This guide produced by the diocesan Department of Evangelization and Family Life has prayerful and fun-filled advice on how to celebrate Holy Week at home.
This guide produced by the diocesan Department of Evangelization and Family Life has prayerful and fun-filled advice on how to celebrate Holy Week at home.
In an effort to help faithful celebrate Holy Week at home, diocesan staff have compiled a guide of faith-filled, prayerful and fun activities for individuals and families alike.

“This year, because of the coronavirus, Holy Week will be different for everybody. All churches are closed, and all families are asked to stay at home,” said Josue Arriola, director of the diocesan Department of Evangelization and Family Life. “This time could be a time of uncertainty and significant changes for our families; therefore, we want to bring them hope and remind them about the many possibilities that they have while they are at home.”

The guide, which can be found at https://dioceseoftrenton.org/holy-week-at-home, contains activities for every day starting with Palm Sunday and ending on Easter Sunday. The pamphlet is available as a download in English and Spanish.

Among some of the general advice is to prepare ahead of time by finding Masses being livestreamed by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., local parishes or on television. A list can be found on TrentonMonitor.com/coronavirus. Other ideas include putting on one’s Sunday best for the livestreamed or televised Masses; and to participate fully in the Mass by sitting, standing and kneeling at the appropriate times.

Other activities are specific to each day. For example, for Palm Sunday, one idea is for families to take part in a procession through the house, ending up in front of the TV or computer for Mass. For Holy Saturday, try decorating your own pascal candle, and on Easter Sunday, paint a Resurrection Garden.

“We want families … to enjoy being together,” Arriola said. “Many families involve their children in many activities, and they are always rushing from place to place. The moment when they are together with no place to go, it may be strange for them. The pamphlet will give them ideas on things to do together and enjoy each other’s company.”

There are also many suggestions for how to take time for quiet reflection, make a proper examination of conscience or create a prayer space in one’s home.

“Patience is the lesson we probably need to learn during this time at home,” Arriola said. “As a society, we all need to have a little of this virtue.”

Arriola said that though it may be difficult to be away from one’s family, friends, parish and parish community during this holiest of times, there are still many positive lessons to be learned.

“This is the time to start putting the seeds of prayer in our hearts. Prayer does not have to be boring; the pamphlet gives ideas on how to make prayer fun. The desire to pray comes easily during Holy Week and when we are going through difficult times. This year, we are experiencing both.”

However, he continued, “The best way to be united with a person is not just being together physically, but spiritually. Doing any of the ideas we propose or any other idea that can help families live Holy Week will help them be more united – united with each other, united with God and with a great desire to be united with the other part of their family, the Catholic family in the Holy Eucharist.”