One of the great gifts our Church gives us is the liturgical calendar. After spending the long season of Lent in purification, preparation and sacrifice, we have an even longer season of Eastertide–fifty whole days to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It’s a wonderful joy- our celebration is so big, it can’t be contained in one day. Practically speaking, though, it can be hard to keep a celebration going for such a long stretch. Once the eggs are dyed and the candy is eaten, what can we do to keep the Easter celebration going in our homes throughout the 50 days?
Here are 10 ideas to try this year:
- Pray the Regina Coeli. This prayer is traditionally prayed in place of the Angelus during Eastertide. I find it helps to set an alarm on my phone to remind me to stop and pray at noon. We like this chant version (in Latin with lovely images accompanying). If you want to learn to chant along, try this video (which has the chant notation with the Latin text underneath). As an alternative, here are the words side by side in Latin and English.
- Decorate with fresh flowers. If you use small vases, you can make one grocery store bouquet stretch throughout your home. We’ve also been incorporating the flowers our children pick up on our walks (especially dandelions, which seem to be everywhere this time of year).
- Place a white drape or some white flowers on crosses and crucifixes in your home. Every time you glance at them, you’ll be reminded that Easter is still happening.
- Add an alleluia to your table blessing. At our evening meals during Eastertide, we sing “Thanks be to God, Alleluia!” just like we do at Mass on Easter Sunday.
- Listen to Easter music. The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles have a new Easter recording (Easter at Ephesus) that is heavenly. You can listen to samples at their web site. I also have an Easter playlist available for streaming here.
- Use the Garden of the Good Shepherd calendar to count the fifty days. This is a reusable sticker calendar with lovely illustrations by Tomie dePaola.
- Make a paschal candle for your home. You can make the candle yourself from beeswax kit or just decorate one from the store. Light it during prayer times or at meal times as a reminder of the new light of Easter.
- Keep a jar filled with jelly beans on the counter. Treat yourself and your family to jelly beans for acts of charity or kindness to one another.
- Make an Easter prayer chain. On each link, write the name of someone you love or a special intention for each of the fifty days of Easter. You can choose a different intention for each day or pray for the same ones every day for fifty days.
- Pray the Stations of the Resurrection. These are fourteen stations like the Stations of the Cross that focus on the events of the Resurrection. Andrew Walker created a beautiful book with art by the great masters and written meditations for each station. Catholic Icing features a list of the stations with scripture references, plus activities and resources to experience this prayer practice with your family.
Finally, remember that you can simply spread out your “normal” Easter activities. Instead of trying to do all the Easter-y things on the weekend of Easter, consider saving some of them for later on in the season. Hold an egg hunt a few weeks after Easter Sunday, or plan to dye eggs the weekend following Easter Sunday. Send an Easter card or two each week between now and Pentecost. With fifty days to fill, there’s no need to rush- we have plenty of time to do all the Easter celebrating we want to do. Personally, as a busy parent, I find this very reassuring…if we didn’t get to everything on or before Easter Sunday, we have nothing to fear. As Pope St. John Paul II said, “We are an Easter people, and Hallelujah is our song.” We are especially blessed, because we have so long to keep on singing it.
Need more ideas to keep on celebrating? Try these:
What other ideas do you have? How does your family keep up the Easter celebration during Eastertide?
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Copyright 2015 Abbey Dupuy.
Photo copyright 2015 Abbey Dupuy. All rights reserved.