I'll admit that my Lenten fast and preparations for Holy Week have been less than stellar this year. Baby Linus' once good sleep patterns are now terrible, and I am sort of just making it through the days. So I am not expecting much this week in the way of great family worship and lessons. But here is what we are doing.
We made a Lenten Garden for Holy Week, thanks to another mom from church who set up a craft day on Saturday. Basically, it is a shallow pan filled with sand and dirt. We placed a small plastic dish in the garden and filled it with pretty stones and water. The boys made a tomb out of modeling clay (and a few rockets and space ships...because what is any craft worth if it doesn't have space stuff in it?). We made a path of stones leading up to the tomb lined with white birthday cake candles for each day of the week and leading to a white votive candle at the tomb. Today, we planted some rye grass seed in it and put a bare tree branch beside the tomb. (Spring has arrived here, so I had to strip a branch of its leaves.)
The idea is to have the garden come alive for Easter. So we will mist the seeds every day and hope they begin sprouting by Sunday. Each night we light one of the candles and let it burn down during dinner. The large candle is lit and extinguished on Friday. No candle is lit on Saturday. On Good Friday, we may put a small caterpillar in the tomb, wrapped in silk. On Sunday morning our (hopefully) green garden will also have a budding branch instead of a bare one (thanks to my switching it out overnight) and an empty tomb and butterfly. There are tons of things you can do to make the garden slowly come more alive over the days of Easter leading up to Ascension and Pentecost. Thanks, Rebecca, for the great craft!
Also, we are continuing to use the stations of the cross book with the boys during prayer time, and beginning tomorrow, I will read them the stories of Passion week from this excellent children's Bible storybook.
Both of our boys will sit with us during the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. And we will spend a quiet day on Friday. Saturday will be a day of preparation. Easter egg dying, making out Grandmother B's yeast rolls for dinner on Sunday, and preparing a little something special for breakfast are all in the works. I may even try to get to the Farmer's Market and hunt some asparagus, though I will have to get there first thing to get anything good!
On Sunday, in addition to the changes in our little garden, I will have the table set with lots of candles, including our white "Jesus" candle from our Advent wreath, which we will use for devotions all during the Easter season. The boys will each get a little bit of candy on their breakfast plate. After church, we are eating Easter dinner at the in-laws with friends from church. An egg hunt, feeding baby goats, and playing with puppies. Sounds like a good celebration of new life to me! And no bunnies to be found!