Wednesday, April 8, 2009
A few more ideas for Holy Thursday
I was searching around the internet for more ways we could observe Holy Thursday in our home. Here are some ideas I came across:
1) Eat a "green" meal
In Germany, Maundy Thursday is known as "Green Thursday" (Grundonnerstag). I understand that the word comes from grunen, which means to mourn. But over time, it has morphed into the word grün which is the German word for "green." In Germany and some Slavic countries, it is the custom to eat something green today-- perhaps spinach salad, cucumbers, string beans, or maybe even pea soup? (Float oyster crackers in the soup to represent the bread that Jesus shared with his apostles on this night?)
2)Recite or chant the Tantum Ergo (Down in Adoration Falling.) You can find the English words here. Eventually, I plan to teach this song to my children in Latin. You can find the Latin words here.
3) Some people will celebrate with the Christian version of a Jewish Seder Meal. I haven't delved into this much yet; perhaps it will be something we will try next year. If you are interested, check out this link or this one for ideas.
4) Study Last Supper religious artwork
This is something we occasionally do in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium, as a means of introducing the children into deep concentration and study of classical religious artwork. This is something I plan to try this year. I will download some famous paintings and icons depicting the Last Supper, and then discuss them with my children. We will look at more than just Leonardo DaVinci's famous painting. In fact, I plan to stay away from discussing some of the supposed "hidden messages" in that painting, but instead focus on what the people are doing, the expressions on their faces, etc.
In addition, we will look at icons of the Last Supper, like this one. Or others, like this beautiful one by Nicholas Poussin.
5)Make a visit to seven local churches to visit the altars of repose in each church, and spend some time praying to Jesus.
Explain to your children that this is a way that we can show Jesus that we are with him on Holy Thursday, the night when He went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray before being arrested by the soldiers.