As Orthodox Christians, we spend about 40 hours in church during Holy Week, soaking in all the beautiful sights, smells and sounds. It is my absolute favorite week of the year! Imagining the unlikelihood of this happening in the same manner, I feel so sad. It’s ok to experience the loss of not being together and grieve the rhythm and normalcy of worshiping in our parish communities. It’s a beautiful thing to yearn to be with Christ in His temple and with our Church family! But the truth is, whether it feels like Holy Week or not, Christ will be with us .... whether we participate in our church buildings or in our homes.

 So here are some ideas for you:

Lazarus Saturday (4/11) - bake Lazarus bread or Lazarakia (recipe below)

Palm Sunday (4/12) - cut palms or branches and have a Palm Sunday procession during or after Liturgy ????

Holy Monday/Tuesday- Make real or paper oil lamps like the wise virgins and learn the hymns for the bridegroom

Holy Wednesday- in lieu of Holy Unction, anoint one another with Holy Oil, making the sign of the cross on forehead. And dye eggs and prepare Pascha outfits

Holy Thursday- the theme for today is the last supper. Make prosphora together, have a foot washing for everyone in your family, for the evening service, light the 12 candles during the gospel readings

Holy Friday- Decorate a funeral bier (platter or box) with flowers in which to lay the Crucified Christ icon. Have an outdoor candle lit procession behind it during the lamentation service. Bake Pascha bread, pascha cheese or other foods for the family Pascha basket for later ????

Holy Saturday - sprinkle fresh bay leaves ???? on the floor and make noise w/shakers during St Basil’s Liturgy, prepare Pascha foods for after the midnight service. Have candles ready for the midnight Paschal procession

Holy Pascha - set a festive and beautiful table and have a special breakfast of dyed eggs, Pascha bread and cheese and breakfast foods! Have an egg hunt for the kids and enjoy the day! Christ is Risen



In the old days, on Saturday of Lazarus, women kneaded a special type of bread, which they called "Lazarus" or “Lazarakia". The "Lazarakia" had the shape of a man, just as Lazarus is portrayed in the icons. In memory of the resurrection of Lazarus, the housewives cooked on the Lazarus Saturday, that is, on Saturday before the Holy Week, the “lazarakia”. Inside the dough, they used to put honey, walnuts, raisins or whatever they liked.

1 kilo of wheat flour
1 tea cup of raisins
4 spoonfuls of sugar
½ tea cups of corn oil
1 teaspoon of aniseed or mastic
Beer yeast
Some nutmegs and some sesame

Dilute the yeast with a tea cup of lukewarm water, in a bowl suitable for kneading and add the olive oil, the sugar, the raisins, the aniseed or the mastic and one more tea cup of lukewarm water. Add the flour and knead the mixture again, so it will turn into a medium dough. Put the dough on the floured kitchen bench and knead it again strongly. Divide the dough into pieces and shape them like little men by putting nutmegs for their eyes, nose, e.t.c. Spread a little oil on the large baking pan, put the “lazarakia‘’ on the baking pan, sprinkle them with sesame and cover them with a cotton towel. Leave them in a warm place to rise. Bake them in 180 degrees for 45-50 minutes.