Updated: Apr 5
Hosted by the Faith To Go team in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, David Tremaine and Charlette Preslar, and joined the each week by a special guest, the Faith To Go Podcast highlights themes from the Sunday Gospel reading for you to take into your faith discussions and reflections throughout the week.
Activity Time: Lent Desert Box Week 6 - Into the Darkness
Supplies: strip of white cloth (This activity utilizes the desert box that we created in week one of Lent. If you did not have the opportunity to create the box, you can find the instructions for making it HERE)
Instructions: Start out by removing all items from the desert box except for the sand and the rocks. Take your hands and scoop a small hole in the middle of the desert box. Say, “Today we heard about how Jesus died. That was a scary and a hard thing. At the end of the story we heard how his friends to care of him afterward. They took his body, wrapped it in a cloth, and placed him in the tomb. Can one of you wrap the Jesus rock in this cloth?”
Have one member of the family wrap the rock in the cloth. Then hand the rock to another family member and have them place it in the hole you created. Say, “When Jesus was in the tomb it was dark and his friends were scared. They didn’t know what would happen next. We do. But even though we know that Easter is coming, we have to let Jesus be in the tomb for three days. This helps us feel what Jesus’ friends felt. This helps us think about how much Jesus loved us. Let’s take our rocks and put them over the Jesus rock to build the cave.”
Place the desert box far back on the table where everyone can see it, but instruct the family not to touch it again until Easter morning.
Here's an example of how you might do the lesson:
Story Time: Jesus' Hard Journey
Watch this video together and then use the discussion questions below to reflect as a family (watch 8:35 to 11:08).
1. Lots of hard and scary things happened to Jesus. While we hope that nothing like
that happens to us, we all do have things that happen that are hard. Can you think of
something that has happened that was hard for you? 2. How did you feel? 3. Who helped you feel better? How? 4. We heard Jesus pray to God when he was upset and worried. Do you pray to God
when you are scared? Let’s practice together.
More Story Time: Stations of the Cross
Observing the stations of the cross is an ancient tradition of the church. Today we have the opportunity to travel the stations of the cross together throughout the house.
1) Download this version of the stations of the cross to either print out and post around your house or have ready on your laptop, phone, or tablet as you journey around the house together. Use your judgement, based on your comfort level with your children and the content of the story, to decide if you want to omit any of the stations. This is a challenging story to hear and learn about. This resource has been created to be used with children, but there is no getting around the violence of the story. Do only what you, as a parent, are comfortable doing. There will be plenty to talk about and experience with whatever you decide to do.
2) Decide where the "stations" should be located around the house. Read through each of them. What would be a natural flow around your home? Are there some stations that work well with certain areas of your house? If you are printing and posting the stations, take time to hang them up in the stations before you begin. If you are going to share an electronic device instead, make sure your know where to go for the observation of each station. The final station should be the altar you have built and is now stripped with only a black or dark colored cloth over it.
3) Choose when to begin. Try to start sometime in the afternoon after lunch but before your evening meal.
4) Gather as a family at the first station. Take a moment to take three deep breaths together before you begin the first station. Invite the children into the space by saying something like, "Now we are going to remember together a hard day in Jesus' life. We all have hard days, right? When I have a hard day it is always nice for someone to walk beside me. Now we are going to do that with Jesus, and walk beside him during his hard day."
5) Start with the opening prayer in the stations document and move through the stations together.
6) When you are done, turn off your electronics and observe "technology darkness" for the rest of the night and until you do your family prayer time tomorrow morning on Holy Saturday (see Holy Saturday resources for those activities). Maybe lay down your powered-off device that you used to lead the service or the papers you printed out on the barren altar and leave them there for the night
7) Continue either with the dinner time meal discussion, or with the Paschal Candle activity in the Bedtime section below.
Dinner Time: Remembering Jesus' Ministry
Below is a prayer with which to start your meal and then discussion questions to explore this week’s topic with your family while you eat.
Dear God, This week our family is walking with Jesus through Holy Week. Help us to think of Jesus each of the days of this Holy Week. Remind us how much He loved his disciples and how much He loves us. Help us to show our love for our family and the world through kind words and actions. Give us a peaceful heart and help us to be patient with our families during this time that we are all at home together. In Jesus name we pray. Amen. Questions: 1. Let’s take today to think back on Jesus’ entire ministry. Can you think of a time that he healed someone? 2. Do you remember one of his parables and could you tell it to me? 3. Who were some of Jesus’ friends? 4. Why did God give us Jesus?
Bedtime: Making a Paschal Candle for our At Home Altar
The Paschal Candle is a very significant object in the ancient practices of the church that we still use today. It is the large candle with the symbols and other items carved into it that stands at the front of the church or next to the baptismal font during baptism.
During the Easter Vigil service it is lit from the newly kindled fire that begins the liturgy of the Vigil and is then processed through the darkness in the midst of the congregation. It is representative of Christs light dwelling and moving among us, even and foremost in the darkness. It stands as a reminder of Christ's light for the rest of the year, until it is renewed again from the newly kindled fire at the Vigil.
Today, we are going to make our own paschal candles that we will place on the empty altar we made and leave there until Easter Morning.
Instructions to making your paschal candle can be found in two places:
1) for an easy version click here
2) for a slightly more complicated version click here
If you don't have a large candle, try decorating an old toilet paper roll or paper towel roll and putting a small tea light candle on top of it.
You could alternatively decorate a mason jar or other glass container and set a tea light inside.
Once you've finished, bring you unlit paschal candle to the altar and set it in the middle of the cloth that is covering it. Leave it there until Easter.
Share some of your conversations in the comments below: