– By Maria Andress –
There’s no denying this Holy Week will be the strangest most of us have ever known. We’ll be live streaming Triduum liturgies, making our own home altars, and trying to figure out all the ways of staying tuned into the most sacred week in the Catholic calendar from inside our own houses. Of course, no media can ever replace physically participating in the liturgies at our parishes, assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and receiving Holy Communion. All the same, whether due to government restrictions, concerned bishops, or a mix of both, media intake has definitely come to the forefront during this upheaval. The podcasts, Zoom chats, audio books, live stream events, and videos are endless. Listed below are a couple Holy Week specific resources for you.
1. The Passion of the Christ
This film has become a Lenten classic, both terrible to take in and deeply mediative. It is an excellent film to view between live streaming your parish’s Good Friday 3:00pm service and the evening Stations of the Cross. Even better, it’s streaming for free on Amazon Prime. Watch here.
2. Jesus of Nazareth
This 6 plus hour drama is much more on the kid-friendly side making it an excellent choice for episodic viewing throughout Holy Week. While inaccurate from a Catholic point of tradition in some things such as Mary having labor pains and her reaction during the Pieta moment, it is still a beautiful look at the life of Christ. It’s also streaming on Amazon Prime. Watch here.
3. Paul, Apostle of Christ
This is a recent film starring Jim Caviezel as St. Luke at the time of the Apostle Paul’s martyrdom. If you’re watching “The Passion” during Holy Week, this one would be great for Easter week as it continues the story of the early Church. It can be rented for $3.99 on Amazon. Watch here.
4. Lectio: Salvation with Dr. Michael Barber
This 30 minute per segment video series brings us to the St. Augustine Institute and the Formed app, available for free through many Catholic parishes. Many JPCatholic alumni know Dr. Michael Barber as one of their theology professors and can attest to his phenomenal Biblical knowledge. If you are in need of a way to draw you into deeper understanding of Sacred Scripture in time for following along even more closely with the Passion, this is an excellent start. Watch here.
5. Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week by Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI)
This an audio book also courtesy of the Formed App. Pope Emeritus Benedict’s beautiful meditation delves deep into the meaning of Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection. If you haven’t read it yet and can’t get your hands on a hardcopy in time or simply want something in audio format to anchor your mind on while washing dishes, cooking Easter food, or making your home altar…voila! Listen here.
6 & 7. Catechism and Bible Study Live Stream
Last but not least, the priests of St. Joan’s FSSP parish up in Idaho have been live-streaming nifty Catechism classes and a Bible Study on St. Matthew’s Gospel weekly on Monday and Wednesday night at 6:30pm PST. You can watch it live on Sensus Fidelium YouTube page or at www.stjoanarc.com/live. If you miss it, you can go back and watch it later at either site. If you would like to try something new for the Triduum, they also have special permission to live-stream the pre 1955 Latin Rite Holy Week liturgies that dates back to before the Council of Trent. Holy Thursday will be live-streamed at 6:30pm PST, Good Friday at 3:00pm PST, and the Easter Vigil at 7:30pm PST. PDFs to follow along with can be found at either www.stjoanarc.com/holy-week-liturgies/ or https://www.pre1955holyweek.com.
Social distancing and government mandates may be giving us the weirdest Holy Week we’ve known. That doesn’t need to stop us from using our intake of media to give back to God a very fruitful Triduum. We could turn into couch potatoes this week mechanically gobbling up our normal shows in an effort to stay sane. We could also narrow our intake this Triduum to some spiritually nourishing pieces and burst into an Easter triumph where our normal shows will be all the better for a step back into the greatest drama that ever graced the world’s stage.
About the Author
Maria Andress is a film production and acting alumna from JPCatholic (Class of ’17) who hails from the proud green and gold state of Wisconsin. She is currently working in film producing, and pursuing a career in period film production. She is also a travel enthusiast always on the lookout for a fascinating idea or historical tidbit that she can translate to story through the many mediums of art.