Saturday, April 16, 2011

How to Have An LDS Week of Easter--

This year our family plans to remember Christ's last week on the earth with a week full of Easter activities.  The first four days are celebrated at dinner time while the last three are commemorated at evening scripture or family time.  Take a look at our plan, and who knows, your family may want to do it, too!

Although these activities are meant to highlight some of the important events in the last's week of Christ's mortal ministry, they do not necessarily fall on the day of the week in which they actually occurred.    Quotes are taken from "Reflections on the Savior's Last Week" By Eric D Huntsman professor of ancient scripture, BYU, April 2009 Ensign

These first four days are celebrated at dinnertime.

Day 1: Monday before Easter.   Mary annoints Jesus' feet.
Prepare to play the Mormon Channel's dramatization of Mary washing Jesus' feet (0:00-3:20).
Or place verses of scripture from  John 12:1-9  under each family member's plate.
Have a fragrant dessert cooking in the oven before the meal or light a fragrant candle well before the meal so that the smell fills the room.
Seat the family around the table.  Have the family describe how it smells in the dining area.  Explain that before dinner you will talk about Mary anointing Jesus' feet with oil.  Tell the family that just as a smell fills the room you are in, the smell of the oil filled the house that Jesus was in.  Listen to the dramatization or have family members take turns reading the scriptures under their plates in order.  Ask how Mary felt about Jesus Christ.   Ask how we can show love to Jesus. Read the following quote:
In ancient Israel it was common to anoint bodies as part of burial rituals. The Hebrew word Messiah and the Greek word Christ both mean “the anointed one,” reflecting Jesus’s position through these titles. In earlier periods the Israelites also anointed living people to serve either as rightful kings or as high priests.

We, like the disciples, must come to know that Jesus is the Son of God and gain a testimony of what He did for us. As we reflect on the roles He played during the last week of His mortal life, we need to remember that as our Savior He is both a king and a priest.

Pray and eat.

Day 2:  Tuesday before Easter.
Prepare to listen to the dramatization of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem (3:48-8:06).
Or be prepared to read John 12:12-15  as a family.
Begin your dinnertime in a room other than the dining area.  As a family read the above scripture or listen to the dramatization.  Have the men, young men and boys escort the women, young women, and girls as they enter the dining area.  Have the men seat the women.  Have family members take turns reading questions and quotes from papers placed under their plates such as the following:  In what way did the men show honor to the women when they escorted them to the table?  In what way did they show honor to themselves?  In what way did the women honor the men by allowing the men to escort them to the table?  In what way did they honor themselves?  How did the people honor Jesus as he entered Jerusalem?  How did Jesus show his own reverence for who he was?  What do you think will be done to honor Jesus Christ when he comes again?  
"The triumphal entry, remembered today on Palm Sunday, provides a joyful prelude to the many sad events that would intervene between this point and the miracle of the empty tomb. It represents one of the few times during His mortal ministry when Jesus was recognized as the king He is. However, the triumphal entry also serves as a symbol of Jesus’s Second Coming, allowing us to look forward to the day when He will return in glory and all will accept Him as king."

Pray and eat.
Day 3:  Wednesday.  Cleansing and teaching in the Temple
Prepare to listen to the dramatization of Christ cleansing and teaching in the temple (9:35-15:20)
Or  Prepare to read Matt 21:12-16 as a family.
Place a small picture of the temple under the plate of each child before dinner.  
After listening to the dramatization or reading the scripture, have the children look for and retrieve the pictures under their plates.  Talk about how much Jesus loved the temple.  Talk about the importance of temple covenants and your desire to be together forever.  Encourage them to display their picture of the temple in their rooms where they can see it every day.
Pray and eat.

Day 4 Thursday.  The Last Supper
Be prepared to read the scriptures below at the dinner table as a family.
Prepare to sing a hymn.
Prepare bread and something to drink as part of the meal.
Encourage your family to wash their hands before the meal.  After your family washes their hands before the meal, recount Jesus' washing of the disciple's feet (John 13:4-17).  Before you bless the food, explain that Jesus said special prayers at the last supper.  Read the account (Matthew 26:26-28) and then have the blessing on the food.  As you serve the bread for the meal, ask the family what the bread that Jesus blessed and served to his apostles represented.  Review the meaning of the wine, as you serve the drink.  At the end of the meal read (Matthew 26:30) and sing a hymn.

These last three days are commemorated at scripture reading time.

Day 5 Jesus suffering in Gethsemane and betrayal.  Mosiah 3:7,  D&C 19:16-19   Luke 22:40-50.    Sing "Reverently and Meekly Now."

Day 6  Jesus trial, crucifixion and burial.
Make a list of the following items for each child:  3 dimes, a pillow, soap, purple cloth, dirt, a rock.
Have a basket or other container to hold the items.
Be prepared to read the scriptures below as a family.
Give a list of items to each child.  Have the children help each other find the objects and put them in the basket.  Explain that you will using the objects to help talk about Jesus' trial, crucifixion, and burial.  Encourage reverence as family members take turns holding objects and reading the corresponding scriptures.  Objects and scriptures are as follows:  1.  Three dimes--Matt 27:1-4  2.  Pillow  Matt 27: 11-14,19  3.  Soap  Matt 27:  22-25  4.  Purple cloth  Mark 15: 16-27  5.  Dirt Matt 27:50-54  6.   Rock  Matt 27:55-60.

Day 7 Jesus' Resurrection--
Prepare to read the scriptures below as a family
Prepare to sing "I Believe in Christ" or another hymn about Christ.
As a family, read the following scriptures about Jesus' resurrection in order:  John 20:1-18 Matthew 28:1-8  Luke 24:13-32  John 20:19-23.  Give each family member a turn to share his or her testimony of Christ.  Sing "I believe in Christ"


  1. We've done two days so far and love it! We adapted it a bit to fit in with the needs of the day.