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Scripture Reflections for HOLY WEEK


Celebrating the Second Sunday of Easter at home with the Family, 19th April

Note: the season of Easter continues for 6 weeks.
On the second Sunday of Easter we also celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday.

Preparation
You need to allow some time to prepare.

  • Give yourself time to read this outline through beforehand.
  • Arrange your seating around a small low table. Prepare with a white or gold cloth, a lit candle/s, and a cross or crucifix or resurrection symbol. You can add any Easter decorations you have. If you have a picture of the Divine Mercy you could include that.
  • The same music has been used today as for Easter Sunday – you can change it if you want to, but there is no need to. There is a link to a Psalm (also the same as last week) on YouTube. You will need to prepare that beforehand.
  • It is good to share the ‘reader’ role. Make sure your readers (children included) know the importance of pausing at commas and full-stops and that they allow time for the ‘silences’ that are marked. Good liturgy flows. Encourage your readers to practice before it is time for the liturgy to begin. Allow this liturgy to flow – avoid distractions and interruptions. If children are reading, prepare them beforehand, but don’t correct them during the reading or even during this Celebration of the Word.

Opening

Reader: Let’s sing.
Alleluia Alleluia give thanks to the risen Lord,
Alleluia, Alleluia give praise to his name.
Jesus is Lord o’er all the earth, he is the King of Creation. Alleluia …
Come let us praise the living God, Joyfully sing to our Saviour. Alleluia …

© Donald Fishel


Reader: Welcome everyone.
We gather with the whole Church throughout the world, to remember and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. The tomb is empty so we rejoice. In the name of the Father ….

Reader: : Let us be quiet for a moment and remember the things we want to pray for. (Silence - 2 min)
We are called to be people of hope, because Jesus has died and is risen. So even though people everywhere are having a tough time because of the Corona virus, we still hope and pray there will be an end to this suffering and an end to the lockdowns. We remember today God’s great mercy and how God wants to free us from all that hurts us. We ask God to hear all our prayers.
    All: Amen.

Reader: A reading from the book of Acts.
They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need.
Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes.
They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people.
And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
The Word of the Lord.

    All: Thanks be to God

Silence: Allow a time of silence, then discuss ‘what things did the Followers of the Way do, in these early days after Jesus death and resurrection?’ (These people weren’t called Christians, they were called Fallowers of the Way.)

Psalm, This day was made by the Lord

Refrain
This day was made by the Lord,
let us rejoice, let us be glad.
This day was made by the Lord,
let us rejoice in salvation!
V 1.I thank you, your love is eternal, you have given me life. You have given me life. I will proclaim the wonders you do!
V2. Your hand raised me up in triumph, you have given me life. You have given me life. I will proclaim the wonders you do!
V3. The stone which the builders rejected is the cornerstone, is the cornerstone. I will proclaim the wonders you do!
V4. You opened the gates of heaven, you have given me life. You have given me life. I will proclaim the wonders you do!
V5. You are my strength and my Savior, you have given me life. You have given me life. I will proclaim the wonders you do!
© Christopher Walker 1988,1989.



Reader 1:1 Peter 1:3-9 A reading from the book of one Peter.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.

Reader 2:Or, putting that another way, … God is wonderful because we never thought there could be such a great thing as what Jesus has given us. Jesus resurrection, gives us amazing hope that one day we will share in the resurrection.

Reader 1:In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Reader 2:And putting that another way, … even when things are really tough, we can be really happy because faith leads us to give praise and honour to Jesus.

Reader 1:Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Reader 2:And putting that another way, … loving God, even when we don’t see God, gives us great joy and leads to salvation.

Reader 2:So, This reading in a nutshell. God is wonderful!
We share in Jesus resurrection!
Things can get tough!
Faith is important!
Love God!

Reader 1:The Word of the Lord.

    All: Thanks be to God



    All: sing the Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, Alleluia give thanks to the risen Lord,
Alleluia, Alleluia give praise to his name.
We have been crucified with Christ. Now we shall live forever. Alleluia …



Reader: John 20:19-31

A reading from the Gospel of John.

    All: Glory to you O Lord.

Reader: On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

Everyone: The disciples were hiding, the door was locked, but Jesus came in anyway and said – Peace be with you!

Reader: When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.

Everyone: The disciples were hiding, the door was locked, but Jesus came in anyway and said – Peace be with you!

Reader: As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Everyone: The disciples were hiding, the door was locked, but Jesus came in anyway and said – Receive the Holy Spirit!

Reader: Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Everyone: Thomas wasn’t there, he was hiding somewhere else ‘I won’t believe what you say, until I see for myself.’

Reader: Now a week later they were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”

Everyone: The disciples were hiding, the door was locked, but Jesus came in anyway and said – Peace be with you!

Reader: Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Everyone: Now Thomas was there too, he regretted what he said, For the scars on Jesus hands, were really plain to see.

Reader: Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

Everyone: So blessed are you, though you haven’t seen his scars.
Jesus always says to us, ‘Peace be with you.’

Reader: The Gospel of the Lord.

    All: Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

Reader: We have silence for 1 minute to talk think about the Gospel.

After 1 minute - Let’s talk about these questions: How does the Gospel make me feel? What do you think it was like for Thomas when Jesus appeared? And are there any ways we are like Thomas? (A friendly discussion, no right or wrong answers.)

Reader: Let’s all share the sign of peace, ‘Peace be with you.’

Reader: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Let’s say the Apostle’s Creed together. All: I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Prayer of the Faithful



Reader: Let us think about people all around the world, and pray now for what the world needs.
  • For the Church – that, through the kindness of people to each other, our church communities will be places where God’s mercy can be felt by everyone.
    Lord hear us.

        All: Lord hear our prayer.

  • For the world which is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic – that all people are kind to each other that the virus will be stopped.
    Lord hear us.

        All: Lord hear our prayer.

  • For our country’s leaders – that they will be wise and caring when they make decisions for our country.
    Lord hear us.

        All: Lord hear our prayer.

  • For missionaries in foreign lands – that they will be supported by people back home.
    Lord hear us.

        All: Lord hear our prayer.

  • For mothers who do not have bread for their children – that all families will have enough food. Lord hear us (or, e te Ariki). All: Lord hear our prayer, (or whakarongo mai ra kia matou). For people who are mentally ill or depressed – that they will be filled with joy from loving God.
    Lord hear us.

        All: Lord hear our prayer.

  • For earth day on Wednesday – (this is the Pope’s prayer for earth day)
    Loving God forgive the sins we have committed against your creation. Give us strength to no longer misuse natural resources and help us stop treating living beings with disrespect or neglect. Give us strength to work towards a world in which everyone can thrive by caring for the whole of your creation.
        All: Lord hear our prayer.


Reader: And now let us pray together as Jesus taught us:
Everyone prays this together:
Or you could pray the Lord’s prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name;
your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us;
save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom,
the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever.
Amen.



Reader: Thank you for participating in today’s liturgy of the word. Go in peace now to believe in Jesus and do many good things.

Thanks be to God

Reader: Let’s sing.
Alleluia Alleluia give thanks to the risen Lord,
Alleluia, Alleluia give praise to his name.
Spread the good news o’er all the earth, Jesus has died and is risen. Alleluia …
God had proclaimed the just reward, life -- for all. Alleluia …




Stations of the Cross for Children
Note: if you can organise a household procession to pray these stations at different places, that would be great. You could just have numbers 1 - 14 laid out in different places.

Introductory Prayer

Reader:       Lord Jesus. You came on earth, suffered and died for love of us, being punished for the sins we committed. You took the punishment we deserved. We are sorry for this and ask for pardon. You love us. You want us to love you. You want us to love every other human being, because you love them. Help us to be like you.

Reader:       The First Station; Jesus is condemned to death!
:         We adore you Jesus and we bless you.

All:         By your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.
Reader:       As you stood before Pilate the people shouted “crucify him!” and Pilate said “let him be crucified!” That noise must have been frightening. So many people joined together to condemn you. They ganged up against you. Sometimes we gang up against each other. (pause)
        Forgive us when we criticise other people.
All:         O Lord forgive us.

Reader:       The Second Station; Jesus is made to carry his cross.
:         We adore you Jesus and we bless you.

All:         By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Reader:       Jesus, you let them put the heavy cross on your shoulders and you never complained. We complain too much. We complain because it’s easier than being kind. (pause)
        For the times we complain about unimportant things.
All:         O Lord forgive us.

Reader:       The third Station; Jesus falls for the first time.
:         We adore you Jesus and we bless you.

All:         By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Reader:       Jesus, you were so weak and tired, hurting all over from the whipping and crowning with thorns, that you fell down. You spent your life helping people and died to help me. Now every time I help someone, I am helping you. (pause)
        For the times we look down on less fortunate people.
All:         O Lord forgive us.

Reader:       The fourth Station; Jesus meets his blessed mother.
:         We adore you Jesus and we bless you.

All:         By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Reader:       Jesus, when you saw your mother watching, you could see how much she was suffering, you were always good to your mother and never made her suffer. You couldn’t help be the cause of her suffering now. I am not always as good to my mother as I might be. I may even cause her to suffer. (pause)
        For the times we have not appreciated those who care for us.
All:         O Lord forgive us.

Reader:       The Fifth Station; Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry his cross.
:         We adore you Jesus and we bless you.

All:         By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Reader:       Jesus, they made a stranger called Simon help you carry your cross to keep you from dying under its weight. He didn’t realise that he was helping God. Every time we help people in trouble, even strangers, we are really helping you. (pause)
        For the times we ignore people who need our help.
All:         O Lord forgive us.

Reader:       The Sixth Station; Veronica wiped the face of Jesus.
:         We adore you Jesus and we bless you.
All:         By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Reader:       Jesus, the lady named Veronica was very kind to you when she wiped your face with her veil. There wasn’t much she could do for you, but you accepted the simple kindness she offered. It is good to be kind, even in very small ways. (pause)
        For the times we have been unkind,
All:         O Lord, forgive us.

Reader:       The Seventh Station; Jesus falls the second time.
:         We adore you Jesus and we bless you.

All:         By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Reader:       Jesus, it hurt you very much when you fell. It hurts to fall over. Sometimes I fall over on the concrete, and all I can think about is how much I hurt. Sometimes I make a big fuss about my hurts and try to make people feel sorry for me. You just carried on. (pause)
        For the times we try to make people feel sorry for us,
All:         O Lord, forgive us.

Reader:       The Eighth Station; Jesus speaks to the daughters of Jerusalem.
:         We adore you Jesus and we bless you.

All:         By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Reader:       Jesus, no matter how bad you felt, you did not think about yourself. You were sorry for the women you met, and their children. I am always thinking of myself and not thinking of others. (pause)
        For wanting our own way all the time,
All:         O Lord forgive us.

Reader:       The Ninth Station; Jesus falls the third time.
:         We adore you Jesus and we bless you.

All:         By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Reader:       Jesus, when you fell again you offered up the suffering to your Father for us and for everybody. Sooner or later I will have to suffer. I won’t want to offer it up. I will just want the suffering to go away. But I can offer it up to the Father with your suffering. (pause)
        For causing others to suffer because of our selfishness,
All:         O Lord forgive us.

Reader:       The Tenth Station; Jesus is stripped of his garments.
:         We adore you Jesus and we bless you.

All:         By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
All:         Jesus, you gave everything away, then, just before you died they even took away your clothes. You gave up everything, even your life for us. I find it hard to give up the smallest things; my time, to help others, my possessions, to share with others. (pause)
        For holding too tightly onto the gifts you have given us,
All:         O Lord forgive us.

Reader:       The Eleventh Station; Jesus is nailed to the cross.
:         We adore you Jesus and we bless you.

All:         By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Reader - Jesus, what terrible pain must have gone through your hands and your feet when they drove the nails through them. I cannot imagine what you went through, yet you did it to show how much you love us.
(pause)
        For making feelings of happiness more important than being kind.
All:         O Lord forgive us.

Reader:       The Twelfth Station; Jesus dies on the cross.
:         We adore you Jesus and we bless you.
All:         By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Reader:       Jesus, once you said, “greater love has no man then this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” You not only said it you did it, while your mother watched. By laying down your life, you showed the greatest possible love for us. (pause)
        For wanting things, more than wanting to love others,
All:         O Lord, forgive us.

Reader:       The Thirteenth Station; Jesus is taken down from the cross.
:         We adore you Jesus and we bless you.

All:         By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Reader:       I cannot imagine how sad your mother felt when you were taken down from the cross and laid in her arms. A few hours earlier, you had both walked about the streets in town. Now her heart was crushed with grief for the loss of you, her son. (pause)
        For the times we have not cared about other people’s sadness.
All:         O Lord forgive us.

Reader:       The Fourteenth Station; Jesus is laid in the tomb.
:         We adore you Jesus and we bless you.

All:         By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Reader:       Jesus, your body was placed in a tomb. A large stone was rolled in front. They took your life, then they closed you away from the world and all hope seemed gone. (pause)
        For the times we have stopped hoping and praying for an end to sorrow.
All:         O Lord forgive us.

All:         Jesus, we have walked the way of the cross. I am saddened by the things I do wrong. Help me not dwell on these things but instead, remember how eagerly you forgive us all. Help me to remember you are with me always. Be with me in all I do. Guide me to be kind and loving towards people today and always. And when I fail, help me trust in your merciful and eternal love for me. Amen

Stations of cross to pray with Children.pdf

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