Thanks! I think it sounds like fun too.
I thought I would add that there is something that we already do or have begun to do. There is so much tradition that goes into Christmas, I’ve just always thought “Why not Easter too?” Easter is, after all, the greatest of feasts, the Feast of feasts. Even the liturgy is more special than at Christmas. So I think the domestic church should reflect that too. When Lent begins, instead of an Advent wreath we have a Lenten cross of candles, six purple and one rose candle, in the shape of a cross on the family prayer table, which is actually a sofa table placed against the wall, with an image of the Sacred Heart overhead. The Bible always occupies a place on the prayer table, and it is prominently displayed on a Bible stand, and always open, perhaps to the scripture of the day. In the center of the table (where the Nativity scene used to go) is a scene of Mount Calvary. (Fontanini has them and they are beautiful, and the figures that go with them are practically unbreakable—great for small children). Actually, when Lent begins, we pretend it is the desert. I have a small figure of Jesus praying on a rock, like the Agony in the Garden scene, and I place him there in the desert to pray and fast for 40 days with us, or rather us with him. The Mount Calvary scene comes with a crucifix and two crosses that can be put in or taken out. You could leave it empty or put an empty cross there in the center, as if Jesus is calling that to mind. This is how the prayer table looks during all of Lent. Then Holy Week comes, the palm branches are displayed in a vase, the cloth (which is just a simple table runner in each of the liturgical colors) is changed from purple to red, and the figure of Jesus praying is taken away. One by one, on each day of Holy Week, one figure is added to the scene, first the High Priest Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, or any other peripheral figures. Then comes Mary Magdalene, Saint John, and the Blessed Mother. On Good Friday, we have a family procession to the table, the youngest child places the crucifix in its spot and we read Psalm 22, sing a song or two and officially inaugurate three hours of silence in the home. The curtains are drawn and the lights are turned off. Only the candles on the table are lit, and they gradually go out, one by one, until it is dark. This is a great time to pray the Stations, the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary or any other devotion that has to do with the Passion as a family. At 3 pm we go to church. Next year I want to have a figure of a corpse and a linen shroud to wrap around it and have a formal burial ceremony before departing for church. The rest of the day is fairly quiet, as if a loved one had just died in the home. The tomb is taken out and the stone rolled in front of it. There are figures of guards on either side. The tomb is displayed next to Mount Calvary. (You need a fairly large table to do this.)
Holy Saturday afternoon the guards fall asleep (we lay them down). Then later, before the Vigil, we have our own little family vigil. There is another procession, but first, there is the “paschal candle”. It’s really just a “Christ candle” that people sometimes put in their Advent wreaths, but it’s taller than your average candle, probably at least twice or three times as tall as a regular pillar candle, and it has an xpi on it already. I write the A and Omega signs on it with a black marker, with the 2007 just like the real one. There is a lighting ceremony, with readings, prayers and a blessing with holy water by the father. Then we process from the darkest part of the house (our bedroom) to the prayer table. Everyone carries something. There is the white cloth for Easter, the extra tall candle holder, to give the candle some real prominence, and of course the figures. We sing an appropriate processional song, something solemn. There is a reading of the Resurrection account, the tomb is opened by the youngest child and the glorified body of Jesus taken out or displayed for the first time. (Mary Magdalene and whoever else will be added on Easter morning.) The table is already decorated with Easter lilies and so forth. You can also renew your baptismal vows while you’re at it. Everyone can light their own baptismal candle from the Easter candle and recite the Creed. Then all the lights go on. The candle is extinguished only if/when you leave the house for church or go to sleep at night, otherwise it is left burning all day Easter Sunday and as much as possible during the Octave.
This whole thing is great especially if you have small children or if you are simply not inclined to attend the Vigil. It brings the most essential elements of the celebration to the child (and everyone else) up close and personal.