Living This Easter Season

by Diocese of Des Moines | March 28, 2021

Graphic says Jesus lives

LIVING THIS EASTER SEASON

The Resurrection of Jesus is such overwhelmingly Good News that a single day is not enough to celebrate it.  The Lord’s Resurrection is meant to be celebrated intensely for the whole week following Easter (known as the Octave), the whole liturgical Season of Easter (lasting until Pentecost, this year May 23), and every Sunday thereafter (each as a mini-Easter).

While Lenten observances get a lot of attention, they are means for preparing us to fittingly celebrate the Easternull season, which also deserves our mindfulness.  We continue to embrace Lent’s call to prayerful reflection and generous action, but in a new context, the Easter context.  We contemplate the saving love of the Father.  We participate in the new life made possible by Jesus' victory on the Cross.  And we invite the Holy Spirit to come and overflow our hearts with bold energy for witnessing to the Gospel!

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “We are an Easter people.”  Good Friday was not the end.  The “Season” in which we live. . . waiting for Jesus’ second coming. . . is Easter. . . or perhaps, more fittingly, Pentecost.  Ponder that.  Celebrate that...and testify to it!  This resource offers a menu of ideas for how to do that.  Choose a few that resonate with you and your family, and let Easter Sunday joy spill over into your living this Easter Season!

LIVING THE EASTER OCTAVE: April 4-11

  • Create and listen to an Easter play-list of joyful music throughout the week – maybe the Alleluia’s are sung out-loud, or maybe it’s just music that makes your heart sing “Alleluia!”
  • Visuals:  keep up the Easter décor, spring table linens, colorful eggs, candles, fresh flowers.  Put up your favorite image of the Risen Jesus or create an empty tomb scene
  • Proclaim Easter joy to your neighbors with a symbol in your front window/door, yard or driveway.
  • Make a point of having some special food each day:  a special dinner each night, some extra baking, Easter candy.  Or, since Jesus rose in the morning, have an   octave of your family’s favorite breakfasts!
  • Read a different post-Resurrection account at a mealtime or before bed, reflecting on it for that day.
  • Pray a Glorious Mystery of the Rosary daily, or start praying the Regina Caeli (the Easter form of the   Angelus) at noon every day.  (Phone alarms are great for this!)
  • Pastors, liturgists, and others at the parish put in a lot of extra time and loving effort during Holy Week and Easter.  Send them some sign of your appreciation.

DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY: April 11

  • Read about this day and St. Faustina, the nun to whom Jesus revealed his mercy in a special way.  Here’s a video for kids.
  • Offer your Sunday Mass for those who are in special need of God’s mercy.
  • Learn about and pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet,  the novena the nine days leading up to this day, or simply pray throughout the day or with grace before meals:  “Jesus, I trust in you.”
  • Place an image of Divine Mercy (as Jesus appeared to St. Faustina) in a prominent place.
  • If able, pray before Jesus in the Tabernacle.  With a grateful heart, rest in Jesus’ merciful love and forgiveness for you, personally.  Ask him for the grace to show mercy to others.

LIVING THE REST OF THE SEASON MINDFULLY: April 12-May 23

  • Plant something in Easter hope – your flowerbed, vegetable garden, or potted plants – reflecting on thenull new life and beauty Christ brings.
  • As a family, reflect on and choose which elements of your Lenten prayer and almsgiving you’ll continue.  How might they be different to reflect the joy of the Season?
  • Little kids love those Easter egg hunts.  With plastic eggs and non-candy snacks (Goldfish crackers work great!), why not have multiple egg hunts throughout the Season! 
  • Journal about your own “resurrection” experiences, times you were “brought back to life” or renewed in notable ways.  Spend time thanking and praising God.  Share with someone.
  • Choose an Easter-themed spirituality book to read this season.  Here are some possibilities.
  • Start every prayer this Season with an expression of praise or thanks to God!
  • Our daily challenges/sorrows don’t all go away this Season.  As they come, imagine the power of the Resurrection moment. Pray: “O Risen Jesus, I surrender myself to youTake care of everything.” 
  • Make each Sunday of the Easter Season celebratory with a special meal and some family reflection/prayer.  (Here are some faith conversation/prayer starters based on each Sunday’s Gospel reading.)  Schedule fun family re-creation:  games in the yard, a trip to the nursery to buy garden plants, a picnic, a hike, etc.
  • Keep a “Joy Board” – where family members write things/people/events/truths that give them joy.  Choose someone for each week of the Easter season with whom you will share Easter joy: preparing a meal, an outdoor visit, a call, sending flowers or a note/text/email, etc.
  • Traditionally, many receive Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation in this Season.  Accompanying them with:  prayer, a card/gift, a call, a subscription to a resource that will bless them in an ongoing way, etc.

ASCENSION OF OUR LORD: May 16

  • Participate in Sunday MassRead the Scriptural account of the Ascension (Acts 1:1-11).
  • Weather permitting, lie on your back and look up at the sky.  Reflect on what it was like for Jesus’ friends to watch him go up into heaven.
  • This feast reminds us of our belief in the resurrection of our own bodies at the end of time.  Do something intentional to care for your body: a walk or workout, a healthy snack, a nap, a bath.
  • In Jesus’ absence, his friends hid in fear.  Plan to give someone the comfort of your presence this week.

Brought to you by the Diocese of Des Moines with support from the St. Joseph Educational Center

Diocese of Des Moines

The Diocese of Des Moines, created in 1911, serves people over a 12,446 square mile area in the southwestern quadrant of Iowa, including 23 counties.