Katie Fitzgerald recommends several children’s programs to watch on Formed.org during Holy Week.
Formed.org, the digital collection of Catholic books, audiobooks, and videos, has been such a blessing to my family over the past few years. Like many parishes, ours offers free access to the Formed catalog for all parishioners, and I have been able to incorporate many of the children’s programs into our liturgical celebrations. As Holy Week and Easter approach, I’d like to share some of the videos my three oldest kids, ages 4, 6, and 8, love to watch on Formed during this holiest time of year.
Brother Francis, the musical cartoon starring a Franciscan priest, is a mainstay of Formed, and there are episodes about many different aspects of the faith. There are two in particular that my kids watch during Holy Week. On Holy Thursday, I put on “The Bread of Life: Celebrating the Eucharist,” which includes a depiction of the Last Supper. On Good Friday, my kids like to watch “The Stations of the Cross.” This video explains the devotion of praying the stations and then takes kids through a meditation on each one. There is also an Easter episode, “He Is Risen! The Power of the Resurrection,” which we typically watch a couple of times during the Easter octave. My kids really enjoy the animation, and they often act out what they have learned on these shows in their pretend play.
The Wonderful World of Benjamin Cello is another series with a variety of episodes, but one of the best is “O Lamb Of God, I Love You,” which is a special episode devoted to Holy Week and Easter. The main feature is a shadow puppet show of our Lord’s Passion put on by Brother Joseph and his “Shadow of His Wings Theater.” The production quality of this show is really high, with beautiful music and eye-catching color, and it’s clear that each segment of this episode was produced with great care and love. Watching this show is a beautiful way for kids to enter into the events of Holy Week and Easter Sunday.
Finally, for the past two years, my oldest two girls have enjoyed watching The Witnesses Trilogy. This is a collection of three animated films: God with Us, The Messengers: The Birth of the Early Church, and To Every Nation. All three have been wonderful supplements to our homeschool curriculum about the New Testament, but even the kids who aren’t studying that time period enjoy watching God With Us during Holy Week. This 90-minute episode covers the life, death, and Resurrection of Christ in a kid-friendly way that allows young viewers to understand the events of the Passion, but without graphic violence they may not be ready to handle.
Formed is a wonderful resource for developing a love of the faith in young children. Ask your parish how you can gain access and enjoy these great shows with your kids in the coming days!
Copyright 2022 Katie Fitzgerald
Image: Canva Pro
About the Author
Katie Fitzgerald is a former children's librarian turned stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. She and her librarian husband live in Maryland with their five children, the youngest of whom are boy/girl twins. She has published two textbooks for librarians, and she writes about homeschooling, books and the reading life from a Catholic perspective at ReadAtHomeMom.com and on Instagram @read.at.home.mom.