Easter is a festival season of fifty days whose first day is Easter Day, the Sunday of the Resurrection, and whose last day is the Day of Pentecost. Easter begins after sundown on Holy Saturday. The celebration of Easter is initiated with the Easter Vigil, which can be observed after sundown but ideally is kept just before sunrise, so that the proclamation of Jesus’ resurrection comes with the dawn of the new day. The Easter season includes the events of Christ’s resurrection and ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. This year Pentecost is celebrated on June 8th!
As the sacrament of new life, baptism is an Easter theme; as baptized Christians we take time during Easter to ponder the meaning of membership in Christ’s body, the church. We look at events in the church’s life, the sacraments, the accounts of resurrection and the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to discover their meaning and what they tell us about how we as a community are to live the life of the Risen Lord. Like the two who walked the Emmaus road with Jesus, we can know Christ in the sharing of the word and in the breaking of bread at the Eucharist.
Overall Themes as the Great Fifty Days Unfold
• The role of the church is to continue the proclamation of the resurrection expressed with such joy at that first Easter. We hear the proclamation of the resurrection in order to pass on the Good News.
• In a sense, Christ rose again within the church. Through the Holy Spirit, the risen Christ is revealed in every new generation. The apostles found themselves filled with the power to continue the acts of Jesus that revealed God’s presence: Peter healed the man at the Beautiful Gate (Acts 3:1-10); “Many signs and wonders were done among the people through the apostles” (Acts 5:12a); Philip unfolded the meaning of God’s word to the Ethiopian eunuch on the road to Gaza (Acts 8:26-39).
• A question to ask each week: How will we know the risen Christ in our lives today?
Celebrating the 50 Days of Easter Through the Eyes of a Child
• Jesus is risen from the dead! Easter has brought us everlasting life because of Jesus’ resurrection. The Alleluias are said and sung,
• God’s love is stronger than anything, even death. Because of God’s love, we do not have to be afraid of death.
• Easter is about new life, coming from what we thought was death and bringing unexpected possibilities and surprises. Easter eggs, Easter chicks, Easter flowers all remind us of the new life in Christ.
• We received new life at our baptism, and during Easter we think about what that baptism means in our lives. Reflect with the children on the ways we keep our baptismal promises:
- How do we keep the promises we make?
- How do we show our love for God?
- How do we show love for each other?
Make an alleluia banner for the table, and talk about why Jesus’ resurrection nwould make us so happy. Take a walk and look at all the new life you begin to spot during the walk. Read stories of transformation and new life, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Name the baptismal promises and reflect on them with pictures of how you live each of them out with your family and friends, at home and at school.
Taken from Churchpublishing.org