By Mariana Hladik
If I am going to be completely honest, I feel that it is all too easy to get caught up with life, parenting, and everything else that is going on and lose focus on the prayer, fasting and penance which we should be drawing deeper into during the season of Lent. Now that we are in Holy Week, I take this time as an opportunity to pour my attention, and that of my family, into our prayer life and the events of Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday.
While we cannot physically be present at many of the usual liturgies we would attend at church (the washing of the feet, the stations of the cross etc), we can keep our days focused on our prayer and fill our days with devotion to nurture our spiritual life.
Here are few ideas to put the “holy” back into your Holy Week with the whole family:
- The Angelus. Prayed daily at 6:00am, 12:00 noon and 6:00pm, it is beautiful and short prayer which refocusses our attention back toward heaven throughout our day.
- The Rosary. A wonderful way to mediate and reflect on the events in the life of Jesus and Mary, to stay close to our Lady in prayer and ask for her guidance and protection. As St. Josemaria Escriva said, “The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results.” Especially during these times of trials, let us hold close to this beautiful prayer. If you have younger children and the idea of keeping them in one spot for 20 minutes seems a bit daunting, then try and say at least one decade of choice from the mysteries of that day (Joyful, Sorrowful, Luminous and Glorious). Join Priests from the Archdiocese of Melbourne online each day as they pray the Rosary live at 12 midday.
- Stations of the Cross. Praying the Stations of the Cross from inside your home or in your garden is a very doable adjustment to our time usually spent in the Church. Have your kids create their own Station of the Cross booklet with the images and prayers for each station. Or, for a more visual option place the images of the stations around a room or find a printable stand-up template online such as these two templates: Stand-up Stations of the Cross and the beautiful Stations of the Cross Triptychs.
- Hot Cross Buns. Instead of buying a pack this year it might be fun to bake your own hot cross buns and discuss the religious tradition and history behind why we have them in the lead up to Easter. It’s a fun way to spend time with the family while allowing for an opportunity to understand that these are more to these tasty buns. Here is a recipe by Donna Hay to try with the kids.
- Divine Mercy Chaplet. The simplicity and repetition of this prayer makes for a family friendly devotion. Good Friday marks the start of the Divine Mercy novena, as we lead into Divine Mercy Sunday (1st Sunday after Easter). Join Priests from the Archdiocese of Melbourne online each day as the chaplet is prayed at 3pm - 'the Hour of Mercy’.
Join the Holy Family community as Father Pearce leads us in daily prayer:
12pm – Angelus followed by the Holy Rosary
3pm – Divine Mercy Chaplet