Easter Activities and Resources
Easter is the most important holiday in the Liturgical Calendar. It marks God’s forgiveness of all of our sins, Christ’s triumph over death and the promise of life everlasting. The strengthening warmth of the sun, the beautiful, delicate lilies and even the brightly coloured eggs remind us that the darkest days of the year are behind us and that the promise of new light and new life lies ahead.
This year, of course, the celebrations will look and feel very different: no Easter Vigils or Masses at Church, no community Easter Egg hunts, no fancy brunches or dinners out on the town. There are, however, many things that Catholic families can do at home to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord while learning and growing in faith!
Baking is a multifaceted activity that provides ample opportunities for learning, self-care and family bonding. Incorporate reading, measurement, proportional reasoning, fractions, chemistry, nutrition and oral communication as you and your family take on recipes for traditional treats like hot cross buns or new favourites like “resurrection rolls” (cinnamon and sugar covered marshmallow wrapped in a crescent roll: as it bakes, the marshmallow melts, leaving behind a cavity just like the empty tomb described in the Gospel of John!). See the recipe here.
Easter is a perfect time for crafting as well, with Easter baskets, Easter bouquets and Easter bonnets reminding us of new life and renewed beauty. Easter eggs, dating back at least as far as the 13th century, are full of Christian symbolism: the colours representing the end of Lent and the new life of the spring, the shell representing the empty tomb and the egg itself representing our second birth.
Music not only brings people together but also teaches rhythm, counting, rhyming, coordination, patience and more. Everyone has their favourite Christmas carols, but Easter is the perfect time to break out in song! Traditional hymns like “Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing” or gospel standards like “The Old Rugged Cross” are favourites, not to mention classics like the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel's Messiah. There are, of course, more child-friendly Easter songs too, such as “Jesus Appears to Mary” to the tune of “Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?” which appears in Sing-Along Praise: Piggyback Songs About God's Love by Anita Stohs. Its second verse proclaims
Oh, look up, Mary, your Jesus is there.
Oh, look up, Mary, your Jesus is there.
Listen to what He will say.
Do not be afraid, for He calls you by name!
Your Jesus rose on this day!
Many of us are missing the support and fellowship that attending Mass offers. Yet we recall that Christ taught us “where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20), and those who worship alone are comforted by the words of the Prophet Isaiah: “I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you…” (Isaiah 41:10). God hears prayers offered in the home just as loudly as prayers offered in a church, whether it is the voice of one person or of one family. Easter Sunday is the perfect time to pray the Rosary while reflecting on the Glorious Mysteries, and this can be done alone, together as a family or virtually with online guided Rosary prayers at Comepraytherosary.org. 21st century technology also allows us to share in liturgical celebrations with the faithful around the world through live and recorded Masses hosted on websites such as DailyTVMass.com and Mass-online.org.
Not the least of all, Wonder: while practicing safe social distancing, go for a walk like the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24: 13-35) and know that Jesus is walking with you and your family. Alternately, simply sit outside: enjoy the warmth of the sun, watch the snow melt, gaze at clouds in the sky, listen to the birds sing and know that “this is the day that the Lord has made” (Psalm 118:24).
Jesus’s death and resurrection teaches us that trusting in God and letting His will be done, even in the midst of suffering, leads us to new and eternal life. Easter is a season of hope, of triumph, of victory, but most of all, it is a season of celebration. The format and the venue of this year’s Easter celebrations may be different, but the joy and the promise remain.
Celebrate Easter while learning at home in a time of social distancing with these ideas from Superior North Catholic District School Board.
"Together We Educate Heart, Mind and Soul."