If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years as a teacher, it’s that the struggle to maintain a balance between the secular and religious aspects of a holiday is not an easy one. It’s not easy because secular celebrations almost always seem more appealing than their religious counterparts.
Easter is no different. As Catholics, Easter is the most important liturgical celebration throughout the year. It is a day that signifies our belief in Christ’s death and resurrection. But to most kids, it is the day that the Easter Bunny brings them a big basket full of candy and treats.
I guarantee that if you ask my three-year-old grandniece, on any given day to choose between going to Mass on Easter Sunday and celebrating Christ’s resurrection or meeting the Easter bunny and taking part in an Easter egg hunt, the bunny would win hands down.
Here is one activity you and your children can do together that might be the start of your Holy Week celebration.
One of the many symbols of Easter that you may find in books about this holiday is the hot cross bun, a tasty bakery treat often served during the Easter season.
There are a number of stories about this treat’s origin, including one in which a 12th-century English monk placed the sign of the cross on the buns in honor of Good Friday, and another which says the cross actually represents the horns of a sacred ox. Regardless of their origin, however, over the years these treats have become associated with Christianity’s celebration of Lent and Easter.
To learn how to make hot cross buns, visit the Web site of the popular public-television series Breaking Bread With Father Dominic at www.breaking-bread.com/episode106.htm. The site offers recipes for both the oven and bread machine.
Here are a couple of puzzles for you and your child:
Here is a Passion Booklet from Loyola Press for you and your family. You will also need
- Construction paper (8 ½ x 11) for booklet (2 sheets per child)
- Crayons or markers
- Gospel stories of the passion and Resurrection or children’s Bibles with the stories marked