You can use this lesson plan during Holy Week to teach about the Triduum.
Holy Week Lesson Objectives
- SWBAT list the events that occur during Holy Week and the Triduum.
- SWBAT live as Jesus showed us to live in the Holy Thursday and Good Friday Gospel readings.
- SWF admiration for Jesus because of the sacrifices he made for them.
Holy Week Lesson Activities
1. Holy Week Prayer Service
Start the lesson or each day of Holy Week with one of these Holy Week Prayer Services.
There are many unique ways in which we celebrate the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday). Read and summarize these events, sharing your own personal experience with them:
- Holy Thursday: The Washing of Feet
- Holy Thursday: Eucharistic Procession
- Good Friday: Veneration of the Cross
- The Easter Vigil: Lighting the Paschal Candle
- The Easter Vigil: Signing the Exsultet
- The Easter Vigil: The Long Liturgy of the Word
- The Easter Vigil: Baptism, Confirmation, and First Communion
These articles offer good summaries to help prepare your presentation:
- 9 Things You Need to Know about Palm Sunday (National Catholic Register)
- Your Essential Guide to the Triduum (Busted Halo)
- 6 Things You Need to Know about the Triduum (National Catholic Register)
- Triduum (USCCB)
Or show one of these Holy Week videos in class:
Catholic Holy Week Videos Playlist:
Holy Week Videos
3. Practice: Holy Week Worksheets
You could have the students memorize which special events occur on which days, but there won’t be much meaning attached to these liturgies unless they experience each one themselves.
Therefore . . . invite them and their parents to attend the Holy Week liturgies!
Share why you love each one personally.
Give them a good reason to be there.
But, if the students can’t make it or their families decide not to participate, what can you do in class to give them a taste of the experience?
Help them meditate on the Gospel readings that inspire the liturgies.
Read the Gospel passages for Holy Thursday and Good Friday and ask the students the questions below or download these worksheets to help them do a mini-lectio divina experience of them in class:
Or members can login to access these worksheets here.
The Washing of the Disciples Feet (Holy Thursday)
Read John 13:1-15
- What would it feel like for Jesus to wash your feet?
- How would you respond? Would you say something similar to Peter?
- How has Jesus shown his love for you?
- How can you show your love to others?
The Arrest of Jesus (Good Friday)
Read John 18:1-14
- Would you have fought back like Peter to defend Jesus?
- Jesus refers to a cup that the Father gave him. What cup has the Father given you in your life?
Peter Denies Jesus (Good Friday)
Read John 18:15-18, 25-27
- Why do you think Peter denied being Jesus’ disciple?
- Have you ever hidden your belief in God? Why or why not?
- What makes it hard to be a disciple today?
Jesus before Pilate (Good Friday)
Read John 18:28-19:16
- Why did Jesus say he came into the world?
- Jesus doesn’t answer Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” What do you think he would say in response?
- When have you listened to Jesus’ voice during your life?
- Have you ever let others crucify Jesus by saying mean things about him or disobeying him? Why do people do this?
- Is Jesus your king?
The Crucifixion of Jesus (Good Friday)
Read John 19:17-37
- Do you look to Mary as a mother as Jesus says to do? Why or why not?
- Jesus’ last words were, “It is finished.” As a reminder, what did Jesus start and do during his life that is now finished?
- From Jesus’ side poured blood and water, symbolizing the waters of Baptism and the blood of the Eucharist. How have these sacraments helped you connect with Christ?
4. Proof (Assessment)
Have students write a prayer of thanksgiving to Jesus for all that he said and did during his passion and death. Use these prayer sentence starters to help.
Thank you for serving me by . . .
Help me to serve others as you taught me by . . .
Thank you for drinking the cup the Father sent to you to . . .
Give me the strength to drink my cup, which is to . . .
Thank you for dying so that I can . . .
Forgive me for the times that I denied you by . . .
Thank you for giving me your mother who I can turn to in prayer to ask . . .
Thank you for the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist, which allow me to . . .
Download the Holy Week Worksheets
Download and print worksheets for the Triduum: The Washing of the Disciples Feet Worksheet, The Last Supper Worksheet, The Denial of Peter Worksheet, and the Behold Your Mother Worksheet.
As a new Religion teacher I think this book will be a valuable asset to me.