There was so much order and rhythm to my Lent, that now in this glorious season of Easter, I have lost my footing so to speak.
I live in the Northeastern part of the United States and the beauty of springtime abounds. Nature screams of the glory of beginnings, renewal, and a budding forth from the darkness of winter. It all seems to resonate towards this new season of life of Easter.
The days are getting longer, the warmth of the sun feels restorative and yet I am still in need of some spiritual direction.
Thank goodness help is here.
In an Easter homily given by the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI he talked of the many symbols of Easter.
The light of longer days remind us of the Light of Christ, bringing new life out of the darkness of chaos. Spring rains or water, call to mind the cleansing of Lent and Baptism as well as Christ descending into the waters of death. With rising, He gives us new life. If we allow ourselves to be touched by Life itself, we are drawn to rejoicing and singing “Alleluia!”
I pulled out my well worn copy of a long out of print book called, The Fifty Days of Easter for the Christian Family by Teresa Zepeda with Laurie Navar Gill to reminded myself of the rhythm of the Easter season set out by the Church.
We can begin with continuing to greet all we meet with an Easter greeting, reminding our friends, and neighbors that Easter just began and continues for the entire Easter season. Yes, it continues for an entire 50 days!!!
At the week’s community rosary, one of the members mentioned that her parish priest calls out to his congregation…”Christ is truly Risen!” And he awaits the Response from the congregation….He is truly Risen.
Love that, don’t you??!! How about trying that out and have your family members greet everyone with “A joyful Alleluia to you.”
What about Easter Traditions?
Not so very long ago it was also a tradition to wear new Easter clothes all Easter week. This might not be very economical or practical, but couldn’t we make a simple intention to change up our clothing attire to fit the season, to even just add one beautiful Easter color or symbol or new item to our wardrobe?? (Want to teach about Easter colors and symbols, use my Holy Week and Easter Kit.)
I know that all the Easter Egg Hunts seem to be over, but maybe you can still host a gathering in your own yard with family and friends, or go on a picnic together during this Easter season.
There is no reason why you could not make cookies in the shapes of the Easter symbols as a treat for neighbors and friends, a gentle reminder of the season.
In many countries there is the devotion during Easter week to go visit the cemeteries a time to pray the deceased and for their coming into glory with the risen Christ.
Here is a prayer that my family often says at the end of our grace at every meal as a way to always remember to pray for those who have departed. It is also an important spiritual work of mercy:
“Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen”
Perhaps there’s even a local shrine or even just a beautiful church in your local area that you as a family can take as a small pilgrimage during this Easter season. Invite another parish family who has never had the chance to take a little pilgrimage and pack a picnic lunch or stop at a local place for dessert with the family.
The idea of taking pilgrimages is something that seems to be out of fashion these days.
Yet what a lovely opportunity during these 50 days of Easter. Let us rekindle the joy in meditating on the glory of God as we visit a beautiful shrine or Church that is devoted to a beloved saint. So many local Churches or shrines offer their beauty and show how those who built it gave from their hearts to glorifying God by their handiwork and craftsmanship within that Church.
The Easter Journey Each Week of Easter.
Did you know that each week of Easter has a special significance? Yes, it is the story of God’s mercy and love and in His gift of Resurrection. It unfolds each week, taking us through the Acts of the Apostles as we move towards the Ascension and finally to Pentecost.
Divine Mercy Sunday is this week, the Second week of Easter. There are so many awesome resources from the order devoted to the Divine Mercy, the Marians of the Immaculate Conception.
This year we follow Cycle A of the Gospels, which means that on the Third Sunday of Easter we traditionally have a great reminder of the disciples who met Jesus on the road to Emmaus. I so love this reading especially how it ties in the holy sacrifice of the mass and how we can recognize God in the “breaking of the bread” it also helps us to remind that we need to model the gift of hospitality. Host a brunch after Mass this Sunday.
The Fourth Sunday is known as Good Shepherd Sunday! Jesus is the door of the sheepfold. It is only through Him that we can find salvation. How about listening to some beautiful music written with the Good Shepherd in mind to lead us towards the beautiful and true!
Here is Shepherd of Souls by Sister Agnes:
The we have, The Lord is My True Shepherd by Joseph Mohr
Coloring pages for the little and not so little ones are great too!
Here is a free coloring page for Good Shepherd.
And how about this lovely book….
For the Fifth Sunday of Easter we hear from the Gospel…
“Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.”
Let’s focus on our path, Jesus is the clear path to truth and to a life in Christ that we are all called to, a call to Holiness, even in the day to day, even in our homeschools. I found these delightful resources from Catholic Icing for this Sunday.
On the Sixth Sunday of Easter we will hear how Jesus explains to us that if we love him we will keep his commandments. He also promises the coming of the Holy Spirit which will follow as an anticipation for Pentecost.
Here is a video of the Ten Commandments for Children.
Which bring us to…
The Ascension of the Lord which is the Seventh week of Easter which comes during the Easter Season, 40 days after the Resurrection of the Lord. I remember it well as Ascension Thursday, but now it is moved to the following Sunday in many parts of the world.
I promise to follow up with another blog just on the Ascension and Pentecost, the birth of the Church. There is just way too many good ways to celebrate these days with family that I want to share.
Let’s continue the conversation…let me know what will you be doing this Easter Season, and relax…you got 50 days…
Join me in the Catholic Homeschool Community where we are building Catholic Culture in our Homeschool Journey!!!