Thursday, April 13, 2017

A New Covenant Twist for Easter Baskets

I planned to use this post to tell you about an alternative Easter basket idea I had, but first....I just got back from Holy Thursday Mass, and I must say that I've never been so inspired at mass as I was to see a priest moved to tears during consecration for love of Christ present in the Eucharist. What a beautiful testament of faith! I thank the Lord for the grace to believe in the True Presence, and I'll be sure to bring tissues to Good Friday service tomorrow when we're invited to "die with Christ."  Sometimes I'm so focused on forming my children's spirituality during the holidays that I am taken aback when my own faith is stirred.

Moving on...

If you read this post about Santa Claus, it’s probably not surprising that I have similar mixed feelings about the Easter Bunny. In general, I think the stealthy fluffball distracts from the true meaning of Easter. I want my children to form memories of Easter being a sacred time…yet I don’t want to deprive them of all the sweet treats that make the holiday fun for kids.  

So, I’ve come up with a compromise for our family, and I thought I’d pass it along in case any of you out there have the same dilemma.

First of all, we’ll do our best to pack our Holy Week with meaning by attending Triduim services. Holy Week is a rich sensory experience for Catholics with sorrowful hymns, fragrance of incense, sweetness of the Eucharist, cold of the crucifix, and finally the visual splendor of the Easter candle slowly spreading light throughout the congregation. It's a lot to unpack, but we'll do our best to explain the gospels and traditions in kid-friendly terms.
Easter Vigil-St. Mary's, Holliston by Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston's photostream (2011) via Flickr, CC
I also planned this new activity to drive the point home:

Part 1: Good Friday or Holy Saturday
Supplies: Rocks, Backpack, Blindfold
Activity: Explain that the rocks represent our sins, then fill the backpacks with them. Blindfold the children and then lead them on a walk (or obstacle course, if you're daring) while they wear the rock-filled backpacks.
Lesson: This is what it would be like to try to get to Heaven without Jesus. Our sins would weigh us down and we wouldn’t be able to see the way.
Then have the children put the rocks in their Easter baskets.

Part 2: Easter Sunday
Supplies: Easter basket, eggs, peeps, candy cane, chocolate cross, chocolate coins, fruit, mini flashlight, grape juice & crackers, book about a saint, kite (
or modify these options with your own Easter favorites!)
Activity: Replace the rocks with Easter goodies.
Lesson: Help the children read this explanation of their Easter treats:

Christ has died to take away our Image result for clipart rock(sins), but He has risen to give us Image result for clipart easter egg Image result for clipart peep chick (new life)!

He is ourImage result for clipart candy cane (shepherd) leading us on a new path to heaven.

We must take up our Image result for cross clipart (cross) and follow Him.

We will be selfless on earth so we can store up Image result for chocolate coins clipart (treasure) in heaven.

By loving God and each other, we will bear Image result for fruit clipart (fruit) for His Kingdom.

He has set up His Church to help Image result for clipart flash light(light) the way.

He has given Himself to us in the Image result for clipart eucharist (Eucharist) as food for the journey.

We can learn from the Image result for clipart saint (saints) who have come before us.

Keep following Him, and Christ will Image result for clipart kite(raise) you up, too! 

I wish I had the time and motivation to do these kinds of activities more often, but I’m hoping this one turns into a memorable tradition that we can expand upon as the kids mature. What Easter traditions do your family observe?


1 comment:

  1. Interesting new tradition - I will need to see what Virginia thinks. We had some interesting questions from Eleanor with regards to Jesus and Easter, specifically if Jesus liked candy and what was his favorite.


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