Teaching Holy Week to Kids

Teaching Holy Week to Kids

Teaching kids the story of Holy Week is not easy, but it helps them more fully appreciate Easter. The story of Holy Week is not exactly family-friendly, but that doesn’t mean we can skip the part about Jesus’ journey to the cross when sharing our faith with our children.

“I think it’s important for parents to share the whole story of Holy Week,” says Kathy Schmucker, Spiritual Formation Director at Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton, Ohio. “Often children are in worship on Palm Sunday and then not again until Easter Sunday and they miss out on these important stories of our faith.”

Mark Burrows, Director of Children’s Ministries at First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth, Texas agrees. “One of my mantras around here is, Children need more, and want more, than rainbows and butterflies… Without the Holy Week experiences,” he continues, “the story is incomplete.”

Adults should be mindful of how they tell children the difficult and sad story of Jesus’ death, but children are capable of processing it when shared appropriately.

“Children are open to the cycle of life and the reality that everything has birth and dies,” Melanie Gordon, former Director of Ministry with Children with Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church explains. “We only need to make it simple for them. Talk to them in terms they will understand.”

Maundy (Holy) Thursday – Foot Washing
We can create similar moment in the home at bath time, while washing the dishes, or watching rain fall. As the water makes everything clean, Jesus makes us clean and new through the forgiveness of our sins.

A family meal: Dinner on Holy Thursday can also be a teaching moment. Share with your children how when Jesus gathered his disciples for that special meal, he told them he was excited to be with them before things got difficult (see Luke 22:15).

Tell your children how much you enjoy eating dinner together. Remind them that they can come to you when things are hard, and that you and Jesus will always be there for them. Teaching children about sadness and prayer can be an important part of what is learned during Holy Week.

Good Friday
Acknowledge sadness: Sharing the painful and sad story of Good Friday with your children can be challenging.
“We talk about the day Jesus died, that he died on a cross, and that it hurt,” Burrows explains. “But we don’t focus on what people did to Jesus. Instead, we focus on what Jesus was doing for them—blessing the people, asking God to forgive, he even blesses another who is on the cross.”

Burrows reminds parents that “children can’t un-see images or un-hear words.” He continues, “I work very hard to be honest without being graphic.”

It is a good time to remind children that sometimes we feel sad, and that is OK. God is with us even in our sadness.

Easter Sunday
We can set aside places in our homes for our families to write their prayers on scraps of colored paper each day during Holy Week. Then on Easter Sunday, the family can work together to take the colored paper prayers and fold them into colorful butterflies as a symbol of resurrection and new life.

Some of the events of Holy Week may be hard to hear and tell, but they are important to our understanding Easter. This is a story of God’s amazing love for us.

Holy Week Experience

Holy Week Experience

Jr Zone, Zone and Club45 children will participate in a special Holy Week experience where they will learn about Holy week through hands on, sensory immersive response stations.

6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17.


  • All Children’s Ministries families are welcome, even if you don’t normally attend Wednesday night programming.
  • Drop off and pick up: Jr Zone: WC 208. Zone: WC 306/7. Club 45: WC 308/9
  • We will be offering your children communion. It is completely optional and if you would rather they not participate in taking communion, please let us know.
  • There will be no Wednesday night dinner this week as the HAC is being set up for Easter.

Questions? E-mail Melissa at mtorres@hydeparkumc.org

Create A Family Drum

Create A Family Drum

Represent your family tribe by creating and decorating a drum to be used at ROAR Vacation Bible School June 24-28, 2019.

Drums can easily be made from plastic planters or dollar store bins. Just add fabric, duct tape, yarn or whatever you choose to as decoration and top it off with fun! The preferred size is about briefcase or a travel suitcase.

Once completed, turn your drum into the Wesley Center lobby on Sundays or the Children’s Ministries office by June 9.


Palm Sunday Processional

Palm Sunday Processional

We are looking forward to a wonderful morning of worship on April 14, Palm Sunday  as we celebrate Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem with our wonderful children’s palm processional at the 9:30 and 11 a.m. Sanctuary Services and the 5:30 p.m. Portico service.

Please bring a child-size palm branch from home for your child to wave during the processional.

Hyde Park Campus:

The older two’s/young three’s classroom on the first floor of Wesley Center (Room 105), Preschool (3-4-K) and Elementary (grades 1-5) children will process with their Sunday Morning Live (Sunday school) shepherds.

The Portico Campus:

Elementary (grades K-5) children will start in worship with their families and join Ms. Ginger for the processional.

Important information:

  • Upon arrival, please check your child(ren) in on the computers in the Wesley Center/Community Hall (and put their nametag on).  Greeters will be available if you need help with our check-in system.
  • After check in, please escort your child(ren) to:  
    • Wesley Center Room 105 (Older 2’s & Young 3’s/attend programming on the 1st floor of Wesley Center)
    • Playground (3-4-K kids/attend programming on the 2nd floor of the Wesley Center)
    • Memorial Garden (grades 1-5/attend programming on the 3rd floor of the Wesley Center)
    • The back of the Community Hall (grades K-5/attend Sunday Night Live programming at The Portico) 
  • Please have your child checked in and at their location no later than 9:25 for the 9:30 a.m. service, 10:55 for the 11 a.m. service and 5:25 for the 5:30 p.m. service at The Portico as we will be processing in at the very beginning of the service.
  • After the processional, children will be escorted back to their Sunday Morning Live/Sunday Night Live classrooms in the Wesley Center/Connection Building for regular programming. We will follow our normal dismissal process.


Helpful Hints for Parenting Your Child in Worship

Helpful Hints for Parenting Your Child in Worship

Preparation before Sunday:
• Speak positively about the experience and let your child(ren) know you are pleased they will be joining you.
• Read Sunday’s scripture together. During the week, begin discussing your family’s expectations for worship behavior and participation.
• Set out clothes, Bibles and other Sunday items the night before to give yourself some extra time on Sunday morning.

Helping Your Child(ren) Engage through Participation:
• Help them follow the order of worship in the bulletin.
• Have children who can write fill out the black folders and any prayer requests on the prayer cards.
• Help children find the hymns and creeds in the hymnal even though they are projected on the screens.
• Help young readers follow the music and scripture even if you have to remain seated to be on their level.
• Let the children put the prayer cards and money in the offering plates.
• Encourage the use of the children’s worship activity bags (greeters will be passing out before the service begins) as a way to remain engaged in worship.
• Consider your child’s personality and look for unique ways to keep them engaged in worship.

We understand having your children with you in worship sometimes requires an extra helping of patience but we hope you will see it as special opportunity to spend time with your child and share the experience of worship together. It is good for them to see you worship!

“Above all, pray for your children with thanksgiving. Ask the Lord to help you see your children through his eyes. Ask his help for patience, wisdom and strength to enjoy these kids! The creative giftedness that can make many Sunday mornings long can also make great saints in the long run.”

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