Faith & Life



Happy Easter Season! I hope you haven’t forgotten that Easter lasts 50 days. I recently heard someone say they make a point of eating dessert every single day during the Easter season,
which is the kind of spiritual advice I can get behind! Mother Church has blessed us with
this season of celebration and joy to follow the long season of penitence during Lent.

The Church’s liturgical year flows beautifully through the seasons, as it loops from Christmas in the darkest nights of the year, through the hope of the resurrection in spring, towards death and judgment in the fall, and back around again. The bespoke celebrations of the Church’s calendar tie the mystical sacrifice of Jesus’ earthly life and ministry to the tangible realities of our day to day.

As Catholic families, we’re called to live our whole lives faithfully, not just on Sunday mornings. Shouldn’t our homes look different throughout the year, depending on the liturgical season?

You don’t have to use green tablecloths during Ordinary Time (although actually, that sounds awesome. I might need to go get some.) but there are so many ways to bring the Church home for ourselves and for our children, to steep our homes in the ebbs and flows of the Church calendar.

We just finished Lent, which has a natural way of incorporating itself into our day to day, but now that it’s Easter, we shouldn’t let things go back to the status quo just yet. This is a season of rejoicing! Alleluia!

Here are a few ideas your family can incorporate to observe the whole Easter season in your own home:
■ Teach your family to pray the Regina Ceili. During the Easter season, this prayer replaces the Angelus at 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. (And it’s stuffed with Alleluias)
■ Speaking of, shout it at every opportunity! Alleluia! The traditional Eastertide greeting is, “Alleluia, He is risen!” and the response is, “He is risen indeed, Alleluia!” Teach your children and use it at any opportunity.
■ I was serious about the dessert thing. Why not? (Especially if you gave up sweets for Lent)
■ It’s not too late to decorate your home for Easter. Bring in flowers, pastels, drape white around your crucifix. Display all the Easter and springtime crafts the kids bring home from school.
■ Our family is raising butterflies right now. The kids love watching the caterpillars grow and transform, and they’ll get the reminder of the Resurrection symbolism when they emerge from their chrysalises.
■ Search the internet for “Easter Story Cookies” or “Resurrection Cookies” which are a neat way to tell the story of Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection in the form of a cookie recipe. They’re basically hollow
meringues, so while most people recommend making them during Holy Week, I think I’m saving this sugary recipe for when the kids are done with most of their candy stash.
■ And of course, continue your Lenten add-ons! Easter is a time to indulge in all the sacrifices you offered up during Lent (like chocolate or TV) but there’s no reason you should stop doing the extra prayers you’ve made a habit of. Especially if you managed to get your family used to daily Bible reading or nightly rosaries, keep it up!

Our cultural default these days is to leave your religion in the church parking lot every Sunday, but we’re called to more than that. We’re called to be Catholic every day of the week, and that means
something slightly different throughout the year. Just like we tell our family stories on birthdays and anniversaries, we should tell the stories we hear at Mass around the dinner table too.

Happy Eastertide to you and your family. He is risen! Alleluia!