On the last Sunday of Lent, we remember Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem and his sacrifice for us on the cross. This helps to prepare us for what is to come during the holiest week of the year.
- Bible (invite all family members to bring their bibles if they have one)
- Jackets, coats, shawls and/or pine branches, tall grasses, or other native plants (in place of palms)
- Crucifix or cross
Create a special table or sacred space in your home you can where you focus during prayer and your in-home Sunday celebration. Include the family bible, candle, and a place for your crucifix or cross.
Light the candle. Call your family to prayer.
Begin with the Sign of the Cross.
Take the copy of the Sunday Gospel you will be using, the cross or crucifix, and your coats, branches, etc. to another room of the house to begin your time together. You will process together back to your sacred space after reading the Gospel.
Together read the Sunday Gospel, Matthew 21:1-11. There are two resources here for the readings. From the US bishops, the text we hear in church. From The Religion Teacher, an adaptation.
Feel free to use your family bible or children’s bible. Be creative. Read it in parts. Act out the story.
The Religion Teacher – http://jareddees.com/palmsunday-storyforkids/
Explain to the children that normally we would be in church with palm branches, processing to the church after hearing the Gospel. But because we cannot do that, we will process to our sacred space with what we have. We have our coats in place of the cloaks that were placed on the road and we have native plants in place of palm branches. Have one member of the family lead the procession with your family crucifix or cross. Place it in your sacred space when you arrive there.
Choose one of the music suggestions below. Sing together as a family as you process or sing when you reach your sacred space.
Discuss how the Jesus’s followers thought that he was going to be a king on earth, a king who would get rid of the Romans. That is why they laid their cloaks and branches on the road as a sign of respect. They became very surprised and were when Jesus was arrested and put to death.
Read Matthew’s account of the Passion: Matthew 26:14—27:66
You can find a version with parts at Give Us This Day: https://giveusthisday.org/Digital
Simply choose Sunday, April 5 and Mass in the drop-down menus.
Ask how you think that the followers of Jesus were now feeling. Do you think they felt the same as they did when he came into Jerusalem? How are you feeling after reading this story? Do you feel any different than you did when we processed? It is okay to be sad, mad, or any other feeling. Let us carry those feelings throughout Holy Week. On Holy Thursday, we will recall the Last Supper. On Good Friday, we will remember again the death of Jesus. On Holy Saturday, we will recall that Jesus triumphed over the dead and opened the gates of heaven for his believers. Then comes Easter Sunday, a day of rejoicing.
I believe in God the Father almighty Creator of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty, from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.
Choose another song to sing together.
As a family, offer prayers for our Church, our world, your local communities, and your families.
The Lord’s Prayer
Together pray the words that our Savior gave us:
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done,
on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Conclude with the Sign of the Cross
Choose another song to sing together.
Family Fun Suggestion:
Keeping social distancing guidelines, go on a family procession outside. Carry your branches, coats, banners, and whatever else reminds you of Jesus’s triumphant arrival in Jerusalem. If you have neighbors who live alone, contact them and let them know what time the procession will pass their door so you can wave at them.
Please share in the comments section of this page links to any pictures of your processions or prayer services. We would love to see what you are doing!
All Glory Laud and Honor (ST. THEODULPH) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ff5H5gP69XU
Hosanna to the Son of David (Tom Booth) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vho9WXmC2m0
Take Up Your Cross (Jaime Cortez) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZboEnq9I4k
My God, My God (Marty Haugen) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEM4_67p2Bg
Above All (Lenny LeBlanc) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paFL3GrJD4w
Other Web Resources:
The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) (official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and part of Caritas International):
Palm Sunday video for teens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3Vor55BoE0