The Family Zone

EASTER SUNDAY! ALLELUIA!/Issue 3/April 12, 2020

"WE ARE AN EASTER PEOPLE AND ALLELUIA IS OUR SONG!'

St. Augustine of Hippo

THE RETURN OF THE ALLELUIA!

Throughout the liturgical year, the Catholic Church makes certain changes to the Mass to reflect the liturgical season. You may have noticed the absence of the Alleluia during Lent. It disappears from Shrove Tuesday, until the Easter Vigil. Did you bury the Alleluia at your parish? Some churches do that as a wonderful symbol during the liturgical season of Lent. Often, the Alleluia returns with great fanfare at the Easter Vigil. The word Alleluia means “Praise God!” When it returns, it is done so with joy!

Though our time during this pandemic can often feel boring, uncertain and even scary, our joy comes in the little blessings we experience every day. Joy is a fruit of the spirit and it is much different than happiness. You might feel it is difficult to be bursting with happiness right now among all the suffering in the world, but you can still have joy. Possessing joy is a choice. We can choose whether or not we will see God’s presence at work in the life of our family and community and we can choose whether we will believe in the saving power of Christ. When we make these choices and see that God is working through the presence of helping hands, amazing heroes or the voice of a long-lost friend, we can experience joy and our own Alleluia! Praise God..He is at work and all will be well once again. We have fasted during Lent. The 50 days of Easter are a time to feast. So, feast on HOPE, feast on Christian JOY and feast on GRATITUDE! Why don’t you spend some time on Easter Sunday sharing, as a family, all that brings you joy, gives you hope and helps you to believe in the promise of New Life?

Happy Easter to you and your family; may the love of Christ fill your home.

MAKING GOSPEL CONNECTIONS WITH YOUR FAMILY

Easter Sunday's gospel centers around the empty tomb. The reading can be found at:

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/041220.cfm

A children's version with an accompanying story that places the theme in context can be found at: http://www.word-sunday.com/Files/Seasonal/Easter/K-Easter.html

The beauty of the Resurrection gospels are that they take us from a time of immense fear and darkness toward the realization that a great mysterious miracle has occurred and with our God, anything is possible. What a great day to help your family shift from their concerns and worry over the pandemic crisis, to setting their sights on the possibility that lies in the future!

This week, we haven't provided discussion questions because we would like you to use your family time to celebrate your blessings and your faith! Rejoice in one another and the love that Jesus Christ has for you!

If you are feeling cooped up, this week would be a great time for spring cleaning. Bring new life into your space and renew everyone's spirits! Try something new together and enjoy this gift of time with one another. Be blessed! You have each other and our God is with us.

Below are two videos that you might enjoy sharing with your family. The first is an imagining of the events around the the discovery of the empty tomb and is excellent for older children. The other, for younger children is a wonderful Easter story that places the focus on Christ. Enjoy!

Easter Sunday
God Gave Us Easter ~ READ ALOUD | Story time with Ann Marie

LET US PRAY

Did Lent get away from you? We had so much change and upheaval during the Lenten season, that your pledge to give up or do something different during Lent may have gotten lost in the shuffle! The good news is, you have a 50 day Easter season to connect you and your family back to your faith practices; on Easter, we recommit to our faith by stating our baptismal promises. It's a perfect time to find some new energy in life in your family's faith life. Below you will see two opportunities to get your started. If you want to start small; why not bring grace back to your family meal each night? Want something more? We've provided you with an evening prayer service that helps to quiet your children's fears over the current situation. Want to go further? Visit our website to find news ways you can strengthen your domestic church! https://oec.dor.org/family-formation/building-faith-at-home/

CATHOLIC CONNECTIONS FROM THE CATECHISM

To help you learn the faith at home together


Download the linked PDF below to find catechetical lessons for all ages for you to share and teach the faith at home!

GET MOVING!

Below is a fun way to incorporate some extra movement into typical Easter fun. Cut out each individual exercise listed in ACTIVE EGGS pdf below, and place each exercise in an individual plastic egg. Hide the eggs. When each egg is found, the recipient must complete the exercise inside! No plastic eggs on quarantine? Just fill a jar with the cut out exercises and make a fun, changeable, exercise routine for the family! Wellness is an important factor of this time at home. To the right, you will also find a helpful infographic to help keep your family well during the crisis. Click on it to enlarge for reading.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Easter brunch or dinner might feel a bit different this year if you are unable to get together with beloved family members. Here are some ideas for connecting at the family meal:


1. Get everyone in the house in on the cooking and make that part of the celebration. We have recipes linked below for levels of ability of your budding chefs!

2. Connect virtually with family members and plan your meal at the same time. Begin by sharing prayer together and consider sharing a game like charades after dinner

3. Dress in your Easter best and make the day feel festive

4. Create a beautiful centerpiece together that is filled with symbols of new life and the Resurrection

5. Spend some time with one of the Resurrection gospels

6. Go on an after dinner walk and look for signs of new life like budding trees and crocus!

CREATE!

SHARING HOPE

For this week’s craft, create something that shows the hope that Jesus has given us through his Resurrection! If possible, put what you create in your new classroom workspace at your house, or make it visible, outside, for your neighbors to be inspired by as they pass! You can create in anyway you want...using materials you have!

Other great signs of hope to share: plant a seed and watch it grow, write a hope-filled song or prayer, send a card to a friend who works in the medical field or one who is feeling down, fill your Instagram feed with positivity...brainstorm how you can create a feeling of hope around you!

LINKS FOR FURTHER RESURRECTION ACTIVITIES AND LEARNING FOR ALL AGES

Click on an image in the gallery and it will take you online to an activity you can download for your child to enjoy!

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession