Join acclaimed musician John Burland and Sydney Catholic Schools’ Education Officer: Church Engagement, Cheryl Fernandez, as they take us on a journey through Holy Week in a new family video.
Free to watch online, the Holy Week video is brought to you by Sydney Catholic Schools’ Mission and Identity team. It is part of an ongoing YouTube series titled Faith, Fun and Celebration.
The Holy Week episode incorporates Scripture, doctrine, song and prayer to remember and reflect on this very special time in the Church year.
Faith, Fun and Celebration
Faith, Fun and Celebration began as a zoom initiative to support Sydney Catholic schools and families during the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2021.
“As a team we soon realised the power of this medium to reinforce learning and promote evangelisation,” said Sydney Catholic Schools’ Education Officer: Archdiocesan Liturgical Music, John Burland.
Aimed at students from Kindergarten to Year 4 and their families, the video series incorporates Scripture, doctrine, prayer, song and movement.
“We have had feedback from many Year 5 and 6 classes who are also enjoying the series and finding it an excellent form of Religious Education revision” – John Burland
Upcoming videos in the Faith, Fun and Celebration series will cover Liturgical Seasons, the Sacraments, Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation.
ABOUT HOLY WEEK
Holy Week is a time set aside in the Church calendar to help us remember the events in Jesus’ life leading up to his death and resurrection.
Students from St Vincent’s Primary School Ashfield re-enact Palm Sunday.
“Hanging on the walls of Catholic churches are pictures or carvings known as the Stations of the Cross,” said Jodie Micallef, Sydney Catholic Schools’ Specialist: Religious Education (Primary).
“As we meditate and pray with these images we remember the story that has been told to us through the Scriptures.
“As Catholics we celebrate Holy Week, and renew our commitment to our central belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
Explaining the days of Holy Week to kids
“We explain Holy Week to children through the signs we see during this week,” Mrs Micallef said.
“The blessed palms are carried in procession on Palm Sunday to remind us of how Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem as King.
“On Palm Sunday and Good Friday the priest wears red, the colour used to remember people who have died for their faith. At the Chrism Mass, the local bishop blesses and consecrates the holy oils to be used in the sacraments.”
The central part of Holy Week is called the Easter Triduum – the three special days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
“The washing of the feet of his disciples on Holy Thursday shows us what Jesus did at the Last Supper as a sign that he came to serve people,” Mrs Micallef said.
Students from St John Bosco College Engadine re-enact the Stations of the Cross.
“Jesus calls us to serve others. Jesus broke bread and told his disciples it was his own body being broken. As he poured out wine, he told the disciples it was his own blood being poured out.
“At every Mass, we remember what Jesus did at the Last Supper and how he gives himself to us today.
“At the end of Mass, the priest carries the consecrated hosts which have not been used in procession to another place called the Altar of Repose. This is to get the church ready for Good Friday when the Church is bare.
“The cross on Good Friday shows us how much Jesus loves us. We venerate, kiss, the cross as a sign of love and thanks for what Jesus did for us.”
How to observe Holy Week with your family
In addition to watching the Faith, Fun and Celebration Holy Week episode with loved ones, other ways families can celebrate Holy Week include:
- Celebrating Palm Sunday Mass together and bringing home a palm for the family prayer space
- Visiting your parish Church to meditate and by praying at the Stations of the Cross
- Making a family cross together
- Choosing one Station of the Cross that speaks to you and creating your own artwork
- Reading the Passion of Jesus from the family Bible and praying together
- Celebrating the Sacrament of Penance to receive the grace of God’s love and mercy
- Celebrating in the parish Easter Triduum
- Praying before the Altar of Repose
- Eating hot cross buns
- Cooking and decorating eggs
- Baking a cake in the shape of a lamb
- Preparing the home in preparation to serve the family at Easter
- Serving family and friends with love and kindness.