Having children often brings a family to celebrating the holidays much more purposefully than they did without them- and for us, Easter is no exception.
I always loved Easter growing up. Sunday morning, I would get up to a colorful Easter basket filled with all sorts of goodies. I’d get dressed (often in a homemade jumper from my mom) and get ready for church. The house would be filled with sun streaming in the living room windows and the bustle of putting on ties and tights and hairspray.
At church, there would be a lot more people than usual. Easter lilies dotted the sanctuary, and a brass quartet joined the big pipe organ for the morning’s hymns. We always sand, “Low in the Grave He Lay,” then all stood up on the first chorus- “Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes!”
After church there was an egg hunt at home while my mom prepared Easter dinner. And there was always a feast to enjoy together.
Over the years, we have begun collecting our own set of traditions for Easter. While we don’t always get to do every single one of these activities, they are some of our favorites:
Egg Dying- I just love this tradition- it’s such a fun project to do together! The egg is also a symbol of new life, so you can remind children that they are new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17).
Holy Week Services- I have attended only two of these in my life, but I am surprised by how much I love them. On Maundy Thursday, our church reads the passage on the last supper, and we share communion to remember the meal Christ shared with his disciples. On Good Friday, the passages detailing the crucifixion are read, coming to an end with darkness in the church building and all exiting in silence. These two services help to highlight the potency of the Scripture passages leading up to Jesus’ death- and set us up for great joy on Easter morning when we celebrate the resurrection!
Good Friday/Easter Meal- I originally found the idea of a Good Friday meal from Jessalyn Hutto (her site was originally Desiring Virtue). I can’t find the original post to link, but I want to be sure to give her credit! Some of these ideas are hers and some are my own additions/alterations. Our Good Friday/Easter menu has come to include:
- Lamb- I like this recipe. (To represent Jesus, the sacrificial lamb.) I ONLY buy lamb once a year because it is so expensive, but I think that in this case, sparing no costs reminds me of the great cost of Christ’s sacrifice.
- Asparagus spears, to represent the spear that pierced Christ’s side.
- A braided crown loaf- usually traditional challah, representing the crown of thorns and the body of Christ broken for us.
- Grape juice or red wine (depending on your family’s preference) to represent the blood of Christ, spilled for us.
- Potato balls, to remind us of the stone that sealed the tomb.
- A spring salad- why? Spring growth always reminds me of new life after a long winter, so the salad serves as foreshadowing of the new life to come.
Easter Breakfast- We have made “resurrection rolls” in the past- but whether or not we indulge in these sweet treats, we almost always enjoy a hearty breakfast on Easter morning. There’s something about coming out of the sombre season of Lent and the darkness of the crucifixion to a bright and cheery, celebratory Easter morning feast that lifts our spirits!
Resurrection Egg Hunt- You know those little plastic eggs filled with candy? While we don’t restrict our children from having an Easter treat, we do like to fill most of our eggs with something more wholesome! We fill plastic eggs with different symbols that tell the Easter story. I’ve seen many different versions of this, but here is one DIY example.
For both us and the children, traditions rich with symbolism help to keep our minds stayed on the real reasons we celebrate the holiday. What are some of your favorite Easter traditions?