or bottle. You can add food coloring or some glitter for visual effect. Decorate the bottle as desired. The “perfume” keeps for 4-5 days.


In our Holy Week Craft Kit, we are offering colorful printed templates for making labels to decorate your perfume bottles or jars.

Lesson Plans and Extra Resources

Don’t miss our extensive collection of Holy Week teaching material, both for digital and in-person learning.