I hope to share more thoughts on my Holy Week and Easter weekend, but a nasty cold and the nearly constant ministration to a sick toddler who only wants mama has left me feeling like a Mack truck rolled right over me. Truthfully, I haven’t been in the best spirits, and I don’t wish to dampen everyone else’s Easter joy. I will say I am extremely grateful the Easter season isn’t wrapped up into just one day and that I have several weeks to bask in the hope of the resurrection. Hope seems to be a word I find myself, along with several close loved ones, clinging to a lot these days. Speaking of which, until I catch up on sleep and feel more like myself, I’ll just share a few ideas on how to make the most of this glorious season, which, by the way, is 10 days longer than Lent.
After 40 long days of fasting, the Church gives us the Easter season to rejoice in the Eucharistic acclamation: “Dying, you destroyed our death. Rising, you restored our life.” The Easter season is the greatest season in the Church year and one to be celebrated. It’s also 50 days long and begins with Easter Sunday and continues through Pentecost. Help your family see that Easter is not one day to be grateful for the gift of the resurrection but a glorious season by extending the joy in your domestic church. Here’s how:
- Celebrate new life with bright colors and festive blooms. Did you make a salt clay “crown of thorns” during Lent? Transform your Lenten crown into an Easter centerpiece for your table by adorning it with flowers, greenery, or glitter to remind your family that Christ’s suffering is over. Bring spring into your home by placing fresh flowers in vases in as many rooms as possible. Another beautiful and edible Easter centerpiece is a fruit bouquet (this is a wonderful decorative touch for an Easter brunch). Use a flower or star-shaped cookie cutter to sculpt fruit like cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon into blooms. Use berries or halved grapes for the flowers’ centers. Thread a skewer through fruit pieces. Make a “vase” out of a slightly hollowed out melon, and stick skewers into the flesh of the melon base.
- Pray the Glorious Mysteries of the rosary during family prayer time throughout the Easter season.
- Leave your Easter decorations out through the entire season.
- Make Sundays extra special. Every Sunday gives us a chance to rejoice in the Risen Lord; however, you can make each Sunday dinner during the Easter season even more meaningful by adding some special touches. Use your good china. Drape your table with a white tablecloth and light a white candle to remind your family of the hope of the resurrection and Christ’s victory over sin and death. Serve lamb to celebrate the resurrection of the Lamb of God. To top Sunday night dinners off, consider serving a delicious dessert after dinner.
- Share Easter joy with others. Bring Easter treats to a lonely neighbor. Encourage kids to make Easter cards or to write letters to friends and family. Make time to play with your children. Go on long nature walks and look for signs of new life.
- Remember Easter is not an ordinary time of year. So do extraordinary things. When your child asks to jump in one of those spring mud puddles, smile and say, “Of course! It’s Easter!” Have ice cream for dinner. Let kids stay up a few minutes past their bedtime. And remind them that they owe their joy and happiness to the Lord.
*A version of this article was originally published in Faith & Family magazine.