Easter

 

Easter Triduum

2012

The Holy Triduum is the longest liturgy in the year.  We begin with the sign of the cross on Holy Thursday and close with the sign of the cross at the end of the Easter Vigil.  It is truly a blessed liturgy leading up to the holiest day of the year!
 
We were blessed to stay healthy and make it to church each day!

Holy Thursday ~

2012

Today we celebrated The Institution of the Holy Priesthood and the
Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
Before we headed out to Mass we had our
Christian Seder.  This is something we all look forward to each year.  I’ve heard mixed reviews of having a seder.  For us it is a holy experience to see how Our Lord fulfilled the old prophesies.
Each child had a question to ask.  We look at our unleavened bread and remember that by His stripes we are healed.  We talk about Jesus being the Lamb of God and how the Israelites marked their doorpost with the blood of a lamb and were saved from death.  We taste bitter herbs and think of how bitter our sins are.  We dip them in salt water to remember tears wept.  Then we dip the herbs into applesauce and thank God for the sweetness of hope in Christ.
 
 

This year we had Angel Food Cake with Cool Whip and talked of the sweetness of Eternal Life and the purity required to get there.  We also discuss the shape of the cake and how it being round reminds us that there is no end to God!

 

After Mass and the little ones were tucked in, we watched The Passion of the Christ with House Cat and Snuggle Bug before bed. 

What a moving way to prepare for Good Friday!

Holy Thursday

2010

Messianic Passover Meal

A Catholic family can enter more deeply into the Passion of Christ by having a seder meal, similar to the Passover, or Last Supper that Jesus would have celebrated with his Apostles. With the knowledge that Christ has come and redeemed the world, we can incorporate a Christian attitude during the seder meal. At the beginning of the seder meal, a traditional Jewish blessing that also explains the origin of the seder meal and its history. Included here is the blessing with Christian meditations. Directions:All gather around the table and stand quietly. The mother, or chosen hostess, lights a candle, since it is the Jewish mother”s privilege to light the Sabbath candles.

MOTHER OR HOSTESS: The traditional prayer of the mother in the Jewish family as she lights the feast day candle before the meal is this:

Blessed art thou, O Lord God, King of the universe, who hast sanctified us by thy commandments and hast commanded us to kindle the festival lights. Blessed art thou, O Lord God, King of the universe, who hast kept us alive and sustained us and brought us to this season. May our home be consecrated O God, by the light of thy countenance shining upon us in the blessing and bringing us peace.

FATHER OR LEADER: This is Holy Week, a time that joins for us the Old and the New Covenant. At this season the Jewish people celebrate the feast of the Passover or Pasch. More than 1,400 years before the time of Christ, the chosen people were suffering in slavery in Egypt. God raised up Moses as their leader and Moses tried to secure their release from captivity. Despite the hardships of nine successive plagues which God sent to them, the Egyptians still refused the pleas of Moses. Then an angel of the Lord was sent to strike down the first born son of every family; but at God’s command, each Jewish family had sacrificed a lamb and sprinkled its blood on the doorposts. And the angel, seeing the blood, passed over their homes and their children were spared.

Then, finally, Pharaoh permitted the Jews to leave. They fled in haste, to wander amid the hardships in the desert for forty years before coming to the promised land. And God commanded Moses that the Jews should make a remembrance of their day of deliverance (Exodus 12:14-28). Thus the Passover became the great feast of sacrifice, of deliverance and of thanksgiving. Each Passover meal revolves around the retelling (the Haggadah) of this Providential act.

We who are the followers of Christ see the working of God’s concern for His people. As God sent Moses to rescue the Israelites from captivity in Egypt, so He lovingly sent His Son to redeem fallen man from slavery to sin. By the sacrifice of Himself, Christ opened the gates of heaven to us.

At this time Christians and Jews celebrate their own feasts in their own ways and we can see in these celebrations the common bond of the symbolism of the Exodus. Jesus was a Jew and today we wish to draw upon the traditional Jewish Seder and the words of the New Testament to help us more fully appreciate Jesus” observance of His Jewish heritage, whose laws He kept.

Matthew’s, Mark’s and Luke’s accounts of Christ’s sacrifice for us each begin with His celebration of the paschal meal:

Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus to say, ”Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” (Matt. 26:17) (see also Mark 14:12 and Luke 22:7-9)

(Activity Source: Passover Meal, The by Arleen Hynes, Paulist Press, 1972
Taken from Catholic Culture)

Holy Thursday Meal Menu
 

For Christian families remembering Christ’s heritage, celebrating a meal on Holy Thursday in memory of the Last Supper is a great tradition.

DIRECTIONS:

Seder Meal Preparation

The room is prepared for a truly festive occasion. The table or tables are set with the best silver, dishes, linen and flowers. The children may make large banners on shelf paper of the Paschal lamb, breads on a platter, the Last Supper, phrases from the scriptures, chalices, loaves and fishes, brick walls to symbolize the slavery of the Jews, and marked doorposts or any other gaily colored symbolic pictures of their own making. In this way the children can enjoy a creative experience, decorate the home or hall and learn through symbolism. A wine glass (or grape juice for the young children) is set before each place.

The centerpiece is a white frosted cake, molded in the shape of a lamb, or an angel food cake whose circular shape symbolizes eternal life. A candle is placed at the head of the table.

The food for the meal is carefully prepared and served, announcing to all present that this is indeed a special feast. If possible, the menu contains the symbolic foods which are required for the feast of the Passover.

The Seder Plate

Jewish custom arranges on one plate the symbolic food used during the service. If the ecumenical gathering of family and friends is large, small bowls of these foods will also be placed at intervals in easy reach of all. On the Seder plate or tray are arranged several items.

The bone from the roasted leg of lamb is always at the Jewish table and may be on ours. It symbolizes the sacrificial lamb offered by the Israelites and was eaten on the eve of their departure from Egypt. Whether we actually eat lamb at this meal or not, Christians have retained the symbolism of the Lamb of God. (I haven’t gotten lamb yet – so I use chicken)

Matzos, in memory of the unleavened bread which the Jews ate when they were freed from Egypt. (If you cannot obtain Matzos use white crackers or pita bread, placing the whole sheet on the table so that portions may be broken or torn off.)

As part of our celebration, I put questions in front of the plates for the children to ask.

“Why are we eating unleavened bread, or matzah, tonight?”

Why are we eating bitter herbs and whydipping them twice tonight? 

  
Our fathers dipped hyssop branches into the blood of the Passover lamb, that they might mark their doorposts.
Bitter herbs, for the bitterness of slavery. Horseradish or spring radishes may be used. Haroses, a food made of apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine, chopped and mixed together to look like the mortar which the Hebrew slaves used in their servitude. (I use applesauce)Greens, parsley or watercress, used as a token of gratitude to God for the products of the earth. (Catholic Culture)

Water with salt added in another small dish is needed into which to dip the greens and bitter herbs. Recipe Source: Passover Meal, The by Arleen Hynes, Paulist Press, 1972
Taken from Catholic Culture.

 

The Lamb was killed so that the blood could mark the doorposts of the houses of the Israelites. When the angel of death saw the blood on the doorpost he would pass over that house and not kill the first born child. Jesus is our Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

(Taken from this site)

When you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death, until He comes again.

I Corinthians 11:26

 

This round cake symbolizes the sweetness of Eternal Life. The white color reminds us that we must strive for purity to attain it and the candles remind us of God’s presence.

This is a special time for us all.  The kids always ask can we do this again next year!

 

Good Friday ~

On their own, Buck and Honeybee made these scenes with playdough and Playmobil.
 
The Scourging at the pillar ~

 
Our Lord’s Crucifixion.
 
Jesus is placed in the tomb.
 
Once again they made this craft from the Seton Art1 book.  (I have the original pages filed in my Liturgical Notebook and make copies for them each year.)
Our Lord dies on the cross and is placed in the tomb.
 
 

At 3:00 we began praying our Divine Mercy Novena.

Afterwards we went and prayed Stations of the Cross at our parish.
 
Then we came home and made Passion Pita Pizzas.  See below ~
We were all so thankful for food in our tummies after a day of fasting. Back to church for Commeration of the Lord’s Passion. 
~ The girls sang the most beautiful song with the choir called “My Savior, My Friend.”  It was so moving! The refrain says, “On the wood of the cross hung my Savior, my Friend.  Now I come, here I adore and give praise to my Lord without end.”
 
Family Read Aloud ~ Amon’s Adventure
We started reading this last year and got busy and didn’t finish it.  This year we picked up at Palm Sunday and finished on Easter.  It was wonderful!
 

Our Good Friday Meal ~

Passion Pita Pizzas

First we took a pita and discussed how the stripes remind us of Our Lord’s scourged body and that by His stripes we are healed.

We are also thankful that He gives His body to us in the Holy Eucharist to streghten us along our journey.

 
We brushed the pita bread with olive oil for He was arrested in the Garden of Olives.
(I bake these at 425 for about 5-8 min to get them crispy)
 
Next we spread the pizza sauce to represent the blood He shed for us and for all so that sins may be forgiven.
 
 
The white cheese and mushrooms were added to represent purity from sin.
 
 
We added green bellpepper in the shape of a cross to represent life. 
 
 
Black Olives were added for His 5 Wounds.
 
 
Onions were added last to represent tears shed.
 
 
I sprinkled a little more cheese on the top and baked them for about 10 min., keeping an eye on them so they didn’t burn.
 
They are very symbolic and yummy!
 
Lord by Your Cross and Resurrection You have set us free, You are The Savior of the World!
 
 

Holy Saturday ~

Candy Crosses ~

Easter Eggs ~
Paschal Candle ~
Beautifully painted by The House Cat. 
The five cloves represent His wounds.
 
We pray ~ 
By His Holy and Glorious Wounds May Christ Our Lord Guard us and Keep us!
 
 
My mom came and went to the Easter Vigil Mass with us.  The girls sang with the choir again.  It was a beautiful evening! 
We were so glad to have NaeNae there with us!

2013 Easter Calendar

This year I made a calendar to count down the 50 days of Easter, which was inspired by our Lenten countdown calendar, which is found under the Lent tab.

2-14-13 1661

We used a flower stencil to trace the flowers for each day.

We chose ~

Red for Martyr’s Feast Days

Pink for Sundays

Blue for Saturdays

Yellow/Gold for all other days.

2013-04-04 001 2013-04-04 002

I have enjoyed watching this fill up with beautiful flowers as we continue to celebrate Easter, the greatest Feast of our Christian faith!

 

He is Risen!

 
For breakfast we had Friendship Bread with a precious little butter lamb given by a dear, sweet friend.
 
 
Everyone was happy with their Easter Baskets!
Filled with journals, pens, bubbles, playdough, and plenty of sweets to go around …

 ~2011~

Psanky Eggs

Rechenka's Eggs (Paperstar)
Rechenka’s Eggs is such a wonderful book!
Honeybee wanted me to read it to her yesterday.  So, I asked her and Buck to join me on the couch to read.  As usual, Buck gave me lip about it.  “Do I have to?”
Yes, I told him.  Poutingly, he sat down beside us girls.
About half way through the book, he leaned over and rested his head on my shoulder, looking as I read.  When I was finished, I asked him to choose a book for me to read.
Guess what he said???  “Let’s read this one again.”
Of course, I opened it right up and began to read again.  This time I stopped when we got to the page where Babushka is blowing the inside of the egg out and asked if they would like to try this.  “Really?”  Yes, really 🙂
You’ll want to wash the egg first.
Then poke a tiny hole in each end.  I used a small pocket knife and a needle.
Then blow, blow, and blow so more….
I’ve since learned they make hand tools for this 🙂
Once the eggs were empty inside, I washed them with cool water and put them in an empty egg carton to drip dry.  The empty egg shells are so light!  Everyone thought that was really cool.
We watched this video of a real Babushka painting the eggs in a special way called psyanky.  This is an amazing form of art!
I knew this was more than I could do at home, so I broke out the “special – permanent” paint that the kids had been begging to use for some time.
Here are their creations and the meanings of the symbols they chose.
Honeybee
Brown Cross for Strength in Jesus
Blue Swirl for protection inside a triangle which represents the Holy Trinity
White represents purity
Buck
Blue Swirl for good health and defense
Green Saw for spring, new growth, and loyalty
Brown Net for endurance as a fisher of men
Snuggle Bug
Red Rose for happiness, love and caring
Ribbons for everlasting life
Brown Ladder for strength and endurance in prayer
Yellow Cross for Christ’s light
Red swirls for Hope in God’s protection
Purple nets for denying yourself and searching out the lost
This was definitely a fun activity.  We are all hoping to make more for Easter Sunday.  I think they will really add to the Easter dinner table both in beauty and conversation.
You can also visit Homeschool Share for a ton of activities that go along with this book.

~ 2009 ~

Easter Story Eggs

 

Buck and Honeybee enjoyed making Easter Story Eggs on Holy Saturday.

First we decorated the empty egg carton. Then I used a Sharpie to number the eggs 1-12. I ended up using these things for our eggs, mainly because we had the things around the house we needed to fill the eggs with.
 
1.Small Cracker (Last Supper) Mark 14:22
2. Silver coin(s) (Judas’ betrayal) Matt 26:14-15
3. Feather (Peter’s denial) Matt 26:33-35
4. Thorn (Crowning) Mark 15:17
5. Die or Dice (Lots cast) John 19:23-24
6. Cross (Crucifixion) John 19:17-18
7. Nail (Crucifixion) Matt 27:31
8. Sponge (I Thirst) John 19:29
9. Linen Cloth ( Burial) Matt 27:57-60
10. Whole Clove (Spices for burial) Mark 16:1
11.Rock (Closing the tomb) Matt 27:62-65
12.Empty (He is Risen) Mark 16:5-6I used a small piece of label to stick the Bible verse into the top of the egg.

Once we were finished, the family gathered and we told the Easter Story with our eggs.

I just LOVE that our egg cartons have this printed in them. So appropriate – Don’t you think?

The eggs turned out great!
 

Paschal Candle and Night Prayer Book

Dad did a great job on our Paschal Candle!
 
 We enjoy lighting our Easter Candle and praying the night prayers of our Holy Church.
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