In anticipation of Holy Week, Jo Howe, Children’s Ministry Coordinator, has put together a list of ideas for helping kids and families engage with the special services this week. Read below for the full list, which includes details on Maundy Thursday, hyping up Easter’s Hallelujah Chorus, Easter crafts, and More!

Maundy Thursday: March 28, 7 pm

The service starts around tables, with communion. Scripture is read while we witness foot washing. Next, we move to the sanctuary, where everything is removed from the communion table and the black cloth banner taken down. The sanctuary is bare as we anticipate Good Friday. This service would be meaningful for kids who participate in the Lord’s Supper and are used to staying up past 8 pm. No other children’s programming or nursery will be available.

A Good Friday Prayer Walk: 12:15 pm

Our Good Friday service is a quiet walk around our nature trail. We start at the front doors of COS and walk into the woods, pausing at several crosses along the trail for a Scripture reading and song, marking the journey to the cross and the suffering of Christ. Children are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Easter Morning Combined Service: March 31, 10 am

Nursery & Little Lambs Programming Only (age 0-Preschool). On Easter Sunday children in Children’s Worship (ages kindergarten-2nd grade) remain in the worship service to experience the full Easter celebration! Consider arriving a little early and finding seats up close to the front, so your kids will have a great view of all that happens on Sunday morning–including the Halleluiah Chorus!

Help your kids engage in Easter Sunday worship by:

Joining the Easter flower Processional: Children love to bring flowers to decorate the communion table! Consider bringing a small flowering plant or cut flowers in a durable container your child can easily carry. Find a seat, then join the line forming at the back of the sanctuary. When it’s time, you’ll follow the leaders to the front, where your kids will give the flowers to one of the liturgical dancers who will place it on the table. Your kids will be delighted to see their flowers from their seat! Don’t forget to pick up your flowers to bring home after the service or after brunch.

Saving the green worship-help bag for the sermon: That’s the longest time of stillness in the service. Let kids know the doodle board and crafts are meant to keep their hands busy so their ears can listen to what the pastor is saying.

Prompting kids to move with the liturgy: Our liturgy involves standing, singing/humming, speaking, and maybe even clapping! Helping your kids move along with the liturgy and participate to their fullest will help them feel involved and engaged. Even kids who can’t yet read the words to a song can stand to hum along, help hold the hymnal or liturgy, or watch the musicians play their instruments. Whispering encouraging words like, “I love this song!” and wrapping an arm around their shoulder as you sing, or lifting a little one up to sing the words near their ears can help see what a joy it is to worship.

Taking a bathroom break: It’s okay to take a bathroom break after the sermon or communion, or when you see your kid needs a chance to stretch their legs, and get some wiggles out.

Hyping the Hallelujah Chorus: Get your kids excited about hearing and singing the Hallelujah Chorus on Easter Sunday! Share a video like this from the Sydney Opera House, pointing out all the musicians and singers who come together to sing this song of praise. Express that we will be joining Christians all over the world as we sing this song to God on Easter morning! Children in Kinder-2nd Grade who have attended Children’s Worship during Lent will remember burying the Alleluia during the sad time of Lent—now it’s time to celebrate and sing Alleluia with all our hearts!

Staying for Easter Brunch & Crafts after church: Easter brunch is a fun way to enjoy a meal together after the service. Take note of the email newsletter to see which dish you’re recommended to bring to share. Please walk with your kids through the line so they don’t end up with more than they can eat! Easter-themed crafts will be set up at the far end of the dining area for children to enjoy during brunch. These crafts will be easy for elementary-aged children to do on their own, but young children may appreciate the help of an older sibling or parent.

Easter Evening Testimonies, 6:00 pm

Our Easter celebrations end with a 6 pm Testimony Service. Three members of COS will share on the theme, “What does Resurrection mean to you?” Hearing others share from the heart about God’s power, love, and faithfulness is a significant way for older children and youth, as well as adults, to see how God works in our lives and sense God’s presence and love. Consider making this part of your Easter tradition!