Latter-day Saint Life

Holy Week traditions your kids will look forward to year after year

Learn about the events of Holy Week and find daily activities to do with your family to bring you closer to Christ.

Celebrating Holy Week with your children can create spiritual memories to last a lifetime.

“It’s bigger than Christmas for me.” That is how illustrator Alex Obering feels about Easter. In fact, her extended family all know her as the “crazy Easter lady,” a nickname I know my three-year-old would latch onto in a second.

“Since I was a little girl, I just never understood why Easter wasn’t as big of a deal [as Christmas],” Alex says. “I remember learning about the Holy Week as an adult, and I didn’t realize it was something Latter-day Saints could celebrate. I just thought it was a Catholic holiday. I really want my kids to understand that Easter is a big part of our religion.”

Over the years, Alex has made it her mission to teach her children—as well as the children of many other Latter-day Saints—about the importance of Holy Week. And while her own celebrations are quite elaborate, Alex feels passionately that with the right tools and the right knowledge, every family can have a more meaningful Easter celebration, starting with Holy Week.

As a busy mom myself, I don’t find myself super jazzed about the accompanying stress of starting new holiday traditions but considering the spiritual return on investment and focus on Christ, this is one I personally can’t wait to start building in my home.

► You may also like: 36 Christ-centered gifts perfect for any Easter basket

Everyone Can Celebrate Holy Week

In 2021, Alex and her friend Tori produced a Holy Week Digital Download, complete with activities, printables, and suggestions for how families can celebrate each day during the week leading up to Easter Sunday. And now the essence of the kit has been converted into a book, The Holy Week: Celebrating Easter as a Family.

An example of a traditional Passover meal Alex puts together for her family during Holy Week.
Photo courtesy of Alex Obering.

The book includes gorgeous illustrations done by Alex, a brief and simple explanation of what we know about each day of the last week of the Savior’s life and a daily activity suggestion based on a gospel principle.

For example, on Monday, in parallel to Jesus Christ’s cleansing of the temple, the book’s daily activity suggestion says, “Do something around the house that improves cleanliness. Discuss how the Spirit can be more easily felt when things are clean.” “I do that with my kids every year,” Alex says. “They never want to clean any other day, but they’re always excited on this one day every year!” Adding, “We want it to be affordable for everybody, adaptable for everybody.”

Cementing Memories

In his April 2023 general conference address, Elder Gary Stevenson said that he and his wife are actively working on finding ways to give Easter “the same balance, fulness, and rich religious tradition” as Christmas. He said he appreciates a growing movement among Church members to celebrate a more Christ-centered Easter and quoted New Testament scholar N. T. Wright: “Take Christmas away, and in biblical terms, you lose two chapters at the front of Matthew and Luke, nothing else. Take Easter away, and you don’t have a New Testament; you don’t have a Christianity.”

I remember feeling quite moved while listening to Elder Stevenson, and I wasn’t alone. Alex says she could feel the Spirit whispering to her, too.

► You may also like: The Church’s new Easter video has some of the prettiest poetry—and testimony—we’ve ever heard

“It felt like God was confirming to me, ‘Yes, this is what we need. We need to make Easter a bigger deal.’ And so I hope that our book can help other people make Easter a bigger deal. I think—I hope!—that doing more of these hands-on activities with my kids will help cement a memory in their heads of what these days mean and why we celebrate.”

See an example from The Holy Week: Celebrating Easter as a Family below.

Sample Family Activity for Palm Sunday

Untitled Artwork
Illustration by Alex Obering.
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On Palm Sunday, you could reenact Christ's triumphal entry to Jerusalem.
Photograph courtesy of Alex Obering

Reenact Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem by laying down clothes or blankets to make a path in your home. Consider drawing palm leaves or cutting them out of paper. You might have someone act as the donkey Jesus rode by carrying a picture of Christ with them as they walk down the path. Have others wave their palm leaves and shout “Hosanna” to mark Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week.

Sample Family Activity for Maundy Thursday

Untitled Artwork
Illustration by Alex Obering.

Listen to or create music that reminds you of Jesus Christ and what He did in the garden that evening. You might search online for the song “Gethsemane” and listen to it or sing your favorite Easter hymn together.

► You may also like: 7 songs to help make Easter feel as magical as Christmas in your home

Find more activities and illustrations in The Holy Week, available at Deseret Book and

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