This tutorial page is part of the HOLY WEEK CRAFT KIT created by Orthodox Pebbles.
THANK YOU for purchasing the Orthodox Pebbles Holy Week Craft Kit! We are very excited to be doing this Christ-centered creative journey together with you. Please scroll down for some background on today’s theme and for a tutorial on how to do today’s craft.
On Holy Wednesday evening, the Orthros (Matins) service usually takes place in anticipation of the following day. So the themes mentioned on Holy Wednesday evening are actually the ones relevant to Holy Thursday:
- The washing of the disciples’ feet
- The Mystical Supper
- The Marvelous Prayer
- The Betrayal
Today’s craft focuses on the Mystical Supper, and it is inspired by the relevant icon.
The Mystical Supper: Luke 22: 14-23
THE MYSTICAL SUPPER
Popsicle stick icon-inspired scene
PHOTO OF FINISHED CRAFT HERE
The Mystical Supper is such a huge topic that it would require a comprehensive lesson plan all of its own (we hope to create one in the future). Also, please keep in mind that this craft is a religious teaching tool, not a toy: even though it isn’t, of course, an icon, the figures we will be making represent our Lord and Saints; so please be mindful when creating your scene and when disposing of the pieces afterwards, thus helping the children acquire the appropriate respect for the explored theme.
Working on your Mystical Supper scene, it would be useful to be aware of the following Orthodox iconography facts, so they can be included and discussed while making the craft.
- The background of this icon usually depicts a symmetrical building with a central dome right behind our Lord, to help accentuate and differentiate Him from the disciples.
- A red canopy is hanging on top of the building, to symbolize that the event took place indoors.
- Our Lord is the only one usually shown with a halo, as the Holy Spirit hadn’t descended on the disciples yet; as always, He is wearing blue on the outside to symbolize His human nature, and red on the inside, to symbolize His Divinity.
- The table is not straight all around; it is usually curved on top, and straight on the bottom.
- On the table, we can find food, drink, and eating utensils, different variations depending on the icon. Nevertheless, there is always a piece of bread in front of each disciple.
- Philip and Thomas, the youngest two of the disciples (we can tell they are young because they have no beards), are always placed on the two lower outside edges of the table, furthest from our Lord.
- Peter is the one sitting right next to our Lord on His right-hand side.
- John is the one sitting right next to our Lord on His left-hand side. He is usually bent over onto our Lord’s chest for comfort.
- Judas Iscariot is usually placed on the left side of the table, and he is leaning forward to dip his piece of bread in the common dipping bowl at the center of the table – however, in the example icon below, he is placed on the right side of the table which is not that common. He is also young with no beard.
- The names of the other disciples are: Andrew; James the son of Zebedee; Bartholomew; Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot; and Jude or Thaddeus (Luke 6:12-16).
An icon example containing most of the above details follows – it can be helpful for reference.
- The printed templates provided in the kit (two pages)
- The popsicle sticks provided in the kit
- A separate piece of paper, either regular printer paper or craft paper, with dimensions no smaller than 8.5″x11″
- A pair of scissors
- Thin marker and/or colored pencils
PHOTO OF MATERIALS HERE
Make the backdrop.
Cut out the different pieces from the templates. Then glue the background pieces onto the separate piece of paper as shown in the photo below. Make sure not to entirely glue the table on the background. Instead, only glue the bottom and sides, so the table will act as a pocket to place the figures in.
PHOTOS OF PIECES + GLUING BACKDROP HERE
Prepare the popsicle stick figures.
Glue the halo from the templates on the stick that will become the figure of Jesus, and color it to make Jesus stand out and also to discuss the colors of His garments. We used a thin marker to draw simple faces on both the Christ figure and the disciples, and wrote the name of each disciple on the bottom of each popsicle stick. Natalie’s son’s idea was to also add a paper arm to Judas Iscariot, so he can reach for the bread at the center of the table. If you want to also include this, you can make it out of a scrap piece of paper remaining after the templates are cut out, or out of plain paper.
Act out your Mystical Supper icon-inspired scene!
Slip the popsicle sticks in place while discussing the details of the icon and story.
FREE ADDITIONAL MATERIAL
We have also created a Holy Week planner and additional activities for Holy Wednesday that we are offering on our website for free.
- Great Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
- Great and Holy Wednesday, Orthodox Church in America