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Walk through Holy Week

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On your marks:

So much happens in the Bible story of Holy Week that there is no shortage of material to draw on for your group to use or for storytelling in all-age worship. The following outline focuses on one event for each of the days, starting with Palm Sunday, as we follow the footsteps of Jesus through the drama of the week right up to and including the surprise of the Easter morning. The approach is active and uses simple actions to connect up the story. As such, it could be used as a way to lead an all-age congregation up to the events of the cross on Good Friday. Each section could, of course, be expanded further but this activity is designed to help your group or congregation get an overview of the week.

Get set:

You can read the stories in the Bible in: Matthew 21 - 28, Mark 11 - 16, Luke 19:28 - 24:53, John 12 - 20.

This idea is adapted from Footsteps to the Feast (BRF, 2007, Chapter 5).

Go!

1. Welcome everyone and use the theme of feet for a number of warm-up activities. For example, explain that we are all now on a journey to Jerusalem to discover the story of Easter. We are following Jesus' footsteps to a special feast or celebration. Ask them if their feet are ready to follow. Challenge everyone to walk on their feet in various ways in small circles, where they are standing: on tiptoe, on their heels, on the side of their feet, one foot in front of the other, standing on one foot and turning in a circle, using small jumps with their feet 'glued' together, linking toes and heels in a group of five or six to make a circle, hopping on one foot and then the other.

If there is time, continue this warm-up theme with similar ideas, such as practising having dancing feet or trying some 'Riverdance' footwork, skipping, or running on the spot, fast and then slow.

2. Today we are going to follow Jesus' footsteps through Holy Week - eight days of drama that Christians believe changed the world!

During this special week, excited feet soon become sore feet; tired feet become smelly feet; and sad feet do eventually become dancing feet. This is the most amazing week ever! Set them thinking about this special week with these open-ended questions:

3. The following chant is designed to be used as you move through the story one day at a time. Learn the special words to a clapping rhythm by calling out each line and inviting the congregation to copy what you've said. Use this as you link the days in the story that follows.

We're on a special journey

Of footsteps to the feast.

Jesus comes to rescue us:

The last, the lost, the least.

4. What follows is a simple action-based story for the whole of Holy Week. In between each of the days, use the chant above to move the story on. Here are the actions for each day:

For each day, the congregation should demonstrate the action as you very briefly tell what happened:

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