Easter Week: Holy Events from the Life of Jesus Christ & Download

April 5, 2017

A few years ago as Easter drew near, I felt overwhelmed with the importance of creating some traditions that would have a lasting impression on my young family. I felt happy with the traditions we had established for Christmas- but I felt that we were sorely lacking in how to help my children, and myself, truly honor the magnitude of Easter. I realized that I wanted Easter to become a treasured time–a favorite holiday, and a chance to teach them of the Savior’s ministry and time here on Earth.

As I sought for inspiration and guidance of how to do this, I felt impressed to help my children to learn about the details of Holy Week, the Savior’s last week on earth. So, we started doing just that! Easter Week has become a special tradition in our family! Starting with Palm Sunday, we make this a week long celebration. Every evening we have time set aside, where we commemorate, study, act-out and talk about the Savior’s life and what He did on that day.

WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE

We try to incorporate this tradition into our family life right after dinner. I write down the scriptures for that day (which I have prepared in the download below) and place them in 1-3 easter eggs with a treat. We hide these somewhere in the house, and then my kids try to find the eggs. Once they find the eggs, we open them up and let the kids munch on the treat (or use them as incentives to listen and participate!) We read the scriptures, sing a song, do the activity, and hang up the picture for that day.

On certain days there are special activities that we incorporate (included in the packet below). For example, on Palm Sunday we act out the Triumphal Entry, and on Thursday, we eat a Jerusalem Dinner and talk about the Last Supper. On Saturday (the day Christ’s body is in the tomb) we do the devotional by candlelight, and on Easter Sunday we do a sunrise devotional.

We have tried to approach this from a family-friendly angle; something that you can do in about 15 minutes each evening (or more, but that’s about as long as my kid’s attention span right now!). And yet it is something that leaves an impression on their young minds, and allows the spirit to be present in a powerful way as we talk about the details of Christ’s last week on earth.

Especially key for our family is the large poster; having a print to hang up for each day helps them see the completion of the week, and visually remember what happens each day. It helps them to see the progression of events, and they look forward to being able to put in the picture at the end of each day. I love having a beautiful display that honors the Savior and these unique, and powerful events that unfold on Easter Week. (Pictures of Christ are included in the download, as well as instructions of how to print the poster out large.)

THE BLESSINGS OF TRADITION

I have found this tradition to be one of the sweetest of our family. Not only has Easter become a sacred time in our home, but my children know and understand the events of Christ’s life, and their importance. Last year my daughter (age 6) told us that Easter was her favorite time of the year and her favorite Holiday. I know there is so much that keeps us busy, but I have found that this is one time of the year where any and all efforts to reflect on Christ’s life are magnified and worth it!

“Every attempt to reflect upon the Atonement, to study it, to embrace it, to express appreciation for it, however small or feeble it may be, will kindle the fires of faith and work its miracle towards a more Christlike life. It is an inescapable consequence of so doing. We become like those things we habitually love and admire. And thus, as we study Christ’s life and live His teachings, we become more like Him.”  (Tad R. Callister)

 

For more details on the Easter Week Packet or for links, just keep scrolling down!


Triumphal Entry (Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem), by Harry Anderson

PALM SUNDAY

EVENT: TRIUMPHAL ENTRY

Jesus Christ rides into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey, and is greeted by multitudes of people shouting Hosanna, waving palms, and laying down clothing and branches for Christ to walk on. They recognize Him as their King. “And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” (Matthew 21:9)

READ

Triumphal entry: Mark 11:1–11

Prophecy of triumphal entry: Zechariah 9:9

SING

Hosannah (Children’s Songbook 66)

ACTIVITY

Make this a special celebration, as it is the first event to kick off Easter Week. Prepare by cutting out palm leaves out of craft paper, or cut down outside leaves. Read the story as a family, and then act out Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Hang up (or draw) a picture of the Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday’s picture frame.


Cleansing the Temple by Carl Bloch

MONDAY

EVENT: CLEANSING THE TEMPLE, HEALING BLIND & LAME

Three years prior to this Easter Week, Jesus Christ had cleansed the temple in Jerusalem and called it “my Father’s house.” On this day of Easter Week, Christ once again clears the temple of money changers but, in his role as Messiah, claims the temple as “my house.” He teaches in the temple, and the blind and lame come to Him, and He heals them.

READ

Christs cleanses temple, heals blind: Matthew 21: 12–17

Christs cleanses temple, teaches: Luke 19:45–48

Healing the Blind Man by Carl Bloch

SING

Come Follow Me (Hymn 116)

ACTIVITY

Watch the bible video “Jesus Cleanses the Temple.” Talk about why Jesus was upset. Why is it important to be respectful of sacred things? Hang up (or draw) pictures of Jesus cleansing temple, and healing blind.


Sermon on the Mount by Carl Bloch

EVENT: TEACHINGS & PARABLES

Jesus was the master teacher. On this day, He teaches the awaiting crowds at the temple and the mount of Olives through sermons and parables. His powerful teachings on this day include the parable of the Ten Virgins, the Widow’s Mite, and the Greatest Commandment, love one another. He also emphasizes the importance of serving others: “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto the one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)

READ

The Greatest Commandment: Matthew 22:35–40

Ye Have Done It Unto Me: Matthew 25: 31–46

The Widow’s Mite: Mark 12:41–44

The Parable Of The Talents: Matthew 25: 14-30

The Parable Of 10 Virgins: Matthew 25:1–13

SING

Love One Another (Hymn 308)

ACTIVITY

Choose one of the parables to act out as a family. Discuss some of the teachings of Christ and why Love and Service is such an important lesson for all. Hang up (or draw) a picture of Christ teaching.


Let the Little Children Come Unto Me by Carl Bloch

EVENT:HEALINGS, MIRACLES, & BETRAYAL*

*The events of this day are unclear. Some believe this is the day Judas set in motion his plans to betray Christ. Others believe Christ continued to teach, heal, and perform miracles. Instead of focusing on where Jesus was, we can focus on what He taught and did during his ministry. Prayerfully decide which stories and events from Jesus Christ’s life you will focus on. Below you will find some suggested scriptures.

READ

Jesus Raises the Daughter of Jairus: Mark 5:22–24, 35–43

Jesus heals woman with issue of blood: Mark 5:25–3

Jesus calms the tempest: Mark 4:37–40

Judas betrays Jesus: Matt 26:14–164

SING

Our Saviors Love (Hymn 113)

ACTIVITY

Watch the Video of Christ healing the Daughter of Jairus, Christ healing the woman with the issue of blood, or of Christ calming the tempest, Discuss why we must have faith in the Savior, and why each of these miracles happened because of faith. Hang up (or draw) a picture of one of Christ’s miracles.


In Remembrance of Me, by Walter Rane

THURSDAY

EVENTS: LAST SUPPER, ATONEMENT IN GETHSEMANE

On this day, Jesus sat with his apostles for the Last Supper, or Passover, the feast of unleavened bread. In this setting Jesus washed his apostles feet, instituted the sacrament, and taught his final and perhaps most personal sermon. After the Passover, Jesus went with his apostles to Gethsemane where he suffered for the sins of the world. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the crowning moment of the universe, the single most important event of all time; “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows . . . he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53: 4–5) Finally betrayed, Jesus is taken from the garden and spends the night in illegal trials.

READ

The Last Supper: John 13:1–35

Gethsemane: Luke 22: 39–46, Matthew 26:36–45

Jesus is betrayed and taken: Matthew 26:45–57

Agony in the Garden Frans Schwartz

SING

How Great Thou Art (Hymn 86)

ACTIVITY

Eat a Jerusalem Dinner, and turn out the lights and eat on the floor by candlelight. Read the scriptural accounts of the last supper, and Christ’s atonement. Watch the video of Christ in Gethsemane. Talk about the importance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ for all mankind. Hang up (or draw) a picture of the Last Supper, and a picture of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane.


GOOD FRIDAY

EVENTS: CRUCIFIXION AND BURIAL

After a night of no sleep, Jesus was called before Caiaphas, Pilate, Herod, and then Pilate again. He was condemned to and suffered scourging at the hands of Roman soldiers. Then, with a the cross on his back, began the march towards Golgotha where he would be crucified. After hours of agony and after having completed the work the Father had given him, Jesus died as the sky darkened and the earth shook in mourning. After his death, Jesus’ body is prepared by his followers to be placed in the tomb. (More info on Good Friday)

Christ on the Cross by Carl Bloch

READ

Jesus is held in illegal trials: Matthew 26:57–68

Jesus is condemned by Pilate: Matthew 27:1–2, 11–25

Jesus is scourged and crucified: Matthew 26: 27–54

Jesus is laid in a tomb: Matthew 27:57–60

The Burial of Christ by Carl Bloch

SING

I Stand All Amazed (Hymn 193)

There is a Green Hill Far Away (Hymn 194)

ACTIVITY

Read scriptural accounts, sing songs, and watch the video of Christ’s crucifixion. Share testimonies of how Christ’s atonement and suffering blesses you and your family’s life. Hang up (or draw) a picture of Christ on the Cross, and being prepared for burial.


 

SATURDAY

EVENTS: THE SPIRIT WORLD & THE AMERICAS

Although the gospel writers in the Bible do not detail this day, Peter wrote that as Jesus’ body lay in the tomb his spirit visited “the spirits in prison” to preach to them. Meanwhile in the Americas, scriptural accounts teach that a great storm shook the earth, and that darkness descended in the land, lasting for three days as a sign of Christ’s death.

READ

Guards are placed in front of tomb: Matthew 27:62–66

The Americas have storm & darkness: 3 Nephi 8:6, 19–23

Christ speaks to the Americas: 9: 13–21, 10:9–11

The Spirit World: 1 Peter 3:18–19

SING

I Need thee Every Hour (Hymn 98)

Nearer my God to Thee (Hymn 100)

Lead Kingly Light (Hymn 97)

Be still my Soul (Hymn 124)

ACTIVITY

Turn off all of the lights and light some candles. Read the scriptural accounts of this time. Discuss how Christ is the light of the world and brings us out of the darkness. Sing songs about Christ.


The Resurrection by Carl Bloch

EVENTS: THE RESURRECTION

Early in the morning some of Christ’s followers go to the tomb to lovingly attend to His body. They find the tomb open and an angelic message that Jesus has risen from the dead. Peter and John race to the empty tomb to confirm the news. Shortly thereafter the resurrected Lord appears to Mary, other faithful women, disciples on their way to Emmaus, and finally to his awaiting apostles. Jesus Christ overcame death and was resurrected, and because He lives, all of us will live again.

READ

Angels announce resurrection: Luke 24: 1–12

Mary Magdalene sees Christ: John 20:11–17

Christ appears to many: Matthew 28: 1–10, 16–20

SING

He is Risen (Hymn 199)

Beautiful Savior (Children’s Songbook 62)

I know that my Redeemer Lives (Hymn 136)

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today (Hymn 200)

ACTIVITY

Have a sunrise talk or morning devotional. Watch the video of Christ’s Resurrection . Reflect on the joy that Christ’s atonement and resurrection gives us. Hang up (or draw) a picture of the Resurrected Christ.


Christ’s Image, by Heinrich Hoffmann

RESOURCES AND THANKS

Many thanks to Krista Horton and her husband for their help, as well as Katy Jacobson for her lettering on the poster!

For a more detailed guide for the Holy Week this blog is the best.

*All of these images are accessed as FREE downloads from Wikipedia Commons and the LDS Media Library and can be downloaded for church use here.

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32 Comments

  • Reply Beth April 5, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Wow! What a great idea. Thank you so much for putting this together. How do I know which size to print each of the photos? Are some supposed to be 8×10 and others 5×7?

    • Reply Melanie Burk April 6, 2017 at 9:40 am

      Hey Beth! Thanks for the question. The poster is all sized so that 8×10 and 5×7 pictures will fit perfectly when you print it to the big size- 36×48. All of them are 8×10, and some are 5×7 sizes (for Monday and Friday!) Hope that Helps! Happy Easter to your family!

  • Reply Morgan April 6, 2017 at 2:01 am

    Thank you for this! My family has been observing Holy Week for a few years now and it has become our favorite time of year! One thing: I noticed there wasn’t an image for Saturday–if you’re looking for one, “Fra Angelico, Christ in Limbo” is a beautiful depiction of Christ visiting the righteous and His conquering of death.

  • Reply Inga Nilsson April 6, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Thank you so much, It’s a beautiful thing! I’m currently trying to adapt it to Swedish so it is accessible to my kids here in Sweden 🙂
    One thing I’m curious over though is the quote in the beginning, I searched for a translation online so I could have it correct, but only found that same quote but apparently from an author Tad Callister, from his book The Infinite Atonement. Not president Hinckley.

    Thank you again!

    • Reply Melanie Burk April 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      you are right! I totally messed that up, thank you for catching that! I will be fixing that for future downloads!

  • Reply Jayme Young April 6, 2017 at 7:30 am

    This is beautiful! Thank you! I am a little confused along with Beth about the sizes to print the photos. If you print the poster full sized (36×48) then does it fit all of the photos as 8×10’s except the two for Monday and the two for Friday? Are those ones smaller (5×7)?

    • Reply Melanie Burk April 6, 2017 at 9:39 am

      Hey Jayme! Thanks for the question. The poster is all sized so that 8×10 and 5×7 pictures will fit perfectly! The 5×7 sizes are for Monday and Friday! Hope that Helps! Happy Easter to your family!

  • Reply Regan Ashford April 6, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Thank you so much for this – I am printing copies for the families we home/visit teach, too! As an attempt to help those who have questions about the photos, here is what I figured out (keeping in mind that I haven’t actually picked up my prints yet, so I can’t guarantee it will be perfect!):
    Since I’m printing 6 of these, I printed the poster 24×36 at OfficeMax. There are more photos included in the file than will fit on the poster, so you will need to choose which ones you want to use. Since my poster is half the size of the one in the pictures here, I printed the photos half the size, too. So instead of 8x10s, there are seven 5×7 prints and four 3.5×5″ prints. 3.5×5 is an odd size, so I used an app (Project Life, but I know there are others that do it) to put two of the pictures on one 5×7 (I had to download them to my phone’s camera roll first, then put them in the app that allows me to have one photo split in half – hopefully that makes sense!). So all in all, I uploaded 9 image files to Costco (where I print photos) and I will cut the smaller ones in half after they are printed.

    • Reply Melanie Burk April 6, 2017 at 9:43 am

      Thank you Regan!! I appreciate your comments and your feedback of how to make it print smaller- THANK YOU For figuring that out! You are a genius!!

  • Reply Ashley Ziegler April 6, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I love this! You guys have inspired me to start my own faith blog. Thanks for always sharing such great content!

  • Reply Erika D April 6, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    This is lovely. The last two years our family has done the Easter Seder created by Heather Craw. I think it would fit in well with what you have outlined here. Thank you for sharing your work. http://putthatonyourblog.com/easter-seder-2015/

  • Reply Kelly April 6, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    This is incredible! I printed the items today and they are beautiful. Thank you so much!

  • Reply Katie April 6, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    This is a great resource! I can’t wait to try it out with my family. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Tasha Moon April 7, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Thanks SO much for this. I’ve been looking for Easter traditions to start with my kids, since all we’ve got so far is an egg hunt. I can’t wait to try this with them!

  • Reply caitilin summerhays April 7, 2017 at 10:04 am

    I printed mine on engineering paper at Staples for less than $8. I printed the pictures at home then laminated the big engineering print and pictures. I know my kids well enough to know that this wouldn’t last on the wall as just paper. 🙂 I can’t wait to use this every year! Thank you for the time and effort you put into doing this – my family and oh, so many others are so grateful!

  • Reply Sherri April 7, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Hey any chance to get the poster in smaller file format? I can’t find anywhere where I live to print one that large inexpensively. The biggest I can do is 20×36 but then it a cuts off the sides. Thanks for your help, hoping to make this work cause I love it!!

    • Reply Melanie Burk April 10, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      where are you printing it? I will work on that file and send it to you!

  • Reply Melanie Mooter April 7, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    This sounds EXACTLY like the Holy Week program Mercy River posted about 2 years ago, was this a collaboration? We’ve been doing it for the last two years and we’ve loved it! Glad the Holy Week tradition is catching on.

    • Reply Melanie Burk April 7, 2017 at 11:48 pm

      Hey Melanie! Isn’t it amazing to see how God can inspire people to such similar things? We have been doing ours for a few years- my father in law is catholic, and so we definitely borrow some of His traditions for our family. We do the Pasada at Christmas, and many of the events we celebrate this Holy week are borrowed from the catholic religion, other religions, and other family friends, and then adapted to our own needs. One blog that was especially helpful in creating this was from one of my old BYU professors– (I linked to it at the bottom of my post). I noticed that Mercy River was inspired by his post as well, and I think seeing some of the similarities between our two Holy Weeks can be accounted to us sharing the same inspiration of His blog. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how the internet can connect us, and can help many other families inspired to do the same thing 🙂 I hope as many families as possible can celebrate this special time, and I am so glad to see another prominent blog feature something so special! What a marvelous time and thing! And I agree with you, so glad this Holy Week tradition is catching on!

  • Reply Natasha Smith April 8, 2017 at 10:38 am

    You ladies (and gentleman) are THE BEST! I am so excited to use this with my family in the coming week. YES! YES! YES!

  • Reply Tara April 9, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Thank you so much for this! I’m curious how you get it to stay up on your wall? How do you hang it? Mine falls with tape…

    • Reply chelsea April 10, 2017 at 10:07 am

      Use blue painters tape, in little rolled up pieces on the back

  • Reply Whitney Ostebo April 10, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Thank you so much!! So excited to use this.

    • Reply Tara April 10, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks!

  • Reply Nicole April 10, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I love this, thank you so much!! I’m having trouble with the poster, though. It’s just showing up as a blank white document. Any help would be appreciated!

  • Reply Shar April 10, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    This is so wonderful – THANK YOU for sharing your time and talents with the world!

  • Reply Cathy April 10, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Thank You! I love the printable poster! I agree with Shar, thank you for sharing your time and talents! Happy Easter!

  • Reply Sydney Davie April 10, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    I can’t thank you enough!! What a fabulous tradition and idea!

  • Reply Marci Romney April 11, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Melanie! Thank you so much for this. It really helps to highlight the real meaning behind Easter. Also, my sister (Melissa Moorhead Wilde) says hello. Thanks for all you do!

  • Reply Megan April 12, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    I’ve been doing this every night this week with my kids and we have loved it! Thank you for sharing your talents and efforts!

  • Reply Christen April 17, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Thank you so much Melanie and everyone who contributed! I’ve been wanting to do something like this for years and this was heaven sent! We did it this past week and I also used it in my Primary class yesterday. I definitely noticed a difference in our home (or maybe just my own heart?) this past week and my kids never even mentioned the Easter Bunny once! They got their baskets and were excited, but no mention of the bunny. I thought that was pretty cool! So thank you again – I appreciate it so much! xoxo

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