Jerusalem Dinner and Other Holy Week Traditions

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The week before Easter, our family has a tradition of taking a little time each night (when we usually do family scripture study) to talk about what would have been happening almost 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ was on the earth. We go through the final week of His life and talk about what happened on each day. For example, on Sunday we acted out Christ's Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem. One of the children was the donkey and another rode on the donkey's back while the rest of us pretended to wave palms and throw clothes and blankets as a path for the donkey to walk on. Monday we talked about the cleansing of the temple, and so on through the other days. (Click here for the scripture reading for each day.)

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One activity that I really like doing is putting on a Jerusalem Dinner. Ideally, this would be on Thursday when we talk about the Last Supper, but we have a crazy week, so we did it on Wednesday this year. (Some years I even do this on Easter Sunday, but my husband really likes ham, so we put that back in as our Easter Sunday traditional dinner.) 

At our Jerusalem Dinner we eat foods that would be common in Israel such as pitas, dates, figs, cucumbers, tomatoes, grapes, olives, etc. (we even included our homemade hummus, and tzatziki sauce this year). When I'm really on the ball we include matzos crackers, grape juice and lamb, but this year we had to settle for chicken and milk (because I forgot to get those at the store!!). It would also be fun to dress up in robes and eat low to the ground- but that sounds like a lot of work and mess for a weeknight.

After we were done with dinner we talked about betrayal and forgiveness. It definitely wasn't as in depth as I would have liked, but we are making the effort and hopefully something is getting into those heads of our children.

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What religious traditions do you have for Easter?

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