In 2024, Spring Break in Edmonton happened at the same time as Holy Week, and so Holy Eucharist Parish in Edmonton hosted a three-day day-camp for 27 children in grades 1-6. The program was organized by the Family and Life Office, and volunteers from different parishes helped with lessons, food prep, and games for the children. Campers learned about all sorts of topics: why we make prostrations during Lent, what Palm Sunday is about, why we celebrate the Annunciation no matter what day it falls on, what the priest and deacon do to prepare the bread and wine before the liturgy begins, and what sorts of foods do (and don’t) go into a tradition Ukrainian Easter basket. That’s not to mention all the fun (and often important) things that the children learned thanks to their own interesting, and sometimes off-topic, questions. Activities included painting a life-size shroud (plashchanytsia), making easter eggs (pysanky) and easter breads (paska and babka), learning special hymns for Holy Week and Easter, looking at different icons from this time of year, playing outdoor games, and, when it was sunny, going to the local park.

The Eparchy would like to thank the Family and Life Team – Deacon Cyril Kennedy, Andrea Leader, and Bernadette Mandrusiak – as well as Fr. Mihajlo Planchak and Holy Eucharist Parish for hosting the camp, Gabrielle Sheptak for teaching the children how to make pysanky, and Christina Csernyanski for the pascha-baking lesson, and all our other wonderful volunteers. Thanks also to Joyce Chrunik-Rudiak, who generously shared her program from previous Holy Week Day Camps.