Myrrh-bearing Women



  1. Students should be able to say the word “myrrh” and know its meaning.
  2. Students should be able to tell the story of the myrrh-bearing women in their own words.


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.
  2. Scripture References: Luke 23:55-24:9, Mark 16: 1-11. Like the disciples, these women had followed Jesus all the way from Galilee to Jerusalem. They had listened to His teachings and knew His words were true. These women were very brave. In spite of the Roman soldiers and the mocking crowd, they followed our Lord to His cross. When all of the disciples (except whom? John) and run away, they had stayed at the cross. They went with our Lord to His burial. There are eight women typically depicted in the icon of the Holy Myrrh-bearers – Mary the Theotokos, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Solome, Mary the wife of Cleopas, Susanna, and Mary and Martha of Bethany (sisters of Lazarus). Why were women going to the tomb? Why on Sunday? What is myrrh? What did they find? What did they do?

  1. Discussion: What is the meaning of death? Why does God allow death? How did death enter the world? How does the world around us explain death? If death is the end of everything, how would you live? How do other religions view death? In what way would say that our entire spiritual life is a preparation for death? Are you afraid of dying? Why or why not? Does God care if we die? (Remember, “Jesus wept.”) Has anyone ever escaped death?  Did Mary die? How do we know we have victory over death? (the resurrection) 


  1. Discuss burial customs. What are our customs? (“Memory Eternal” or eating koliva?) The Jewish custom was to rub the body with myrrh. Why couldn’t the women do it Friday night? (the Sabbath) Where was Jesus’s body put after He died? Can you remember whose tomb it was? We usually bury people in the ground and fill the grave with dirt. How was the tomb of Jesus sealed? (stone) How did the women feel when the stone was rolled away? How would you feel if the grave of a loved one were found dug up? But, Jesus’s body wasn’t stolen; He told the women He had risen from the dead! How did they feel now? What did they do?


  1. Play a learning game: Verse Scramble. Divide the class into 2 teams. Choose 5-10 verses  or pieces of verses from today’s lesson. Make two identical sets of cards for each verse, one for each team. Each set should consist of several cards, each card with 1-3 words from the verse. Mix up the cards for each verse and paperclip together until class time. Place the first set of cards in front of each team. At “Go” the team tries to arrange the cards in order. When they are all in place, the players stand holding the cards so the verse can be read in order. That team gets the point. Then, move on to the next verse. Suggested verses?

Mark 16:2                    Mark 16:5                    Mark 16:6 2nd part

Luke 24:2                    Luke 24:5 (quote)       Luke 24:9


  1. Add to your time line as usual.
  2. Close with prayer. Consider the "holy myrrhbearers" of your own parish, those women who silently serve with sweet-smelling flowers, decorate the tomb, prepare the candles, and pray for them especially.