Holy Week Resources and Ideas
At this point, I am sure all of you are tired (exhausted is probably more like it). Holy Week is quickly approaching and like last year, it won’t be our “normal” worship. We will have to continue to adapt to the ever changing circumstances we ﬁnd ourselves in. I hope to take a bit of stress oﬀ of you and oﬀer a few suggestions of ways to make Holy Week a reverent and worshipful time this year.
These ideas come from a webinar from Amplify Media. They have saved the conversation and you can watch it in its entirety here.
There are two items to consider as you plan Holy Week (in addition to the health and safety of your community). One is to remember that you will most likely have people in person and online. Do not neglect one for the other-ﬁnd a way for everyone to feel included. The other is to encourage your families and individuals to have a sacred space in their homes during Holy Week.
- Let people pick up palms ahead of time and do a processional around their home
- Encourage or organize "palm parades” in local neighborhoods
- Have a drive-thru Palm Sunday service in your church parking lot. Hand out palms as they enter the church grounds to drive on a “parade” route in your parking lot. People can wave their palms out of their open car windows.
- Have families or individuals pre-record themselves waving palm branches in their homes or yards and use the videos during worship
- If you aren’t ordering palms, or don’t feel comfortable handing them out, suggest that people wave any leafy branch they can ﬁnd. After all, that’s what the people did for Jesus!
- Think through communion
- Use symbols (art, paintings, objects)
- Encourage foot washing in homes (use visuals)
- Provide anointing oil for homes and have individuals anoint themselves and others in their home.
- Reimagine service. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet as a way to serve. What are some ways that our church community can serve others right now? Think outside of what you have done or normally do to serve others. How do we love one another?
Stations of the Cross ideas:
- Use paintings and modern photos for visuals
- Set up stations outside (obviously weather will be a factor)
- Drive thru Stations of the Cross with a narration over the radio or podcast
- Give people ideas and a prayer guide and have them set up their own stations in their home
- Pre-record a video walk through of the stations and share that with your congregation
- Use different churches in your community to be a different Station of the Cross (make it ecumenical)
Lean into lament
- Make honest spaces
- Encourage small group talks and conversations about loss
- Name the losses of your people
- Focus on those who saw and felt the loss of Christ on the cross
- Holy Week kits or boxes (Many churches have done these or plan to. If you are curious about them, reach out and we can help you.)
- Have a 15-minute joint phone or zoom call for prayer each day of Holy Week (Send a prayer guide in the mail to those who may might not be able to join in digitally.)
- Use our Cross Sections videos to guide your worship time. New videos with scripture and questions for reflection are added each Wednesday morning. They'll be posted daily during Holy Week. You can learn more and see other resources Read more at www.wpaumc.org/lent
- We will also have a worship service with Bishop Moore-Koikoi for you to use the week after Easter so pastors and worship leaders can take a well-deserved rest!
Remember that Easter is not just one day-it’s a whole season! Give people a reason to celebrate. Proclaim hope because we all need it!