We spent this morning putting together “Holy Week Survival Kits” for the priests and deacons from our parish. Holy Week is a marathon of rites and liturgies which will test the limits of their strength and endurance.
When we started our Survival Kit tradition a few years ago, my children seemed stunned by the idea that the priests at our parish could ever be worn out by saying Masses and hearing Confessions. They were surprised to learn that their priests were human after all.
We started this years kits with a brainstorming session and the simple question “If you had to spend a week on your feet and talking, what would hurt or be tired?” and followed it up with “What would help you get through that?”
We made and edited a shopping list, set a budget, and then went shopping. With 2 priests and 3 deacons to care for, we couldn’t afford to go crazy. Here’s what ended up in our bags this year:
- Coffee – we went with the Starbucks instant because it’s so easy
- Epsom salts – for soaking sore feet and tired muscles
- Hand Sanitizer – They’re going to be shaking a lot of hands we want to keep them healthy
- Hydrating Lotion – Hand sanitizer can dry your skin out and so can this time of year
- Chap stick (not pictured) – Lots of talking means dry lips
- Cough drops – Lots of talking also means sore throats, we want them to still be able to offer the homilies on Easter morning
- Altoids – Coffee and dry mouth? That’s a recipe for bad breath and nobody wants that
- Beef jerky – A little bit of protein just to keep them going
- Granola bars – These guys are sometimes too busy for eating regular meals. We want to tide them over until the next one
- Chocolate bars – Because they’re chocolate. Isn’t that reason enough?
- Chick Fil A gift card (not pictured) – Lunch or dinner on the fly, plus it’s really tasty
- A thank you note to let them know how appreciated they are
We set up an assembly line and listened to/prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet while we put them together. Gifts are good. Gifts and prayers are better.
At the church with our deliveries for the clergy, plus flowers for the receptionist. It’s going to be a long week for her too. They were all thrilled to see us. We all like a little surprise and to have our hard work recognized, our priests and deacons too.
Is there anything we missed? What else would you add to the Holy Week Survival Kits?
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