All posts filed under: Easter

Preparing for Holy Week and Easter, Part 2

I divided this initial post into two parts. You can read Part One of Preparing for Holy Week and Easter here; it includes a Holy Week family prayer booklet, music suggestions, etc. In this post, I’ll share some Easter basket plans, but mostly children’s book recommendations for Holy Week and Easter. Preparing Easter Eggs and Easter Baskets Last year, Bley started working on Pysanky eggs and has been introducing it to me, too.  I’m looking forward to working on the eggs in the evenings after my kids’ bedtime– it’s such a calming, meditative practice. Like Holy Week housecleaning, it’s extra nice that something so practical and (potentially) refreshing can be gathered up into our devotion. On Holy Saturday, we will dye eggs with my kids. I plan to use natural Easter egg dyes this year. This year, we’re also planning to bring an Easter/Pascha basket on Sunday morning to be blessed. This will be our first time, so it may be a year of small beginnings, but this post is very helpful in learning what may …

Preparing for Holy Week and Easter, Part 1

As I’ve been in the midst of preparing for Holy Week, my mind has been lingering on this description from Gertrud Mueller Nelson: The sacred mysteries of the coming week, the very apex of the Church year, are brought into our homes. Actually, we move gently back and forth from the sacred rites at church to folk and family traditions and then back again to the richness of the Church. The tangible signs of our inner transformations are found in materia in the ordinary and daily things around us, renewed and charged with meaning. . . Bread and meats, kiss and cross, oil and water, water and fire, passion and praise, candles and eggs and dress and chants, primal laments and bursts of thanks, fasting and feasting, silence and sounds, all these mix and point up the poetry of paradoxes which the sacred mysteries celebrate.  The simple objects are within our reach at home. The simple gestures done at church and then at home with reverence and consciousness can bring the mysteries straight to hearth …

Getting started with Pysanky

Well, one more week until Holy Week, just enough time to consider whether you might like to try the traditional Easter art of pysanky!  Pysanky, or the creation of decorated Ukrainian Easter eggs, is a very old practice that originated in Eastern Europe.  Traditionally during Holy Week, and in some communitites throughout Lent, Ukrainian ladies would gather in the evenings to decorate these special Easter eggs to adorn the baskets that they would bring to be blessed Easter morning.  The baskets were a celebration of new life, often including things that had been given up during Lent, such as meat, eggs, and rich breads. Last year I was curious and decided to try this art for the first time.  My children joined me in learning, and we have all come to enjoy and value this quiet, simple, meditative activity.  Perhaps you might like to try it as well this year? The materials you will need are very simple and inexpensive: a kistka (writing tool) beeswax for pysanky a candle and holder matches eggs (you can …

“Darkness Flees at the Death of Death”

For Death is about to learn the final lesson: That Life and Death are after all not peers. They are not of the same kind; they are not cut from the same mold; they are not two sides of the same coin. Death is of the mortal creation. Death reigns as King over the mortal world. But death, by definition has no place in immortality. Infinity, which can hold all things, has no room for finitude.

“Now All Things Have Been Filled with Light”

Alleluia! Christ is risen! We have compiled some quotations from the church fathers, for your reflection and joy this Easter. St. John of Damascus: “Now all things have been filled with light, both heaven and earth and those beneath the earth; so let all creation sing Christ’s rising, by which it is established.” St. John Chrysostom: “O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” St. Augustine: “Our Life himself came down into this world and took away our death. He slew it with his own abounding life, and with thunder in his voice he called us from this world to return to him in heaven. From heaven he came down to us, entering first the Virgin’s …