Lent: The End Begins (Ideas and Printables for Holy Week and Easter)

by | Mar 23, 2015 | Lent, Lent, Liturgical Living, Seasonal | 10 comments

Today is the fifth Sunday of Lent, traditionally known as Passion Sunday. This is the day on which images and statues are often veiled in churches. We like to do this in our home as well. (I used think we were supposed to do this for all of Lent, but have recently been corrected. You learn something new every day!) Basically, we’re supposed to be reminded to buckle down and Lent it up for these next two weeks.

What I Wore Sunday: Dress = Anthropologie, Bump = Twenty-two weeks
Anita and Lulu are sporting Old Navy
Frankie is in Costco and a handmade bow tie from my friend Marquette

March 25th, Wednesday, is the Annunciation! It’s a solemnity, so celebrating is mandatory.

We’ll be doing this:

Kids Don’t Forget a Thing Like Waffles for Dinner

And saying this:


In the hopes of helping you (and me) do that. I’m going to share some
brand new printables, and tell you all about how our family observes
Holy Week and prepares for Easter. If you’re a visual learner and/or too
busy to remember things like days of the week, you could print them
each out and put a new one up on the fridge each day to remind you which
day it is.

Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The
priest wears red, we wave palms, it all seems quite celebratory. But
there’s some subtext going on we don’t want to miss. The priest’s
vestments are red, and red vestments are kind of all over the place. Priests wear them to celebrate feasts of the Holy Spirit, but also the feasts of martyrs. The red reminds
us of Jesus’ upcoming suffering. We wave palms and shout “Hosanna!”
just like the people lining the streets of Jerusalem did. But those same people, *WE* turn on Jesus just days later, and start demanding that he be crucified.

We try to wear red to Mass that day (I think my dress will fit again this year, but not Lulu’s), and when we get home with our palms, I confiscate them so the kids won’t have any (more) sword fights with them, and make a little display on our little altar table.

I plan to serve something red, like spaghetti and meatballs, alongside this salad, which is pretty much perfect . . .

And now, on to Holy Week . . .

Here is the post I wrote last year detailing what we do each day of Holy Week (click on the title not the image to go to the post).

The “You Can Still Do This” Guide to All Things Holy Week

But here’s the cliff notes version, with the new images . . .

To read . . .

Matthew 26: 1-16

To do . . .

Our activity for the day is a little social experiment on the kids in which they get to learn about the power of money to turn people against each other. Read all about it here.

To eat . . .

I don’t actually have a usual menu for Spy Wednesday. Leftovers probably, we need to make room in the fridge. Unless anyone has any suggestions?

Holy Thursday is another happy/sad day. The institution of the Eucharist and of the priesthood is something to celebrate, but Jesus’ betrayal and arrest is something to lament. So we do both.

To read . . .

I like to point out to my kids that Peter betrayed Jesus just as much as Judas did. But Peter repented and asked for forgiveness, while Judas despaired and took his own life. And that makes all the difference.

To do . . .

It’s a busy day for us. The busiest of the week. We do a Seven Churches Visitation, a family Last Supper with rice krispy lamb cake, go to Mass, wash each other’s feet, and watch a movie

To eat . . .

We try to duplicate what Jesus and the twelve would have eaten for dinner that night, without attempting to replicate all the prayers and ceremony that would have gone along with it. I cook lamb chops, and serve them with a bitter herb salad, flatbread, potato knishes, and applesauce. See this post for all the recipes.

We keep Good Friday quiet and solemn around here, as much as we are able. Which, truth be told isn’t THAT much.  But we try.

To read . . .

For how we handle talking to little kids about the events of this day, check out . . .

How to Talk to Little Kids About the Crucifixion

To do . . .

We’ll attend Good Friday services if we are able, or just visit a quiet church with an empty adoration chapel and venerate the cross. As the last of our Lenten soup and stations get togethers, we’ll host friends for a simple southern catfish fry, and do the stations of the cross. If there’s time, the kids will watch this movie, and there’s always this one for grownups, if it’s your cup of tea. It’s not for everyone, and that’s okay. I can handle it every few years.

To eat . . .

We have hot cross buns for breakfast (but they’re little, so it counts as half a breakfast) and something light for lunch, then fried catfish, coleslaw, cornbread, and water for dinner. For more details, see this post.

Holy Saturday isn’t actually ALL that restful around here. There’s a lot of stuff to do. But we do try to spend the day mindful that this is the day Jesus’ body was in the tomb, and the rest of him was collecting his dad and the rest of the good guys from the Limbo of the Fathers.

To read . . .

“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell” Luke 16:22
“Now that he ascended, what is it, but because he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth” Ephesians 4:9
“Because Christ also died once for our sins, the just for the unjust: that he might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit, In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison: Which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noe, when the ark was a building: wherein a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water.” 1 Peter 3:18-20
“And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom. And Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise” Luke 23:42-43

To do . . .

We put away our Lent decorations, and decorate for Easter. We dye our Easter eggs and do our meal preparation for Easter dinner. We do not attend Easter Egg Hunts or other Easter celebrations on Holy Saturday. If you have family that starts celebrating on Holy Saturday, you’ll have to make that judgement call for your own selves. We take the big kids to the Vigil.

To eat . . .

I’ve made these in previous years, but they are kind of labor intensive, and frankly, I don’t really need more work the day before Easter. So, unless the kids remember them and there is a great outcry, probably we’ll skip them this year. Other than that, I just try to use up leftovers.

And then . . . it’s Easter!

For some Easter basket ideas, check out this post . . .

Last Minute Somewhat Free Easter Baskets

And for more photos of last year’s goings on and more free printables, see this post:

An Easter Present for All of You but Mostly Bonnie and a Triduum / Easter Recap

I’ll still be around the blog between now and then, but I’ll take a moment here to wish you a very fruitful Holy Week, and the most joyful of Easters!


  1. Rosie

    Okay, you've totally popped this week! Or maybe it's just the dress 🙂 We did the blessing of the Easter baskets for the first time last year and it was really nice – low-key, the kids loved it, and it was really nice to know that the food for our Easter meal had been blessed!

    Also, the printable I REALLY want from you is a reminder early enough next year that says, "HEY YOU!!! WITH ALL THE PALMS FROM THE PAST SEVEN PALM SUNDAYS IN A PLASTIC BAG ON YOUR BOOKSHELF! TAKE THEM TO CHURCH TO BE BURNED NOW!!!"

    Not that I have seven years worth of palms that we never remember to take back to church… Nope. Not us.

    • Kendra

      I TOTALLY need to do this! We always just end up burning them ourselves in the backyard on Ash Wednesday. I don't think I've ever remembered to bring them back to church.

    • Ally

      My grandma makes little crosses out of the palms and sends them in her Easter cards. I look forward to getting one every year! =)

  2. Amanda

    So much helpfulness here 🙂

    This year, my parents and grandparents will be here all Holy Week. They're Catholic, but not very liturgical and I haven't told my mom we're not hiding eggs until Sunday. Even though she'll be gone by then. But it's not going to be solemn around here at all, so we gotta save something!

  3. Isabelle Lubbock

    Excellent, I've been meaning to calligraphy (is it a verb? Let's pretend it's a verb) the Angelus for a million years, now I can be lazy… erm, efficient, and print your pretty one 🙂

  4. Nanacamille

    You are very brave boys to sit through Cinderella and some day in he future you will like the kissing part but not now. I took you and your sister Kara with some friends to see Snow White when Kara was about 1 1/2. She lost interest quickly and crawled around on the floor picking gum off of the bottom of the seats…..ugg how gross is that? The other little girl at 2 got scared and wet her pants in her mother's lap. I think we left early and did some major scrubbing in the restroom. Not a big success.

  5. Megan

    What size would you recommend having these printables printed?

    • Kendra

      They are big files, they should print well up to poster-sized.

  6. Erin

    You asked for ideas for a meal for Spy Wednesday, and even though I know this was 2 years ago, I thought of something! Silver dollar pancakes! The ol breakfast for dinner option. I put that on my meal plan this week along with bacon probably and fruit salad. I figured I'd go with red and purple fruits in the salad, to be on theme Liturgically 😉


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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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