"Walk around the neighborhood, looking for signs of new life.... Before dinner, sing a favorite Easter song or Alleluia."
Focusing on Easter
While many households observe forty days of Lent, they find that Easter ends after one Sunday. In fact, the observance of Easter continues for fifty days, until Pentecost. Finding small ways to continue the Easter celebration helps proclaim the importance of Easter in the Christian life.
Ideas for your Household
Discuss what activities could help us keep a joyful Easter together. Consider some of the following:
Brainstorm fifty small ways to celebrate Easter. You could write each idea on a slip of paper and put the slips in a jar. Each day, draw a slip and do what it says. Keep the ideas small and inviting, for example:
Walk around the neighborhood, looking for signs of new life.
Sing! Before dinner, sing a favorite Easter song or Alleluia.
List or draw as many “Easter verbs” as you can, for example: breathe, ignite, run, arise, bless, triumph, touch...
Make or buy cards to welcome those baptized on Easter.
Hold an Easter scavenger hunt, following these directions
Each item has a specific connection to the Easter season. You can search as individuals or as a team.
• The liturgical color of this season is white. Find something white.
• Easter happens in spring. Find a sign of spring.
• The paschal candle is central to our liturgies during this season. Find a candle.
• The feast of the Good Shepherd comes soon. Find something soft and “wooly.”
• Jesus brought new life. Find a symbol of new life.
For Households with Children
Decorate a large, white candle as a paschal candle at home. Light it for each meal during the Easter season.
Reflect on the place shared meals have in our life together. Can we make time for the gifts of grace that come only from being seated around the same table? Consider a daily dinner without television, a monthly Sunday dinner to which children can invite friends and neighbors, a breakfast eaten together instead of on the run, etc.
For Long-distance relatives of children (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.)
Postcards. Buy fifty postcards at the beginning of the season. Each day, send one card to the child. Write a joke, attach a comic strip or just send an “I love you!”
Write to the child the stories of Easter celebrations you remember from your childhood.
For Households of adults or adults and teenagers
Take turns telling the Easter story. Go around the table, each person telling one sentence of the story.
In Matthew’s gospel, the women learn from angels of Jesus’ resurrection; in Luke’s and Mark’s, they hear the news from humans. Talk about God’s messengers to us: do they come in the form of other people? dreams? events? insights?
Revive the custom of Easter visits. Once households made a custom of paying Easter visits to the shut-ins of their communities. Such visits are even more appropriate today when the number of institutionalized members of our communities has grown so much. Nursing home residents are obvious—and important—examples, but we can also extend our visiting to include prisoners, homeless families in shelters and victims of family violence in safe houses.
For a Household with a single adult
Find small ways to bring powerful reminders of new life into the home: flowering branches, blooming bulbs, spring flowers.
Revive an ancient paschal tradition for a household of one. In other times, homes were blessed at Easter. Invite a clergy person to bless your home one day during the Easter season. Invite friends and neighbors to come to your home that day and celebrate the season with you.
Learn more about how you can make Living the Good News your lectionary-based curriculum for children, youth and adults from Morehouse Education Resources, a division of Church Publishing Incorporated.