SummaryWe have a harder time observing Easter than we do with Lent. Amanda Evinger shares 5 ideas to keep the spirit alive through family crafts & activities!
Years ago, a religious sister, Sr. Marie Segolene, said something like this to me,
“In some way, it is more difficult to live out the graces of the Easter Season than the suffering of Lent, because we are not used to living the life of Heaven, the life of glory. Life is difficult, and we are so accustomed to suffering. Easter joy is something that we must really go after and grab ahold of, and not let go.”
Ever since she told me this, my experience of the Easter Season has never been the same. It has been just a little more extraordinary, a little more hopeful, a little more divine.
This Easter Season, I hope to live out this call to joy that Sr. Marie once told me about, and bring my wide-eyed students, whom I love with all my heart, right along with me.
1. Keep the Praises
When it comes to matters of the soul, I hope to encourage my children to be exuberant with joy this Easter Season—to praise God for things they normally wouldn’t.
I want to try to make the habit of saying with them from time to time throughout the day, “Benedictus Deus in donis suis!” (Latin for “Blessed be God and all of His gifts!”), or simply “Praise the Lord for His goodness!”
And, of course, there is the Easter “Alleluia!” which can find its proper place throughout our school days as well.
2. Special Foods
I also think it would be a great practice to keep Easter bread around for the entire Easter Season, not just the Easter Octave.
Another beautiful tradition we plan to follow this year is decorating our Easter eggs with images of my children’s patron saints and various liturgical symbols, not just with store-bought flower stickers.
We will decorate one of the eggs with golden paint and call it the “prize egg,” and the child who finds it during the hunt will get an extra reward.
3. Family Devotions
Furthermore, the statue of the Infant Jesus on our piano may receive an Easter cope this year—a makeshift, humble one, likely with scribbled crayon and leftover jewels, but nevertheless, something special to wear to celebrate the Resurrection.
I would also love to have my children act out the scene of St. Mary Magdalene coming to the empty tomb. For one, I want it imprinted very well in their minds that of all people, Jesus chose a once great sinner to be the first witness of His Resurrection.
Secondly, He chose a woman to discover His miraculous rising in the contemplative silence of the morning.
How magnificent! Such is our faith! As Mary Reed Newland notes in We and Our Children,
“And then we understand: He appeared to her first because she was the great sinner. We are with that Mary. We are other Marys. He comes to us as He did to her because He did it for sinners.”
4. A Stellar Easter Attitude
Last but not least, throughout the Easter Season, I want to teach my children to have what I would like to call a “spiffy and stellar Easter attitude” as they do their schoolwork.
We are called to be a vibrant people striving towards the Beatific Vision, not a group of mopey, whiney folks who don’t know what life is all about. When it is time for school, it’s time for smiling, and even some laughter! Learning is truly fun—that is, unless we spoil it!
However, just as there could not have been a Resurrection without the Crucifixion, a child cannot grow up to be a well-trained, talented, thoroughly-educated, devout young adult without plenty of studying, praying and diligent effort.
5. A Cake for Pentecost?
When it comes to celebrating Pentecost this year, I hope to take these words of Mary Reed Newland to heart, and share them with my children:
“Pentecost is our birthday. The birthday of the infant Church. And we, with Him, are the Church. No mere historical event, Pentecost, happening one day in time. God exists out of time. The Spirit descends even now. We are in Christ too. The graces that came to the Apostles come to us. Now we are ready to go forth and teach all nations. Love is with us always; we need never be afraid again.”
Wouldn’t it be fun to make a cake for the Church’s birthday on Pentecost?
Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us as we homeschool our children this Easter Season and beyond!
May each day be one in which we embrace the joy of the Risen Christ in a profound way. We are all children of a resurrected King—not one that is still hanging on a Cross, and our students must know this deep inside.
Header image CC Fr Lawrence Lew OP | Flickr