11 Ways to Observe the 50 Days of Easter in your Family
During this Easter season of fifty days, here are 11 different activities to bring you closer together within your family life, as well as deepen your relationship with God and God’s family.
- Reflect on Act 2: 42-47 (holding all things in common) and discuss ways that you can share some of your possessions with others who have need of them.
- Alleluia is a Hebrew word of joyful praise. Find where it is used in the Book of Psalms or Tobit. It is the word for the Easter season. Make a family banner and put it in your home. Better yet, put it on the outside of your home and share the good news with your neighbors. (Leave it up for the entire fifty days.)
- Make or find a bright, beautiful container large enough to hold a few dozen pieces of wrapped candy. Place it on the dinner table. Each time you gather for a meal, each family member gets the chance to mention one sign of new life he or she has noticed or one good deed she or he had done. When finished talking, the speaker places a piece of candy in the box. At Pentecost, decide how to divide the candy or give it away.
- Make a Resurrection cross. Cut out cross pieces from tagboard. Smash and crack colored eggshells in a plastic bag. Glue onto cutout cross. Punch hold at top and hang with yarn.
- Use chalk to decorate the sidewalk around your home with Easter words and symbols.
- Prominent in the Gospels of the Easter season are times when Jesus and the disciples shared food. During the Easter season, make it a point to have a sit-down meal together at least once a week. Include all the trimmings: tablecloth, candles, dessert, etc.
- Water is a primary symbol for the Church during Easter as we recall our baptism. Bring home some of the newly blessed water from church and keep it on your family prayer table. Bless yourselves; bless one another. It might be fun to surround the bowl of water with photos and mementos related to each family member’s baptism.
- We sing Christmas carols throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons. What about the Easter songs? Are they heard in your home for fifty days?
- Sit outside. Think about how the sky changes, sometimes becoming very menacing. Each member thinks of his or her fears. If they wish to voice them, the family can respond together by praying: “God, protect us and give us courage.” Then each member of the family looks around and thinks of the wonders of God’s creation. As thing come to mind, they are voiced and the family can respond, “We praise you, God of Wonder, God of Life.”
- Make a list of your family’s legacies – not goods or money, but attitudes, standards of value and influences – that you are passing on.
- Take an Emmaus walk. Before you start out, read the Emmaus story (Lk 24: 13-35) together. Then go to some place that has special meaning to your family, or to some place where you haven’t gone for a while. Imagine that Jesus is walking with you.