Friday, April 2, 2010

Holy Thursday

During this most holy week of the year we have been reading the stories of Jesus' Passion and Death. We have been praying the Stations of the Cross using the kits we made. The boys have been asking lots of very thought-provoking questions about how and why Jesus died.

When I taught and worked in a parish years ago, we tried to help the children really enter into the Triduum using drama and other experiences. Now I want my own children to be able to experience those things as well. Although I love Holy Thursday Mass, I decided it wouldn't be the best way for the boys to experience Holy Thursday this year. (Jon had to work late of course. Ray is ALWAYS tired and asleep by 8:00.) So, I made a special dinner and we had our own "Last Supper Experience." Jon even took a break from work to join us.

We had read and discussed the story of the Last Supper earlier in the day so we retold it in our own words as we went along. I was amazed at the details the boys remembered.

We started with the washing of the feet. Ray went first and even (on his own - without direction) pretended to be Peter. I washed his feet and then he insisted on washing everyone else's feet. I actually had my feet washed three times.... once by Ray and twice by Adam. ;)

After that we moved to the table, on which there was a candle, a plate of matzo bread, a pitcher of grape juice, and four fancy glasses.

Jon told the boys about the Passover meal that Jesus shared with his friends. He blessed the bread and broke it and gave us each a piece.

We had quite a conversation about how bread becomes Jesus' body. Then Jon poured the juice and reminded us that Jesus took the cup of wine and said, "This is my blood." Both boys expressed how eager they are to receive Holy Communion when they are old enough.

As we ate dinner we talked about Jesus going into the garden to pray and being arrested. We also told the boys about the very special Mass that happens only on Holy Thursday each year (with the washing of the feet, the stripping of the altar, and the reposition of the Eucharist).

It is so awesome to be at the point where the boys are old enough to enter into the Paschal Mystery (upon which our whole lives are based) and ponder and ask questions and experience so many emotions that go along with it. Sharing these stories and experiences with them is the most important thing that I do. It is my calling. It not only forms them in the faith, but it also challenges and inspires me in my own faith journey. We walk this road together.... with each other and our Lord.

***Reality check.... Although this WAS a beautiful and holy experience, please know that Adam was crying through the whole washing of the feet because he wanted to be outside on the new swing AND he didn't want anyone to take his picture. Dinner included whining and bargaining about how many bites had to be eaten before they could go back outside. Ray said that Holy Thursday Mass sounds cool but he never ever wants to go to it. So....these things are never as picture-perfect as we'd like them to be or as they sound on a blog. But I know the boys did get a lot out of the experience and will remember it as we celebrate this great and holy Mystery again and again.

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