Holy Week

More Than Easter Bunnies: Family Devotion during Holy Week

Joe Willmann Teaching the Faith at Home 2 Comments

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We have finally arrived at Holy Week. The penultimate week of the Christian year. The beauty of our liturgy comes to the front as we travel from Maundy Thursday with its stripping of the altar to a host of services on Good Friday (traditionally, Tenebrae Vespers) to the wonders of the Vigil as the light returns to the world, and finally to the joy of Easter when we all proclaim “He is risen indeed, alleluia!”

All of these extra services are not the only thing that come with Holy Week. There is the travel to see family, the special meals, and let’s not forget egg hunts and Easter baskets! I may get a little excited about the fact that I can indulge in a sugar-covered marshmallow as a 32-year-old adult and nobody can say anything about it.

With all of the distractions, how can we help our children understand that this week isn’t about chocolate or egg hunts? (Though, those things are fun!) How can we help them keep Christ at the center, specifically Christ crucified for our sins?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to nix the Easter Bunny or get rid of the Peeps.

Family devotions can be hard to pull together, especially when times are busy with visiting family, getting your kids to bed after a late service, or rushing from activity to activity. Below is my idea for devotions for you from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday.

When we first started this blog, I made a video about how to do devotions with your family at home using Lutheran Service Book. These devotions can be done with only LSB, but they would also work as well with a combination of LSB, My First Hymnal, and The Story Bible.

Here are some ideas to use in the rubrics of either page 295 (Daily Prayer For Individuals and Families—Morning) or 297 (Early Evening) in LSB with your family this Holy Week.

Maundy Thursday

Hymn: What Is This Bread (LSB 629; My First Hymnal, p. 64)

Reading: Luke 22:1–23 (TLSB, p. 1762; The Story Bible, p. 392)

Small Catechism Reading: The Sacrament of the Altar (LSB, p. 326)

Collect for Maundy Thursday: O Lord, in this wondrous Sacrament You have left us a remembrance of Your passion. Grant that we may so receive the sacred mystery of Your body and blood that the fruits of Your redemption may continually be manifest in us; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Good Friday

Hymn: The Lamb (LSB 547; My First Hymnal, p. 68)

Reading: Matthew 27:1–56 (TLSB, p. 1644; The Story Bible, p. 398)

Small Catechism Reading: The Creed: The Second Article (LSB, p. 322)

Collect for Good Friday: Almighty God, graciously behold this Your family for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and delivered into the hands of sinful men to suffer death upon the cross; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Holy Saturday

Hymn: O Perfect Life of Love (LSB 452)

Reading: Luke 23:44–24:12 (TLSB, p. 1769; The Story Bible, p. 402)

Small Catechism Reading: The Lord’s Prayer: The Seventh Petition (LSB, p. 324)

Collect for Holy Saturday: O God, creator of heaven and earth, grant that as the crucified body of Your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with Him the coming of the third day, and rise with Him to newness of life, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Easter Sunday

Hymn: Jesus Christ Is Risen Today (LSB 457; My First Hymnal, p. 72)

Reading: John 20:1–30 (TLSB, p. 1824; The Story Bible, p. 407)

Small Catechism Reading: Confession (LSB, p. 326)

Collect for Easter: Almighty God the Father, through Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, You have overcome death and opened the gate of everlasting life to us. Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by Your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

God’s blessings as you teach your children the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude 1:3 ESV

Collects of the Day come from Lutheran Service Book: Altar Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. Used by Permission.


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About the Author

Joe Willmann


Joe Willmann is the Senior Instructional Designer for Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis, MO. A former teacher and administrator, Joe has a passion for education and learning theory. He earned his Bachelor's Degree from Ball State University and his Master's Degree from Concordia University - Ann Arbor. He lives with his wife, Nicole, his daughter Ava, and his son Carter. You can read his latest posts here.

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Bob Myers
Bob Myers
4 years ago

I can’t begin to tell you how much we appreciate these posts. They are a great gift in teaching us to teach the faith at home as parents and grandparents. Thanks for the work you do. Blessed Holy Week!