Holy Week

Hello dear ones – I will get the discussion post up in a jiffy, but I would love to know what other families are doing for Holy Week.

We are doing a few things differently this year.  We are creating centerpieces to match the Scripture reading that Jeff is doing.  After that day is over, the pieces to the centerpiece will go on the top of my buffet.  On Sunday, we will do a Resurrection hunt, using the pieces from the centerpieces all week long and allow the children to re-tell the story of Holy Week.

For example – today, we will read from Mark chapter 12.  Our centerpiece will include grapes (these will be real on the table tonight, but we’ll exchange them for fake ones), 1 large coin (we’ll use one of the new dollar coins) a piece of scroll that says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.”  There will be another one that says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

In addition to the daily reading/centerpiece we will also share Passover on Wednesday night, just as Jesus would have.  (I’m re-writing our Haggadah today!  Let me know if you want a copy of it – although, I’m so sorry, many of you will be celebrating today, no doubt. It will be a much more simplified version than we are accustomed to.)

On Thursday night, we will cut all the branches off our dead Christmas tree.  We will discuss that the purpose of His birth is the Cross.  We will share that just as the tree is dead, so we are dead in our sin.  Then each of us will take turns cutting branches off the tree.  We will then cut it and make a cross out of it.  We will drape the Cross in red for Friday, black for Saturday and white (I’d love to find some gold/white) for Sunday.

This year we will allow the children to color eggs and find them.  (Our Littles have heard so much about this from some neighbor children and they have never done it.)  We won’t be doing it on Sunday however.  We will be doing it as part of our Passover celebration.  We will use the colored eggs as a part of the centerpiece (“Oh Jerusalem, …..How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!”  Matt 14:37.) and since part of the Seder is the hiding of the afikomen.  We will hide the afikomen, as well as the eggs.

Well, I better go get busy, huh?

What about you?  What plans do you have?

Next year in Jerusalem!

12 Responses to “Holy Week”
  1. Tiffany says:

    This is our first year doing Passover! We’re doing it tomorrow night. (did we get the date wrong?) This year we are keeping it very very very simple. The past month has been filled with many illnesses and planning for the summer and business at my husbands work and this week took us by surprise. I can’t believe how fast it came up! So, some of our original plans are on hold until next year.

    However, one thing I’m really excited about is that we found a wooden passover set. It has a little wooden sedar plate, and a wine goblet, matzah, wine, and a prayer book. It is really great. From the same line that we got their wooden Shabbat set for Christmas.

    So, we’ll do Passover Tuesday. Then our congregation does a Tenebrae (service of darkness) service on Good Friday. Trying to decide if we should take the girls or not. It is short, about 45 min. But it is intense and rather quiet and not sure what the best course of action is yet. Then hoping to do a special time of scripture reading on Saturday. Starting with the fall, going through some of the prophesies of Christ, and then his birth, life, and final week. Then it is coorperate worship Sunday morning and dinner afterward. We’re still looking for people to join us for that.
    I’m still not really used to being in a congregation that doesn’t do the seasons of the church, having grown up in a lutheran congregation. It is Lent/Holy Week/Easter that I miss it the most. The build up to Easter is very special I think.

    Dawn, I would love love love love to see your Haggadah. Like I said we’re keeping Passover very simple this year (Lamb, bitter root, the dish that sybolizes the mortar, and wine, and scripture reading). I’d love to see how a family that has been doing this for a few years does it!

    Next Year in Jerusalem!

  2. javadawn says:

    Tiffany, I assure you, what I’m writing for this week is NOT what we’ve done in the past. Our “normal” Haggadah has ranged from a 2 – 6 (!!) hr Seder. Whew! For folks who are SUPER busy for the next few weeks it just won’t work, so what I’m working on today is easy peasy, lemon squeezey. 🙂 I’m afraid it won’t give you a very good picture of our norm. 🙂

    OH! and date – NO, no, no, you didn’t get the date wrong. It’s just me. Jewish days begin at sunset the day before. Tomorrow is Passover, but if we were keeping with the norm, we’d celebrate tonight. That’s all. 🙂 (In other words, just Dawn being anal.) 🙄

  3. We’re doing a simplified Easter tree. We’ve been doing one story a week for the past few weeks (we read the story from the children’s Bible early in the day, then Casey reads the story from the Bible and we hang our ornament on the tree). This week we’ll do one every night through Monday. Our church is having communion on Thursday night so we’ll be doing that with the children. We’ve been back and forth on the issue of when are they old enough, but I think we’ve settled on letting them. Our pastor takes the position that they are part of the family of God and so they have a “place at the table” but we really have debated a lot about it…and might still.
    Also we will go to the Easter Egg Hunt at church on Saturday where the pastor does a really great devotional for the kids every year. We do small baskets on Saturday with candy and cookies:)
    And hubby and I will watch The Passion on Friday night – we also may go to a passion play here in town if we can find a babysitter.
    The kids and I are going to make resurrection cookies on Saturday night and they get a gift on Sunday morning along with new (to them) clothes for church.
    Lots to do – I make the communion bread for church (I can’t tell you what a blessing this is for me!) so I need to get started on my to do list. I’m enjoying this season so much this year!

  4. Tiffany says:

    We kinda thought that was the case too….and then Nolan looked into and came up with tomorrow. I don’t know if that was a tomorrow was what was going to work for us and the day he could come home early, or that tomorrow was the day others were celebrating or what. I thought it was suppose to be tonight too.

    Anyway…we’re not doing a formal Haggadah this year at all. Easy-peasy here too. I just don’t feel up to two large feasts in one week this year. But hopefully next year we’ll get to something that is closer to a traditional sedar. I don’t want to do this half hearted, ya know? But as for what is Biblically madated in the Torah (ie-not including the rest found in the oral Torah) we’re good.

    It is wonderful to be connecting to all of this, but overwhelming too as we didn’t grow up with any of this. Finding and enacting ones Biblical heritage and roots can be a bit tiring at times. Glad to be cutting the path for the next generation though!

  5. reneegrace says:

    This Sunday, we had Palm Sunday for the first half of our service, and a Good Friday type service for the second half…

    Friday morning I will have made Hot Cross Buns… my mom’s tradition!

    We are having a Passover dinner at our house on Friday night (I know… we are WAY off! 🙂 – its better than our first year… we decided we wanted to do a passover dinner, after it was over… I think we ended up doing one two months later, closer to Pentecost!!)

    Saturday is the Easter egg hunt and a treasure hunt… the fun and chocolate aspect of my husband’s family’s traditions… I LOVE it when we don’t do it on Sunday!! It frees up Sunday to be ALL about the resurrection!

    saturday night we will make Resurrection cookies (overnight kind – then you open the oven / grave, and find hollow cookies / meringues inside!) and Sunday we will eat resurrection cookies for breakfast… oh and something else besides all that sugar!

    I had intended on making a Resurrection Egg set this year, but once again, I forgot… I am going to BUY one next year!!

  6. javadawn says:

    ReneeGrace, I don’t think Father is any too concerned with the timing of our celebration. 😉 It’s MY issue – and we decided, after praying and seeing how this week was playing out, that we’ll be doing it Thursday night. SO, you see, when I try to be controlling, some how the Lord has this loving way of kicking my behind. Now, about these Hot Cross Buns….I think you should post the recipe! 🙂

    Tiffany, we have friends who were in India, for missions. When Passover came around all they had was Doritos for the matzoh, lettuce for the bitter herbs and M&M’s for the sweet kharoset. (They had just had friends from the US come and bring goodies.) They felt it was their best Passover EVER. (And they’ve been celebrating it for a long time) I try to remember them on a regular basis – to keep the REAL purpose of our feasting in mind – to focus on the provision of the Lord, through Christ Jesus. 🙂 (I too often get caught up in the “doing”)

  7. Tiffany says:

    Dawn- Our first passover was really great. Didn’t water down our eldest wine enough….but that’s another story….

    The lamb turned out wonderful. Although next year I need to remember that I can’t make a Jus for it as that doesn’t fall within the not boiling it command. The Charroset may be my new favorite food. And Ana’el really got into the whole thing. She especially liked taking the drops from the second cup in remembrance of the plagues. 🙂

    Much to do differently next year (like plan further in advance) but really it was fantastic!

    And I officially love making lamb.

  8. Michelle says:

    O.K. you guys, now I totally feel lame. I dropped my boys off at a local church last night (not ours) for a Seder meal led by someone from Jews for Jesus and we are following Jesus’ steps through each day of Holy Week according to the book of Matthew, but that is IT. We may or may not go to Good Friday services and of course we will go to Easter Sunday services, but honestly, you all have energy-a-go-go!

  9. javadawn says:

    Didn’t you read my comment?!!!

    “easy peasy, lemon squeezey” E.A.S.Y. Besides, as we started to work on the Haggadah, the Lord started something brand new. It’s fun – and it’s even easier. I just LOVE it when HIS plan comes together. (and I don’t dork it up.) 😆

    Now, for the serious part – give me your hand – come on, right here, in my palm…. *SLAP!* Shame on you! You are ministering joy and hope and the care of the body to your inlaws, you are the wife of a farmer and you have some children who require quite a bit of time and energy.

    Feeling totally lame is a lie and I expect you to deal with it accordingly. Tell it to go from you – for this is NOT the season of doing expansive Holy Week. This is the season for being with your inlaws – possibly unto death! THAT is by FARFARFARFARFAR!!!! more important than anything we’ll be adding into our week.

    Now, let’s go eat chocolate together, so you’ll forgive me for smacking your hand. 😀 😀

  10. reneegrace says:

    I love LOVE lamb!!! I guess they actually don’t cook lamb anymore… so my church doesn’t cook it either. Just a good excuse cause its more expensive I am sure!! 🙂

    AND after all my emotional drama and hoppla tears and “overwhelmingness” over Passover at my house… Thaddeus got the tummy bug flu, so they moved it down the road to a church, and I stayed home with Thaddeus!!

    G0d has some interesting ways of answering our cries for help!! 🙂

  11. javadawn says:

    I must need you ladies to help me make lamb. Mine is always so GREASY. Blech. I have had lamb that is simply sublime, but never having been cooked by myself.

    RG, I’m so sorry you had the flu bug for Passover. I pray that it was still a sweet time!!

  12. tiffany says:

    Ok, this was my first time cooking lamb, and thanks to Cooks Illustrated it turned out really well. They know what they are talking about. Basically, you want to start with a boneless leg, not butterflied. The best cut I guess is the “shank end”, I don’t know if that is what I had or not. You need to plan on spend about 30 minutes (I took a good 40 for a 2lb piece of meat) trimming fat and silver skin. This leaves you with good trimmings to make Jus out of. Although the Jus is not appropriate for Passover as it required boiling parts of the lamb, which isn’t suppose to be done.

    So, you want to unroll the lamb, and then follow the natural seams and seperate it into three smaller roasts. I found it difficult to find the natural seams, but Ihaven’t worked with red meat much so that could have been my problem. Then you trim as much fat and grissle from exterior AND interior. Some smaller pieces will likely come off during trimming, if you are making a Jus then you use those for that, if not you can roast them along with the larger pieces. After you’re done trimming, lightly score the inside of the roast about 1/4 inch deep spaced about 1 in in criss-cross pattern. At this point you want to brine it for at least 2 hours. This helps keep it nice and moist while you roast it. Also lets you make the rub for the roast and other dinner side dishes and do some clean up. Very useful. So soak the meat in a 2quart brine (1/4 C kosher salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 12 medium crushed garlic cloves).

    Dry off your meat and apply the rub to the inside.
    Rub: 2 tablespoons of garlic roasted in oven and then mashed, mixed with 2Tb of finely chopped fresh parsley. You rub this on the inside of your three small roasts. Then roll them up and tie them. Salt and pepper all over. At this point you can put it in the fridge and leave until you are ready to cook it. I plan on doing this a day ahead next year so the Passover is more of a sabbath instead of being so tired by the time dinner rolls around. IF you put it in the fridge you need to take it out and let it come ot room temp for 30 min. before cooking.

    Heat your oven to 375. Then in an oven safe pan, you want to cook your lamb on the stove first. Heat oil in pan until shimmering, and then add your lamb. Brown all sides, including the ends (use tongs and hold in place). This should take about 12-15 minutes. (if you have smaller pieces from when you were trimming they are going to cook a bit faster, but it will take you longer to turn everything and make sure all sides are browned). Then you are going to put the pan as is in the oven and finish the cooking. It should take about 8-25 min. depending on size of roasts, the pan, oven, etc. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.

    Take lamb out and let it rest, tented under foil for about 15 minutes before cutting twine off and serving.

    If you are doing this for passover, I recommend starting the Sedar while the meat is resting. We started it after it was done and it was kinda cold by the time we finished the second cup.

    As far as doing/not doing lamb for passover. The reason modern Jews don’t is because the temple has been destroyed and thus there isn’t a place to offer sacrifices. However, there is a sect of Jews that just hold to the written torah, not the oral torah and they do cook lamb since it is commanded to. And for us as Christians, we know that our sacrifice has been made, that the temple building isn’t needed as our temple was destroyed and rose again three days later. So, we (as in my family) do lamb. Although in looking into messianic Jewish practice it seems that they don’t do lamb for the Passover. Reasons varried as to why.

    Hope that helps your lamb! I can’t wait to try it again, just have to find a cheaper source. Costco actually is reasonable. We got it from Whole Foods this year. Ouch ouch ouch ouch. 🙂

    Dawn- we haven’t heard about your PAssover yet, I REALLY want to when you have the time. Hope your Holy Week is going beautifully!

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