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.
Views and Qs: Jesus' Suffering and Death
Watch this video together and then use the discussion questions below to reflect as a family (watch 8:35 to 11:08).
1) Who decided that Jesus should die in the story?
2) Do you think people should be allowed to decide if someone dies? Why or why not?
3) Have you ever experienced the death of a loved one like a family member or friend?
4) What was it like to live through that experience? Did it change anything about how you treat other people or understand the world?
5) Did you have anyone around you that helped you through that time? Who were they and what was it like to have someone help you?
Reads: The 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 the day that Jesus suffered and died. This was most painful day of his life and in the lives of those who loved him. We all have painful days, right? Even days when we experience the death of someone we love. When we have a hard day it is always comforting for someone to walk beside us and be present with us in those painful moments. Now we are going to do that with Jesus, and walk beside him and his loved ones during his most painful 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 Stay and Pray section below.
Feast and Faith: A Sad and Painful Day
For this week’s dinner discussion, we are talking about the story of Jesus' suffering and death in Jerusalem, which we refer to as his passion.
Gracious God, the comfort of all who sorrow, the strength of all who suffer: Let the cry of those in misery and need come to you, that they may find your mercy present with them in all their afflictions; and give us, we pray, the strength to serve them for the sake of him who suffered for us, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
On this Good Friday, we here the painful and traumatic story of Jesus' journey to the cross, filled with suffering, and ultimately his death. We see the way it affected those who loved him, his friends and family, and even those who had never met him before. Suffering and death, no matter what the context, have a way of piercing to our core, and resonating in a very deep place within us. Let us honor the suffering of Jesus, and continue to look for ways to respond to the suffering that is still present in the world:
1) What stuck out to you today from the stories in the Stations of the Cross?
2) What parts were hardest to hear about?
3) Where there any parts of the story that you found comforting or inspiring?
4) Are you aware of similar places of suffering in the world today? Who are the people that are being persecuted and caused to suffer or die unnecessarily?
5) What did Jesus' death reveal about the systems of government and oppression of his culture and time? Are any of these same things present in our world today?
Final Nugget: We cannot escape Jesus' suffering today and more than we can escape the suffering of the world around us or our own. How is this observance of and engagement with the discomfort of Jesus' suffering inviting you to more deeply engage with your own discomfort and suffering, and the suffering of the world?
Stay and Pray: Making a Paschal Candle to Close the Day
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: