The season of Easter is a special time to rejoice over the new life we have in Jesus Christ. The Easter season lasts fifty days and ends on Pentecost Sunday. This post is a presents a collection of Catholic Easter resources to enrich this special liturgical season for families – including two new exclusive family-focused resources.
Share these resources in preparation for the Easter season!
WHAT WE CELEBRATE
Although we celebrate Jesus Christ’s Resurrection every Sunday, the Easter season is a special time to remember and rejoice over the new life we have in Christ. As in all the seasons of the year, during Easter we remember Mary and the saints for their belief in Christ and witness to his Good news.
EASTER SYMBOLS AND PRACTICES
WHITE AND GOLD
Instead of the violet purple tones that we see used during Lent, symbolic of mourning, suffering, humility, regret, and penance, in Easter we see white and gold. These colors are used in the priests’ vestments and throughout our parish churches. The bright and joyous tones of gold and white are colors associated with the Resurrection and with life and light. Gold is a precious metal we often associate with God and with heaven.
During the Easter season, we begin to sing “Alleluia!” again. The word alleluia, which has been omitted from liturgical celebrations during Lent, means “praise God.” We will sing it again and again throughout the Easter season as we celebrate that Jesus has risen and has conquered sin and death. Bells ring in our celebrations of Mass as well.
This year, the Easter season will extend through the month of May. May is a special month of devotion to Mary, the Mother of the Son of God. We honor Mary and learn from her example as the greatest saint during the Easter season.
SIGNS OF NEW LIFE
The Easter season coincides with the start of spring in the Northern hemisphere. During spring, signs of new life appear appearing in our in backyards and parks. Depending on the region or climate, many animals and insects return. Birds begin to call their spring songs. Spring flowers bloom. Spring flowers, particularly the fragrant lily, are used in many churches as part of the liturgical environment for Easter. We use our senses to observe and experience these signs of new life as the Easter season begins—both within our parishes and without.
EASTER PREPARATION IN THE HOME
EASTER PREPARATION CHECKLIST FOR FAMILIES
As retails stores display Easter baskets and Easter attire, we all know there is more important preparation that needs to take place before we are ready to celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection this spring.
We share the meaning of Easter with our family members and students. Adorning our learning and living spaces with signs of the season can help us focus on the joy and celebration of this liturgical season as well.
Provide families with an Easter preparation checklist to help them prepare hearts and homes for the season.
Invite even the youngest family members to participate in Easter preparation with a printable Easter mobile handout.
Additional materials for this activity include a stapler or hole puncher, scissors, string or yarn, crayons, markers, or colored pencils, and paste or glue.
Children can decorate the parts of the mobile from the printable handout and then they or an adult can cut out the parts of the mobile. Mobile assembly can be completed using a hole puncher or stapler; attach one end of each piece of string or yarn to the "dot" on the mobile parts "love", "new life" and "Jesus." Staple the other end of each string to the "Easter" part of the mobile, showing that love, new life and Jesus are essential elements of our Easter celebrations.
The mobile can be hung in the family prayer space during Easter.
EASTER TABLE PRAYER CARD
One of the special ways we celebrate Easter is by sharing a meal. Invite children to design a table prayer card to be shared during an Easter meal with family and friends.
This printable prayer card highlights the signs of new life that we experience during Easter and our new life in Jesus Christ.
After it is decorated, it can be used on Easter Sunday or before meals shared during the Easter season.
EASTER FAMILY PRAYER SERVICE
Family prayer is an essential component of celebrating the Easter season.
Encourage families to gather together to grow closer to God and to each other. The Easter Family Prayer Service offers a simple Easter prayer experience for families to share.
ALLELUIA EASTER ACTIVITY
Invite families to praise God as they compose a song to celebrate Easter.
Children and their families can use a familiar melody for original lyrics, including the word “Alleluia.” They also may want to record children performing their songs to enjoy and share throughout the Easter season.
The Easter season lasts fifty days, beginning on Easter Sunday and ending on Pentecost Sunday. During this sacred season the whole Church rejoices over the new life we have in Jesus Christ. Children and their families can prepare their hearts and homes for the joyous Easter season.