The Little Way to Build a Church at Home

Our bishop is commissioning us to create an environment of prayer in our homes and to surround our children with a faithful culture.  Now, many of us have extra time with our children.  The Holy Father said that this is a time to focus on what matters.  Let’s take the words of our Church leaders to heart and spend time creating memorable moments that give our children life-long memories of a life well-lived.  This time in history can transform the way we live our lives for the better, if we seize the opportunity.

St. Therese often wrote of the power of her home environment in shaping her path to holiness.  As you may know, Therese had four other sisters who answered the call to religious life.  Her parents, Louis and Zelie have also been canonized.   She truly credits her love of Jesus to her parents and the Christ-centered home they created.

The reality of this may sound daunting.  But by prioritizing our own spiritual growth so we may set a strong example, establishing routines of family prayer, and recognizing the traditions of the Church with fun and creative projects and celebrations, we can take our family life to another level on the path to Heaven.

Families across our Diocese are already seizing these opportunities.  Check out the pictures below!  Parish leaders are directing families to online resources.  We’ve assembled many resources for you, as well.  Here are few ideas to have a beautiful and meaningful Triduum and Easter at home.

Make a prayer space.

What should I put in my prayer space?

  • A cloth or linen for the table
  • Religious art that is meaningful to you
  • Fresh or silk flowers or plants
  • Your Bible open to the day’s reading
  • Holy water or salt, if available
  • Rosary and chaplet beads
  • Candles if safe for your home

How can I include the kids?

  • Use their religious artwork or coloring pages
  • No lilies for Easter season?  Make some from paper!
  • An empty bowl in which everyone in the family can quietly place a bean or bead when they offer up a sacrifice or suffering.
  • There are so many creative ideas online to turn a window into a stained glass window.  Here is one:

Stained GlassStained glassstained glassstained glass

TIPS:

  • Tape an old shower curtain to the bottom of the window for protection.

  • Then let the kids take turns painting a spot.

  • Try not to put the same color beside each other

  • Optional:  Remove the tape

 

Ensure children understand the symbols and traditions of Easter.

Eggs – the tomb and rebirth

Chicks and bunnies – The new life of spring and our new life in Christ

Baskets – Baskets are traditionally filled with Easter food and blessed on Holy Saturday (You can watch the bishop bless the Easter baskets on our Facebook livestream.)  The tradition continues as children look for treats in their baskets on Easter morning.

Lilies – The white lily is a symbol of purity.  Remember by Jesus’ cross our sins are forgiven and by His Resurrection, we are saved.  It also awakes and blooms in the spring right around Easter time.

Lamb – We call Jesus the “Lamb of God”.  This refers to the unblemished lamb slain on Passover, whose blood saved the Israelites from the Angel of Death.  Additionally, a lamb was a traditional sacrifice offered at the Temple to atone for one’s sins.  Jesus is the perfect sacrifice, truly unblemished from sin and forever atoning for our sins if we accept the mercy He offers us. 

Butterfly – The butterfly emerges from the cocoon a new and glorious transformation from its original life. Can you think of a better symbol for the death, entombing, and Resurrection of Jesus?

 

Traditional Easter foods are also rich with symbolism.

Look for a new traditional recipe to try from your family culture, or try some new ones from around the world.  Check out some of these resources:

https://catholicfoodie.com/category/holidays-2/easter

https://www.thespruceeats.com/traditional-easter-foods-from-around-the-world-4161077

http://www.catholicdigest.com/family/world-of-flavor/201503-19easter-dinner-ideas-from-catholic-chefs/

https://catholiccuisine.blogspot.com/search?q=easter

 

Don't forget the crafts and activities.

Doing is a powerful educational tool.  Engaging in hands-on activity engages the auto-biographical memory which is a much more powerful form of learning.  So many fun activities can be found on https://pueblocatholic.org/prayer-resources/holy-week/ where you’ll find prayers, traditions and activities for each day for adults, teens and children.

Here is one of our favorites:  Easter Story Cookies https://pueblocatholic.org/prayer-resources/holy-week/