Follow the Gospel story
One way to observe Holy Week when we cannot get together in Church is to follow the stories in the New Testament, walking day by day through his last week with Jesus. Some days were busy; others not so much. This year many of us have more time to read and reflect than we usually do, but don’t try to read it all. Pick one Gospel, or pick one or two events each day to read and think about. You can choose your stories here (Jesus Journey Through Holy Week)
Aside from just reading the story, if you want to reflect further try to imagine you were there with Jesus, What would it be like? What would you want to ask or tell him? Perhaps imagine or write a conversation with Jesus or one of the other characters in the story. Or write it up as if you’d been there and were telling a grandchild about it years later, Bring the story to life. It may help to find a picture to use as you enter the scene. Google images has lots!
One website that will take you through the days from Palm Sunday to Easter, with a short reading and a reflection each day (and a couple on Maundy Thursday) is: https://mcusercontent.com/fa19df9df6680f1a2a66d1fa2/files/9d1d0708-7ce9-47df-a152-343923cc1864/Glory_Road_Holy_Week_Scripture_Study.pdf
Choose a book to read
It may be too late to order a book and have it delivered in time for Holy Week, but e-readers are a way to get immediate delivery. You can read e-books on your computer, tablet or phone by accessing the websites of or downloading the aps for Kindle, Kobo, Apple books, and several others. Two books that deal with jesus’ last week are:
- Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crosson’s The Last Week takes the story of Jesus’ last week as a set of planned moves to confront Imperial Powers (and injustice) and the collaboration at the top of Jewish religious leaders.
- Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week by Amy-Jill Levine, an orthodox Jew and Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School.
Follow daily worship online
The Internet provided many resources – just ask Google! It can be overwhelming, but there are offerings to fit every one’s need and liking. So here are a few suggestions – try them and see.
- There are services for use at home for each day of holy week here. They are provided by LITURGICAL PRESS Collegeville, Minnesota: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/557053c2e4b0b7fae0aaa865/t/5e7f98795ed80a4219d0d49b/1585420410045/Holy_Week_at_Home.pdf
- Some organizations provide daily worship or meditations throughout the year, but following the church’s seasons, The Irish Jesuit’s Sacred Space is available online; and The Center for Action and Contemplation will send free daily emails. Also, the Upper Room Daily Devotionals will send you a daily email (one month free trial available).
- If you prefer to use your phone or tablet, you can download one of many devotional aps, Try: Pray as you go – start with Palm Sunday, which sets the tone.