The most sacred week in the Christian year will soon be upon us. As you consider ways in which you and your family will experience Holy Week this year, consider utilizing the following online resources:
ChurchNext Courses: We offer several courses that you can use to enrich your Holy Week.
- Any of David Lose’s three classes on Making Sense of the Cross would be a good focus for contemplation. Try Making Sense of the Cross Part 1 (which focuses on understanding the cross through experience), Making Sense of the Cross Part 2 (which focuses on understanding the cross through the gospels), and Making Sense of the Cross Part 3 (which focuses on Christian theories about the cross).
- You might also enjoy Kathrin Burleson’s Praying the Stations of the Cross, in which artist Kathrin Burleson discusses and reflects on her series of fourteen paintings representing the Stations of the Cross.
Online Holy Week Retreats: Here are two Holy Week retreats available online:
- A blog called Pins of Light has offered popular online Holy Week retreats for the past ten years. On Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, go to the site and click on that day’s retreat video. Each retreat takes 45 minutes-1 hour and includes passages from scripture, reflections, musical selections, and opportunities for prayer. This year’s retreat is entitled, “Are You The One? Praying in Disenchantment.”
- Creighton University offers a Holy Week retreat as part of its Lenten Retreat series. The retreat includes suggested readings, reflections, suggestions for prayers, the Stations of the Cross, and an opportunity to reflect and share thoughts with others.
Online Stations of the Cross: Many organizations offer online Stations of the Cross experiences.
- The Catholic Online website’s Online Stations of the Cross includes individual videos for each station, each about 3-4 minutes long.
- Busted Halo’s Virtual Stations of the Cross offers videos with music and images. Participants read reflections at each station.
- Creighton University’s Online Stations of the Cross offers images of each station and prayers that users may read themselves.
- Loyola Press offers a multimedia Stations of the Cross for children. Using music, images, and simple meditative text, it offers a child-friendly service that older children who can read can use alone and that younger children can use with their parents’ help.
- You might also try a virtual pilgrimage through sites in Jerusalem that traditionally have been associated with each of the fourteen Stations of the Cross. The site brings visitors to a numbered map through Jerusalem. At each numbered station on the map, the site offers an introduction to what viewers will find there and a slide slow of the buildings and the markers that designate the site as one of the traditional locations for each station. (Be patient with the slide show; it moves slowly.) After the slide show, viewers are shown an image of the altar associated with each station and invited to pray. Each virtual prayer station includes background music and textual prayers.
We hope that these resource suggestions help you experience a sacred Holy Week as we reflect together on Jesus’ death on the cross, what it means, and why it was necessary.