The last year or so I’ve been reading a lot on the Liturgical or Sacred Church Year. I am by no means leaning into becoming Catholic or Orthodox, but I have found that incorporating some of the rich aspects of traditional worship into my own observances has been so so beneficial.
An Enriched Lent
We began Lent on Ash Wednesday when I began this study on the the Prodigal Son, with Edie Wadsworth, from lifeingraceblog.com. She’s a Lutheran, and I’ve loved so much of her writing which reflects her deep faith and the highlights the Lutheran leanings toward the need for grace in our daily lives.
I read somewhere about having 6 candles and lighting them all on Ash Wednesday, on each Sunday prior to Easter, eliminate one candle. Then on Good Friday extinguish them all. It’s like the reverse of Advent, to remind us of Christ conquering the darkness in the Resurrection. I don’t force anyone in the family to participate in this, I just take a moment to center my heart and mind on the season, and honestly, the entire process was just so powerful this year. By resurrection Sunday, I was full of this anticipation to celebrate!
A Beautiful Holy Week
Last year, we did a daily study of walking through the last days of Jesus’ life on earth leading up to the cross…and on Holy Saturday we made Resurrection Rolls.
This year we changed it up according to our schedule. Each night of Holy Week we had our Family Time either after dinner or during Homeschool…
We did our main readings from this book by Vic KParker…It was very thorough (good for younger and older kids) and divided the week up perfectly…love the illustrations too.
and added Easter Hymns to our binder we use for Morning Time/ Symposium most days…
On Monday we read about Jesus clearing the Temple, on Tuesday we read about the Last Supper and had a “footwashing” of our own (we washed each others hands) and had communion.
On Wednesday we read about Jesus’ praying in the the Garden and his betrayal. On Thursday we read about his false trials and the beatings he took for us. On Friday, the crucifixion. Saturday was a day of silent reflection.
And Sunday….we celebrated.
We joined with other saints at a service…which was beautiful. Full of dance, visual art, music, congregational singing and the gospel message…best of all, the expectation reflected on the faces of fellow believers.
The kids got their baskets AFTER church (there was no way they were eating candy before church!)
Then the extended family came over for dinner. We all love to see the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins – but according to my dad…holidays were a must for the family to get together.
Dinner was complete with our singing, conversations, jokes and of course delicious food.
I try to make our celebrations a bit more meaningful by taking an hour to plan a little “outline” that includes poetry, or scripture reading, some songs/ hymns, games, etc. This is what this year’s looked like…we had a “progressive reading” of the Resurrection Story as napkin rings. I found them here.
I try to set the table the night before. This year I was on a tight budget, so created a centerpiece with silk flowers from storage, my sister ended up giving me some fresh flowers that day, So I incorporated them happily.The rest were decor I already had from years past. Loved stuffing old plastic eggs with the conversation starters, they were like Easter “fortune cookies”.
The kids table had an Easter I-SPY Game I found here…
After dinner we headed outdoors for the Egg Hunt…
And back indoors for dessert!
Happy Easter – Christos Annestis!!
PS – I was super happy with my easter decor this year. I spent a whopping $3!