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What is this project series?
This is a collection of creative project suggestions for exploring various Holy Week themes with young children. We started working on it during the 2020 Pascha season, when, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had the extraordinary experience of celebrating the first-ever Pascha at home.
Holy Week is a topic that has been explored by a wide variety of Orthodox religious education sources, so we felt we wouldn’t really be making a valuable contribution by offering a complete series of lesson plans – many, and good ones, are available elsewhere. Instead, we thought it would be more effective to focus on a collection of creative activities, working on lesson plans only for selected Holy Week days. We have collected many additional resources for you to explore that can be combined with our creative projects to organize complete lessons for every day. They can be found at the end of this page.
Ways to use this series
– At home, one or more activities could be done each day, on the actual day they are planned for.
– At a religious retreat setting, the projects could be done together, as a unit on Holy Week and Pascha.
– At Sunday School, only making a planner (found in the printable packet at the end of the page) while discussing each theme could in itself comprise a Holy Week lesson – without doing any of the other activities. The projects could be offered as optional resources for the children to explore at home during Holy Week.
The explored themes
On most Holy Week days, there are more than one themes celebrated. For simplicity, we have chosen to work on some, but not all, of the celebrated themes.
THE CREATIVE PROJECTS
Explored theme: The Raising of Lazarus
Explored theme for Palm Sunday morning:
– The triumphant entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem
Explored theme for Palm Sunday evening:
– The withered fig tree
HOLY MONDAY & TUESDAY
Explored theme for Holy Monday evening:
– The parable of the ten virgins
Explored theme for Holy Tuesday evening:
– The anointing of our Lord with myrrh by the woman in the house of Simon in Bethany
– Judas’ betrayal
– The Mystical Supper
HOLY THURSDAY & FRIDAY
– The Crucifixion
– The Lamentations
– The icon of the Descent into Hades
HOLY SUNDAY OF PASCHA
– Pascha traditions
Lesson Plans and Extra Resources
ADDITIONAL PASCHA CREATIONS
THE HOLY WEEK CRAFT KIT!
Spend less time planning, and more time experiencing these special days together with the children. The kit contains materials and instructions for doing one craft each day from Lazarus Saturday to Pascha Sunday.
What is the difference between the craft kit and the free creative projects already offered on this page?
We were inspired to create the kit after first working on the free resources. The kit contains beautifully illustrated, Byzantine-inspired printed templates and materials, already collected and prepared. The crafts offered in the kit can be combined with our online content for an enriching experience.
Please visit the link below for details.
Pascha Fabric Learning Set
We have also created a hands-on teaching resource made out of soft fleece fabric. It is used like a felt board to help teach key Pascha concepts and traditions. Please click on the link below for more information.