Easter in the Home
Easter is the Great Festival of the church year. It is time to celebrate God making EVERYTHING new and whole. Sin is dead in the grave, we have been raised through baptism into a new life in Christ. Easter is the very heart of the church year: everything else takes its meaning from Easter. Easter is more than a day, it is a fifty-day season. It takes a whole season to celebrate the wondrous Easter miracle! It is the time to celebrate God's mighty demonstration of power, liberating the world through suffering love, creating a new day, a new order.
Easter is the time to focus on the meaning of resurrection in our own lives and for the world. Time to reflect on what it means even in the midst of pain and suffering.
Easter mood is one of deep joy, celebration. Colors are gold and white, with bright spring tones.
There are many Easter symbols showing new life coming from what was seemingly lifeless. Eggs, butterflies, seeds and lilies all show new life coming from something seemingly lifeless—hard eggs, cocoons, seeds, or bulbs. The Paschal candle shines forth the Easter victory, shattering the world's darkness. Flowers, also represent new life and joy.
Eggs are the most familiar Easter symbol. I've sometimes written Ukrainian eggs, a form of prayer, as a Lenten discipline. Making the eggs is a spiritual activity. Begin by making the sign of the cross and praying, "O God, bless us and help us." The quiet activity is a time for spiritual contemplation, too. Many kinds of eggs may be collected, those with religious symbols are particularly appropriate.
Easter decorations help show what an important day this is for Christians. Easter is certainly as worthy of decoration as Christmas.
Easter brings joyous changes in our home. The festive decor is a contrast to the simplicity of Lent and Holy Week. An Alleluia banner and fresh golden flowers encircling a Paschal candle greet us on Easter morning. Fresh flowers are special a treat, as spring may be barely beginning here in Michigan.
As part of the morning's simple liturgy, we place some grain, oats, or grass seed if grain isn't available, in a glass dish, pouring water over it.
The seed grows beautifully in a week or two with just God's good water, the water of baptism, and God's good sunshine coming through the window, symbolizing Easter's renewal of life and gladness of heart.
There are many wonderful traditional Easter breads. We often have a cinnamon roll lamb bread. We've had traditional molded lamb cakes, though we've since settled on a butterfly cake. The butterfly cake is easy to make, simply decorated with candies.
At Easter morning breakfast use the simple Easter liturgy (see PDF below). Have a Paschal candle in the center of the table. The second page may be repeated each Sunday while the green seedlings last. Or it may be used with any other living plant.
PDF file for Easter Morning family worship leaflet has just a bit to read, to sing, and to pray.
Print on heavy stock and you'll have reusable leaflets that may simply be pulled out to be used year after year. Covers may be decorated by children.
Reading should be done by both adults and children; it is important to involve everyone at an appropriate level.
Light the Paschal Candle each night until Ascension, forty days after Easter. The weeks following Easter may be used to look at the landmarks of one's life in the church: baptism, Eucharist, confirmation/confession of faith (maturity), marriage and death. These events are worthy of family examination and attention.
The Bunny Who Found Easter by Charlotte Zolotow is my favorite Easter story for young children. It is deeply theological with the understanding that "Easter [is] not a place after all, but a time when everything lovely begins once again." This concept never needs to be outgrown, rather it deepens as a child matures, capturing the meaning of Easter without introducing gruesome crucifixion details to young children.
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The Easter Hare by Margaret Meyerkort is a lovely tale that connects the Easter hare with the Jesus Child
Blessing of the Easter Eggs
Dear God, we thank you for the gift of Easter eggs, a sign of new life
and Easter joy. May these eggs remind us of the
joy we have in you now and always. Christ is risen. The Lord is risen, indeed. Alleluia.
—adapted from Debbie Streicher, Milestone Moments
- Paschal Candle for the Home: Cathedral Candle Company has several Christ candles that make good home Paschal candles as it has the Alpha and Omega; most church supply sources offer incense nails separately so you can make a cross on the candle (the incense nails represent Christ's five wounds). The candle is undated so it can be used for years;
- Butterfly Cake Pan: there are a number commercially available, mine is an old Wilton butterfly pan that is usually available now on eBay;
- Butter Lamb Mold: available from the Polish Art Center;
- PDF to print more flags to use with lamb;
- Ukrainian Egg Supplies are available by mail order from the Ukrainian Gift Shop in St. Paul, Minnesota. Luba Perchyshyn and her mother Marie Procai started the shop and created the first pysanky-making kits in the United States.
- The Polish Art Center has many lovely and useful European Easter things: Easter lambs from Krakow, lamb cake molds, special Easter napkins, egg sleeves, and more.
Easter Cinnamon Roll Lamb Bread
Easy Lamb Cake
Rice Krispie Lamb
Butterfly Cut-Up Cakes
What Does This Day Mean? The Great Vigil of Easter at Home from Building Faith
Build a Better Easter Basket
Ideas to supplement Easter candy while celebrating faith—consider using just one or two, saving other ideas for other years
Why Eggs on Easter? A Christian Answer
How to Reinvent Your Easter Egg Hunt *For Good*
Helping children spread Easter joy beyond the parish
How to make a Resurrection Garden—fast, cheap, and easy!
Lovely idea for home or church—these are very popular in England
What Does This Day Mean? Celebrating Easter Morning at Home from Building Faith
Happy Easter — The Resurrection (Narnia style)
Excerpt from C. S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Easter Resurrection Butterflies
Make different styles for indoor or outdoor use
2 Easter Crafts: Resurrection Garden & Easter Wheat
Simple activity for church or home)
Easter Sunrise at Home: Building a Family Tradition
Special breakfast with readings and reflection
Tips for Starting Church Year Celebration in the Home
Church Year Resource Books
Advent in the Home
Christmas in the Home—All Twelve Days
Epiphany in the Home
Lent in the Home
Holy Week in the Home
Easter in the Home
Ascension Day in the Home
Pentecost in the Home
Trinity Sunday in the Home
Ordinary Time in the Home
Baptismal Anniversaries in the Home
Valentine's Day in the Home