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April 9, 2020

Celebrating a faith-filled Easter season at home with your children


Celebrating a faith-filled Easter season at home with your children
 

As we prepare for Easter celebrations at home this year, we need to think creatively about ways to teach our children and deepen their understanding of the glory of Easter. Easter is the most special day in the liturgical year, and the good news is that our celebration extends beyond the feast day. This liturgical season continues for 50 days — through the Ascension of Our Lord, ending on Pentecost Sunday (seven weeks after Easter Sunday). Even after this liturgical season concludes, we continue to celebrate the Paschal Mystery every Sunday when we celebrate the Holy Eucharist at Mass. Here are some ideas for teaching your children and celebrating a faith-filled Easter season as a family this year.

Fifty days of Easter calendar

On Holy Saturday, download this fifty days of Easter calendar for your children to color and learn about the seven Sundays and special celebrations of the Easter season. Display this calendar in a central area where they can mark off each day of the season.

Preparing for Easter Mass at home

On Easter Sunday morning, gather some candles and pick some flowers to be displayed in your worship space at home. Sing Jack Miffleton’s “Easter Alleluia” for children together as a family as you decorate your home. Teach them about why we sing the Alleluia on Easter Sunday. Put on your ‘Sunday best,’ get out those Easter bonnets and celebrate by viewing and participating in your parish or diocesan livestreamed Mass. You can also find more livestreamed Masses here.

Easter brunch as a family

After Mass, celebrate by taking family photographs and making an Easter brunch at home. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but encourage each family member to participate in the creation of the meal. Here are some fun lamb- and sheep-shaped dessert ideas that kids love to make. Plus, they don’t require any molds. Pray before the meal using one of these children’s Easter prayers and sing “This Is the Day” by Jack Miffleton.

Easter arts and crafts

After brunch, spend some time together as a family making arts and crafts or playing games. This coloring book is perfect for children ages 3–6. Games, crafts, and worksheets for children in grades K–5 can be found here. And here are some crafts for children of all ages.

Sunday family brunch throughout the Easter season

Continue this Sunday brunch tradition on each Sunday of the Easter season, and begin each meal with an Easter season prayer. Sing “Easter Song” by Mark or “Cristo Resucitó/Christ Is Risen,” by Luis Bojos from El Señor Nos Invita, Vol 3.

On Ascension Thursday, listen to the story of “The Ascension of Jesus” by Paule Freeburg, DC, and Christopher Walker. On the last day of the season, when we celebrate Pentecost, dress in red, light a red candle (if you have one) and sing together “Share the Light” Bernadette Farrell.

I hope these resources help your children learn about and celebrate the Easter season. Family time is a cherished time, and I sincerely wish these ideas bring you closer as you share in faith prayer, song and celebration.

 
Dr. Mary DiCamillo, MT-BC
Dr. Mary DiCamillo, MT-BC

 

Dr. Mary DiCamillo, OCP Parish Ministry Consultant, is a Catholic music educator and has taught at all levels, from preschool to college, for the last 30 years. She is also a board-certified music therapist and has been a member of the American Music Therapy Association since 1990. Mary has worked as a music educator and music therapist in K–12 schools, universities, health care settings and has owned a private practice. She is also an experienced accompanist and cantor, and she currently leads worship at St. Catherine of Sienna Catholic Church in Laguna Beach, CA. Mary provides ministry consultations for Catholic schools and parishes in the Southwestern United States.