As a mother of several young kids, I desired greatly to include them in some Holy Week traditions yet the frustration of taking everyone to the Easter Triduum was not something I was prepared for.
I wanted them to be part of something, to experience Holy Week at their level and to create a family tradition that would become an integral part of the rhythm of their lives. I decided to stay home with my young family and have a Seder meal with washing of the feet on Holy Thursday and Stations of the Cross complete with costumes and props on Good Friday.
Having done this for the past ten years I decided to get some feedback from my kids and some cousins who have been involved over the years.
What was it like portraying the different roles in the Stations of the Cross? Does taking part help to bring the Stations to life for you?
Joseph, actor for Jesus (10 years)
I feel sad for how much Jesus was hurt and I want revenge. …If it was me, I won’t forgive them ever. Jesus is forgiving.
Francis, soldier (7 years)
It was fun. The whipping part is the part that is [the] most real part, and it makes me sad.
Stephen, soldier (7 years)
I felt like I was really in it, and it makes me sad about what happened to Jesus.
Jenna, Mary (14 years)
It is fun to do especially when we did it with all our cousins, but what really brought it to life for me was when there was the Stations of the Cross in the Hollows some years ago with real actors and horses. I thought they were really whipping Jesus! I felt so bad for Him!
Michael (21 years, played Jesus at age 12)
I guess through portraying it, I more envisioned myself in His position and was able to better understand and appreciate what happened… Though, not certain how exactly I felt that day since it was so long ago and can’t really remember.
What do you like about the Seder meal and washing of the feet?
It is fun and brings the family together!
Francis & Stephen
I love the kids’ wine!
I like the salt water and the herbs and the kids’ wine!
It helps me very, very, very much to imagine what it was like for Jesus on that night when He had that meal, it makes me feel like I am Jesus. I always play Jesus. He really loves His disciples to wash their feet.
Isabelle (15 years)
I like sitting down together with everybody. And it’s cool that we are doing the same things that they (Jesus and His disciples) were doing at that time.
And for me?
Well, my prayer is that a seed has been planted and that the togetherness we experienced as a family during these traditions will remind my kids of the bigger family that they belong to, the family of our most beautiful Catholic Church with its rich liturgy and traditions. I pray that amidst all the noise of the world and its distractions, they will desire to come back to this space of solemnity at Holy Week and ponder what Jesus did for all of us so that they can be authentic witnesses of His love. Jesus, please hear my prayer