|Friends of Jesus introduces
children to people who helped Jesus on the Way of the Cross.
Veronica was the woman reputed to have come out of the crowd and wiped the face of Jesus.
Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus to carry the cross.
The women of Jerusalem wept and showed compassion for Jesus.
Mary loved him and stayed with him to the bitter end - as did Mary Magdalene.
John stayed and watched all that
Have ready pictures of - or representing - the characters in the liturgy.
For the Veneration (honouring), have a simple wooden cross and spring flowers.
Candles for the "We want to be friends like Jesus" section.
The follow-up exercise is to plant
"plug plants" - very small plants that will grow and flower in
the summer in the northern hemisphere - or seeds as a sign that life is
stronger than death.
Readings and Ritual
Depending on the age and ability of the children, they could be the readers. Give them the necessary reading in advance so that they can practise.
If moving round the church think about using a processional song - e.g. Jesus, remember me from the Taizé Community.
Have quiet music to play while the children lay their flowers at the foot of the cross. This will help to create a clam and prayerful atmosphere. Alternatively have a simple repetitive song that the children can sing quietly without needing to have hymnbooks or sheets: the focus is on the symbolic action.
The planting takes place within the
Liturgy to help to give it a sacred feel: an awareness of the miracle of
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