Holy Thursday Lenten Dinner

by | Apr 18, 2014 | Holy Thursday, Lent, Lenten Tea: Palm Sunday/Holy Thursday | 11 comments

Every year our children look forward to our Lenten Dinners which were originally inspired Alice’s Lenten Teas. These have become much loved traditions in our home over the past six years.  It really isn’t very hard to pull together and can be modified in so many ways, as you can see from the changes I’ve made from year to year. Here are the pictures from this year’s Lenten Dinner on Holy Thursday:

Removing a thorn from our Lenten Crown of Thorns 
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~ Palm on the Road ~

Like I did a couple years ago, I decided to add another book to our collection for this menu item. When I ran across a bargain priced version of The Donkey and the Golden Light I thought it would be perfect for this year.

“And many spread their garments on the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields.” Mk. 11:8
~ Costly Oil ~

One of the boys made a salad and I pulled out the vinegar and some “costly oil” to use as dressing. 

“And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Mk. 14:9

~ Thirty Pieces of Silver ~

I happened to have 30 Chocolate Coins left over from St. Patrick’s Day so I used these for our “silver” this year.  Only a few of the children gave up candy this year so those few are saving their few coins (and Hershey Kiss) for Easter and put another sacrifice bean in the jar. 

“Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What will you give me if I deliver him to you?’ And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.” Mt. 25: 14-15
~ Unleavened Bread ~

I kept it extra simple this year and picked up a package of Naan since my husband loves it, although technically it is a leavened bread…  Don’t tell the kids! 
It was perfect for with either the Chicken Curry Soup or the Fig Butter. 

“And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the passover lamb, his disciples said to Him, ‘Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the passover?'” Mk. 14:12
~ The Mount of Olives ~

This year’s Mount of Olives was a mix of Black Olives and Garlic/Jalapeño stuffed Green Olives

“And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Mk. 14:26
~ The Cock Crows Twice ~

This year we had Chicken Curry Soup and Baked Chicken.
“Mom, did you just put the chicken in the baking pan so that it looks like it is homemade?!  Genius!!” 
Um, no.  I put it in the pan so that I could heat it up! 😉  And I should have washed and dried my hands before touching the little sign with my greasy fingers… The Chicken Curry Soup was homemade though, using my mom’s recipe. YUM!!! 
“And Jesus said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.'” Mk. 14:30

~ Gethsemane Figs ~

Fig Butter representing Gethsemane Figs to spread on the “unleavened bread.” 

“And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here, while I pray.'” Mk. 14:32
~ Sleepy Apostles ~ 
Not all of the children like herbal tea, but a few of us enjoyed some Sleepytime Tea after dinner. Thanks again Jennifer for the suggestion!

“And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep?  Could you not watch one hour?” Mk. 14:37
~ Judas’ Kiss ~

One Hershey Kiss each to represent Judas’ Kiss. 

“And when he came, he went up to him at once, and said, ‘Master!’ And he kissed him.” Mk. 14:45

~ The Clouds of Heaven ~

Since we were traveling on the solemnity of St. Joseph this year I still had a package of Cream Puffs in the freezer that I had purchased for our annual feast day celebration.  They made perfect little “Clouds of Heaven” for our Holy Thursday Dinner. 

“And Jesus said, ‘I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'” Mk. 14:62

~ Peter’s Tears ~

Roasted and Salted Almonds were perfect for Peter’s Salty Tears.

“And immediately the cock crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.’ And he broke down and wept.” Mk. 14:72

I’m adding this last picture to give you a peek at the supplies for this year’s dinner. (The soup and salad are not pictured, and we ended up not using the Fig Bars.)  It really isn’t that difficult at all to pull together these symbolic meals!  The girls set the table, the boys helped prepare the soup and salad, and I printed off some new little card stock signs. (You can still download my document over at Scribd.)  
The baked chicken and a small pot of Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese were last minute additions for the youngest three, who I knew wouldn’t eat the Chicken Curry Soup.  
Unfortunately we weren’t able to make it to the Holy Thursday Mass… The only Holy Week Service our local parish has this week is on Easter Sunday, but the children and I will be driving to town for the Good Friday Service. 
I hope you all had a very blessed Holy Thursday!

For more Lenten posts:
The Lenten Season In Our Catholic Home


  1. Theresa

    Jessica, I've always been curious (and can't recall you writing about it before)… when you have meal like this, how do you eat it?? (Isn't that a funny sounding question!) I mean, would you read the account from Scripture and eat the "symbols" as you encounter them in the story? Or does everyone just "read" the cards on their own and eat whatever they'd like in no particular order? I've always wanted to try something like this, but haven't really thought through the best way to partake in the meal to make the symbolic foods more meaningful and memorable. I'd love your thoughts on this. Have a blessed Good Friday and joyful Easter!! -Theresa

    2014-04-18 19:44:32

  2. Ali

    Can you post a recipe for the soup…sounds good?

    2014-04-18 22:25:30

  3. Evelyn

    Theresa, I numbered the cards and had them next to each food. Whoever had a certain number near them read that card ("who has number four?"). I added some short Bible readings to some of them, and we handed around the Bible for that part. We never went on to the next card/food until we had finished with one.

    2014-04-19 17:01:50

  4. Lenetta

    Call me crazy… I jumped on the same deal for that book and ended up asking Amazon for a refund because I didn't feel it was Biblically correct. The story is about a male donkey, born the same night as Jesus. I don't think that could be the same donkey that Jesus rode into Jerusalem according to the Gospels. Mt 21, Mk 11, Lk 19, and Jn 12 all reference Zec 9:9 – an ass and a colt with her. Either Jesus rode the mama donkey (a she), or He rode the young colt. Either way, it wasn't a male donkey the same age as Jesus. I just couldn't get past that. 🙁

    2014-04-21 03:57:25

  5. Teri

    Do you stock up on fresh produce? It is quite a drive for us so I am trying to figure out how to keep produce fresher longer so I don't have to buy elsewhere between trips. I'd love it if you could post the curry recipe also!

    2014-04-23 13:48:15

  6. Jessica Gordon

    I will try and post the recipe soon. It is so good!

    2014-04-23 23:49:33

  7. Jessica Gordon

    Every time it's a little different! This past Holy Thursday we said our Grace Before Meals and then my husband read Mark Chapter 14 while we ate our soup. After that the children took turns re-reading the quotes on the little signs I made before passing each item around the table and filling their plates to continue eating. Does that make sense? I don't think their is a right or wrong way to explain the symbolism before or during the meal. I hope that helps!

    2014-04-23 23:56:19

  8. Jessica Gordon

    Fresh Produce is the hardest when you don't live near town, isn't it?! I grocery shop about once every two-three weeks. The fresh produce usually lasts the whole first week and then after that we have a combination of frozen vegetables, some fresh (like apples, and other produce that will last longer in the fridge), and any additional produce I have my husband pick up on his way home from work.

    2014-04-24 00:00:07

  9. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book, Lenetta! I wasn't bothered by that specifically, looking at the donkey as a fictional part of this story, but I didn't really care for the book in general when I read it to the children. It just felt awkward calling the donkey "Bethlehem" and so repetitive at the end of each page. Definitely not a favorite, though I will probably keep it in our collection for now.

    2014-04-25 19:18:50


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