Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Holy Week Blessings~2011

+Holy Week+
At the Foot of the Cross, all 6 candles got burned during Holy Week and we eagerly waited for Easter to arrive!

I know that going backwards is not always as fun as moving forward... But I really want to write this post for my records and memory keeping.  My blog has become my brian!
So here goes our Holy Week in reveiw...We made it through the desert!  
Actually we were no where near the desert.  It was a simple, quiet (but busy) liturgical week of reflection and delving deeper into our faith, seeking to be closer to Jesus at the foot of the Cross.
What was the most fruitful part of our Holy Week?
Next to the amazing grace of the DIY reading retreat that I made with dear husband and oldest son, this Encounter The Cross study was probably the most fruitful part of our Holy Week, as a whole family.  We used the book and made our own presentation to place in an easel binder.  We would reflect on one of the last words (phrases) of Christ per day and then sit down as a family each evening to discuss it.  There were great reflection questions and prayers in the book that helped guide our meaningful study.  We waited until our toddler was in bed but all other ages (7 to 44) enjoyed and participated. I will try to make the presentation pages available for free printing on my blog next year.
What was the most fun?
Making our own "Crossed Arms in Prayer" Pretzels was the project that reaped the most fun by far!  We learned about this tradition several years ago but just never took the time to do it.  Our kids LOVED it...They mostly loved the process:  Reading the story, kneading the dough, and watching the pretzels rise to little puffed arms crossed in prayer.
Side Note: This Seton book has the pretzel story and many other great Lenten stories, including the Alpha and the Omega that we read about for our Paschal Candle making.
Everyone wanted to take a turn stirring!
We discovered that kneading the dough is a lot of work...Praise God for Bakers!
Army Dude turned out to be the "Master" pretzel baker!
We learned that the key to a good pretzel is PATIENCE, mostly in the kneading.
We made one for a family friend...Gift tag courtesy of Lacy at Catholic Icing.
Master Baker with his prize!
~A hidden "gift" is discovered~
Mom's favorite Holy Week craft?
The Paschal Candle!
~We made 2~
{One for downstairs and one for upstairs to use in our school room}
~Here is the 2nd one~
We used the tutorial from Our Domestic Church and read about the different symbols at Catholic Culture and Fisheaters.  Catholic Icing also has other ideas for doing this yourself. I found these wonderful stickers at Rosary Card.  They incorporated many of the Easter symbols all in one sticker. (Paschal lamb, crown of thorns, grapes, chalice, Eucharist, dove, etc.)
I didn't use a beeswax candle this time around but maybe next year. These glass candles are just too cost effective to pass up.  I love that you can get them just about anywhere to include the grocery store!  I got mine at the Dollar Tree, of course. These were our other supplies, to include a glue gun, my favorite tool.
The children learned so much about the Paschal Candle that it made our Easter Vigil extra special.  We knew exactly what was going on when Father T. pressed the 5 incense spears into our parish Paschal Candle, representing the 5 wounds of Christ.  We watched intently as he lit it for the first time from the outdoor fire pit and brought it into the church, the first "light" of Easter!  Then we gloried in the blessing of the candle during the liturgy as Father T. and Deacon T. dipped it into the baptismal waters.  Finally, it was an Easter grace to see all the Catechumens receive their special candles lit from that big and beautiful Paschal Candle.
  Our paschal candle study of the Easter symbols tied perfectly into First Communion preparation.  We had fun making these yummy
Lamb of God Rice Krispy Treats!
These were really easy using cookie cutters.  We also marked these crosses with the 5 wounds of Christ.
Jessica from Shower of Roses has a neat post on Easter symbols to make candy.  We cut out a chalice and host {free hand} to remember Christ's institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday.  With Princess making her First Communion in 11 short days from now, she got to decorate this one!  What an extra blessing to concentrate and focus on this blessed Sacrament during our Holy Week...God's perfect timing and she is ready!
What brought the most tears?
I sat during Holy Thursday evening Adoration and bawled my eyes out while reading this book.  Maybe it's just me in my hormonal state of life...but it moved me deeply.
Best whole family time?
Good Friday!
Our local Walk For Life was a beautiful event, as usual.
It was the first time we have participated as a total family unit!  In the past we have been fractured due to dear husband's work schedule or young babies that we weren't brave enough to tow.  It was a blessing to have us all together.
The 3 boys...
followed by Dad and the 2 girls.
 Our walk ended at a nearby parish "Live" Stations of the Cross.  This was another "first" and definitely on our list for next year.  No photos to share but it was amazing!  We ended our day with a quiet evening of meditation and prayer.
+These Grilled Cross Cheese Sandwiches were dinner for Good Friday+

Served with Tomato Basil Christ's Blood Soup
This Good Friday meal was adopted and adapted from JOYfilled family.
+Some photos of our Good Friday reflection+

"Mother, what you bore urges me to say a loving thank you.
You endured suffering not for Him alone---
Yes, for Him in the first place---
but also for me.
If only I could walk like you through life, 
a thanksgiving gift in return.
My path leads homeward to the Father where you are at home,
where your divine Son reigns in glory, 
where the Holy Spirit fills every vast void,
including empty human hearts, where love and joy have no end.
Let each step lead me there."
+From Mary's Way of the Cross+

Before the crucified love of God, we bow in wonder and prayer.
Our Resurrection Pots have grown in perfect time!
I linked up here!

Equipping Catholic Families


  1. Wow, you had a full and beautiful Holy Week!! Love all the pictures and craft/food ideas. I am putting the candles on my list of things to do for next year. Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a great way to celebrate Holy Week! We made a Paschal candle this year (our first time). I am definitely going to grab some of your ideas for next year.

  3. Tiffany! What a great Holy Week! You did so many activities that deeply enriched the faith of your children as well as yourself. Your Paschal candles turned out beautiful! Make sure you re-post this for next year.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this! What a beautiful walk through Holy Week. I bookmarked this but I'm sure to lose site of it so please re-post next year! God bless you.

  5. I, too, am bookmarking this! Fantastic... all of it! +JMJ+

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your Holy Week! It looks like you had a beautiful week. I too am bookmarking this :-)

  7. Thank you Tiffany for leaving such sweet comments on my blog. I always enjoy reading them. Those pretzels look so good. Easter blessings on you and your family.

    In the Risen Christ,

  8. You had a lovely faith-filled Holy Week. I love all the ways you made it liturgical, and focused on Christ. Your ideas are so creative. I love those candles, and the grilled cheese sandwich crosses. well everything. I'm smiling because that little ceramic lamb in your first picture -- i have the same one, and I actually got it at my Dollar Tree store -- for once, my store had something "religious" in it. :) The infant of prague planters . . . ebay. :) Also, are you going to participate in the Good Shepherd garden parties this year? I think I recall you saying you had bought the sticker book last year and plan to do it this year. I'm going to do it this year. Should be fun.

  9. Tiffany,
    What a wonderful week your family had. It sounds so meaningful and rich! You also shared so many unique ideas that I can't wait to try next year, like the cross shaped grilled cheese sandwiches. Your Paschal candles are beautiful! It looks like you used real fabric (or ribbon) on the top of them? They look as beautiful as the ones in church. Thank you for sharing!

  10. "My blog has become my brain" I would agree with that in my own life!

  11. Tiffany, this is inspiration for next year. I am bookmarking for sure. Thank you for sharing. Simply a wonderful Holy Week reflection. Blessings.

  12. Beautiful as always Tiffany!! Thank yo for sharing it at the Lent link up @ Monica's!!


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