By Dana Doyle
We have done our extra prayers, sacrifices and good deeds in preparation for the greatest celebration of the year – the resurrection of Jesus at Easter. Easter Sunday has come and gone. DON’T LET GO of the Easter Joy for which you’ve spent so much time preparing yourself! Remember that the Easter season lasts for 50 days – until we celebrate the birth of the Church on Pentecost.
Here are 12 suggestions for extending and fully living the Easter Joy in your families:
- As a family, pray each day for the 360 people in our Archdiocese who just entered the Church. This is a reason for great rejoicing!
- Make an “Alleluia” banner for your home, or have the kids make an Alleluia sign – complete with sparkles and “bling” for your refrigerator door.
- Write a thank you note to your parish priest for the beautiful Easter Mass and all he does for the parish.
- Adorn any crucifixes in your home with white drapes made out of small scraps of fabric as a visual reminder that we are still in the Easter season.
- Look up the baptism dates for each family member. Post them on the refrigerator, and celebrate those as well as birthdays!
- Purchase a holy water font for your home for use as a daily reminder of how we renewed our baptismal promises at the Easter mass.
- Plant a resurrection garden as a family, complete with flowers and a cross or religious statue. (If you use a Mary statue, you can have a May Crowning next month.)
- Have a family picnic to enjoy springtime and all of the beautiful gifts that God has given us in nature. Talk about how springtime reminds us of the Resurrection.
- Make resurrection rolls or cookies.
- Celebrate Holy Days together! Celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday as a family, then go home and have Divine Mercy ice cream sundaes! On Ascension Thursday, choose a family intention. As a family, pray the Holy Spirit Novena for that intention until Pentecost.
- Celebrate Saints feast days by learning about them and choosing a virtue to imitate – like simplicity, perseverance, or a prayer habit. Research the saint’s culture and try a dish from their country of origin. There’s St. Mark on April 25th, St. Zita on the 27th, Blessed Gianna on the 28th, and St. Catherine of Siena on the 29th. On May 1st, there’s St. Joseph the Worker. I like to use the “Saint of the Day” audio at American Catholic.org.
- The World Day of Prayer for Vocations is May 11. As a family, pray for vocations. Perhaps you might even plan to attend the priestly ordination at St. Louis Cathedral on June 6th!
These are just a few ideas. Hopefully, I’ve gotten your creative juices flowing! I pray that you and your families enjoy a very blessed Easter Season!
Dana Doyle is a teacher and religion coordinator at Lady of the Lake School in Mandeville, a wife, a mother of three, an author and an avid blogger. Visit her blog, “Catholic Working Mom” at www.danardoyle.wordpress.com. Read more about this blogger here.