A beloved tradition at Christ Methodist Day School is the Easter Walk-Through of Holy Week. Dorris Smith, the school’s first Bible teacher, began the tradition in 1973.
The Easter Walk-Through is a wonderful way for children to understand and remember the Easter journey. As they and their friends become Bible characters, the scriptures come alive. But we know some parents may wonder, “What is it?”
The best way to understand the Walk-Through tradition it is to experience it yourself firsthand. Here, Bible Teacher Cheryl Bryant and Music Teacher Jennifer Proseus try to summarize the experience so you can know a bit of what to expect.
Imagine if you could actually be there with Jesus the week before the resurrection…
Beginning in the Sanctuary, you pray and sing a song, “Every Morning Is Easter Morning.” While you wait to be escorted in groups, you’re treated to special solos from classmates who take private music lessons. Meditative music fills the time as you wait to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. When your class is called, 6th grade guides escort you out of the Sanctuary.
Starting with Jesus’ journey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, you witness 1st graders re-enact the scriptures with a plywood donkey, Biblical costumes, palm branches, and shouts of “Hosanna!” The children’s excitement is contagious as Jesus rides triumphantly into the city.
The next scene you walk to is the 5th graders in the Narthex of the Sanctuary. Their scene depicts Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple from the hands of the money-changers.
Your feet carry you up the balcony stairs, which have been transformed into the “Upper Room” for Jesus’ last supper. The 4th graders are the disciples and angels, acting and singing the scene of what has become the church’s sacrament of communion.
Traveling back through the Sanctuary’s balcony, you walk to the next scene where weary 3rd graders try to stay awake, watching and praying in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus.
The 6th graders’ crucifixion scene in Rash Hall is intense. With their arms outstretched on wooden crosses, students portray Jesus, the criminals and the soldiers. The 6th graders sing their final Easter Walk-Through song at CMDS, “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High.”
Walking on, three days miraculously passes, and you are beneath the Sanctuary in Reeves Chapel where a “tomb” has been fashioned under the altar table. Our 2nd grade angels tell the Good News that Jesus is not there! He is Risen! “Jesus Is Alive,” the students sing and excitedly run down the aisle to tell others the wonderful news!
With joy, your last steps of this journey take you to the cross in our school’s Courtyard. Like pieces of a glorious puzzle, each person adds a flower to the cross. Holding hands in a circle around the cross, prayers are lifted. Once more students sing, “Every Morning Is Easter Morning.” Amen!
The logistics to make the Walk-Through happen are no small feat. It’s a CMDS team effort with homeroom teachers leading the grade level scenes and helping during practices. Mrs. Proseus lines up our musical student performers to share, while Head of School Dr. Bryan Williams and Associate Head of School Teena Maginn lead the Sanctuary program. Mrs. Bryant coordinates it all with the joy of knowing this tradition continues to the next generation as a true reflection of who we are as a CMDS family.
Christ Methodist Day School opened its doors in 1958 to 75 kindergarten students. Since then, CMDS has stayed true to its Christian elementary school roots while continuing to thrive as one of the best private schools in Memphis. Come see why we are the primary choice for so many Memphis families.