Eight Things to Do During Holy Week
To help us prepare for Holy Week, here is a list of eight things you can do during Holy Week. These are recommendations for how to more deeply experience this holy time and to prepare for Pascha.
- Go to as many services as you can. If you can’t go to every service, set aside time to read prayerfully through those you cannot attend. It is through worship that we return and unite ourselves to Christ. Holy Week is a single unbroken Liturgy that over ten days invites us to participate in the saving love of Jesus Christ.
- Intensify your fasting. Each person is called to fast as he or she is able. Some are able to fast more, some less. During Holy week, each of us should increase the intensity of the fast. During Holy Week, continue what you do, and then do a little bit more.
- Create silence. Disconnect entirely from your cell phone, email, internet usage and especially social media. Do not watch TV, or listen to the radio. Cancel all lessons, sports, and social activities. It’s only for one week. The world will still be there after Pascha. When we create silence in this way, we give ourselves the space and opportunity to be drawn by Christ more deeply into His words and actions during Holy Week
- Create prayer. Turn on some church music. In particular, listen to the hymns of Holy Week. And learn something about each hymn you hear. The hymns of Passion Week create holy echoes that help to connect our worship with the rest of daily life.
- Always be with Christ. Occupy your mind as often as you can with a short prayer. If you do not already have the habit of praying the Jesus Prayer, Holy Week is a great time to begin: “O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
- Read a Gospel. Set aside time each day to read the last chapters of the Holy Gospels that speak of the Passion, Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ. And remember that in the Gospels, we do not find words about Christ, we find words from Christ. Each verse of Holy Scripture is a word spoken directly to you by the raised and glorified Lord.
- Seek forgiveness and healing. Chances are, each of us has at least a small handful of relationships in need of healing. During Holy Week, work for that healing. Admit your mistakes, and forgive the mistakes made by others. Offer yourself in love to at least one other person from whom you are estranged. Make a phone call, send a letter or email or schedule a coffee date. Remember how much you love this person, and remember that we were created to live in peace and joy with one another.
- Call someone who is sick or lonely. Visit them if you can. Share yourself with someone who needs you. Our parishes, and our neighborhoods, are filled with people who are dying of loneliness and isolation. Extend yourself and give them the gift of human presence.