“He is not here; he has risen…” – Luke 24:6
For the next 50 days, we celebrate the Easter season. Easter is the greatest of the solemnities, the highest feast of the Church year. On Easter we celebrate the fact that Christ has conquered death and opened the doors to eternal life! Easter is no small party for Catholics. On Easter, we renew our baptismal promises, welcome new members into the Church, and begin a 50-day celebration of this newness of life in Christ which we have received.
So here are a few super simple ideas to make Easter last beyond Easter Sunday…
1. Pope Saint John Paul II famously said, “We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” Attach some alleluias (three is a good number!) to your prayers this season – before or after grace at mealtimes, or during your morning or evening prayer. You can say your alleluias after your amen, just like at Mass. You can also renew your baptismal promises as a family each day or week during the Easter season.
2. Fill your house with flowers. I like lilies for the season, for reasons in keeping with Church tradition, and maybe even more so because we’ve got a little Lily in the Warner family now!
3. Bake (and gift!) Easter cookies. The season of fasting is over, so as you’re doing your Easter feasting, why not bake some cookies, white or brightly colored, sprinkled, and in the shape of Easter symbols? Better yet, give some to family, friends, and neighbors to share the joy of the season. (We have a cross-shaped cookie cutter and make our Easer cookies by decoration the “empty” crosses.)
4. Read some Easter picture books with your children or grandchildren. Here are a few helpful lists from the Kennedy Adventures, Shower of Roses, and Catholic Icing. We’ll be cranking through many of these!
5. Celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday with a Divine Mercy Tea (invite others to your house shortly before 3 p.m. to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3, followed by a little tea party afterward with tea and goodies for the feast day and maybe a short reading from St. Faustina’s diary) or you can celebrate the feast by complying with the conditions for the Divine Mercy Indulgence.
6. Celebrate the Ascension. 40 days after Easter, celebrate the Ascension with a picnic on a mountain (I think a small hill counts, too!), praying a novena to the Holy Spirit, or making an Ascension craft with your kids/grandkids.
7. Celebrate Pentecost. To finish off your Easter celebrations, plan to celebrate Pentecost 50 days after Easter. Try this easy activity for discovering which gift of the Holy Spirit you’ll pray for this year, wear red, and pray the short and powerful Come, Holy Spirit prayer as a family.