March 31st, 2013 (see other dates)
Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of the Lord
Discussion Questions for Reading 1How will you rejoice with the risen Christ and the entire Church today?
Reading 1 Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Reading 1 ReflectionAlleluia! This is Easter, the day of Jesus' rising from the dead, the most meaningful day of the year for all who believe in him. Things are different today. Bells are ringing and we are singing Alleluia. In the first reading, which comes not from the Old Testament but from the Acts of the Apostles, Peter gives us a mini-version of the entire Gospel Reflection. He reviews the key events in Jesus' life, proclaims his resurrection, and describes the ministry of the apostles. Peter assure his listeners that Jesus has the power to forgive their sins. Jesus gives everyone the freedom to live a new life!
Discussion Questions for Reading 2What do you think are some of these "higher things" we are urged to set our hearts on? How can you do this?
Reading 2 Colassians 3:1-4
Reading 2 ReflectionAlleluia! In this reading we are urged to live in union with the risen Christ. Set your hearts on higher things, we are told. Be intent on the values of God's reign rather than those of the world. We have died to the old life of sin and hopelessness. Christ is risen and he will come again! And we will be taken up with him into his glory.
Discussion Questions for GospelWe have heard many times about Jesus' Resurrection. But do we truly and deeply believe it? Do our lives give evidence of the joy and peace and hope of Easter? Spend a little time today in the company of the risen Lord. Ask him to help you to truly believe in his rising, and your own. Sing him an "Alleluia!"
Does your belief in the resurrection affect your everyday life? How you treat others? An early father of the Church wrote, "A Christian should be an alleluia from head to toe!" How can you live a life of praise?
Gospel John 20:1-9
Gospel ReflectionAlleluia! Imagine how you would have felt if you had been Mary Magdalene or Peter or John on that first Easter morning. What thoughts and emotions would the sight of that empty tomb have aroused in you? At first, Mary Magdalene thought that Jesus' enemies had stolen his body. Heartbroken, she ran to tell Peter and John. They raced to the tomb and found that the burial wrappings, which had encased Jesus' body, were cast aside. Seeing this, they believed.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
The Rising SunJust as the sun rises to begin a new day, Jesus, the Son of God, rises to new life on Easter Sunday. Make a large sun for the bulletin board. Place a large yellow half-circle on the bottom of the bulletin board. Trace each child's hand on both yellow and orange construction paper. Cut these out and attach around the half-circle to form the sun's rays. Add the words, "The Son is Risen! Alleluia!".
A New Life SnackExplain to the children that butterflies are symbols of new life. Make an edible butterfly. Have each child place a graham cracker cookie stick in the center of a plate. Draw the outline of a butterfly's wings using canned whipped cream. Let the children add colorful candies to fill in the wings. Use two pieces of licorice whip for the antennae.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
An Easter Morning PerformanceAlleluia! Jesus is risen from the dead and it is time to celebrate! Present an Easter morning performance of the Gospel reading.
Choose an outdoor setting, if possible. Invite your family to take part in the production. Add your own ideas and suggestions to the outline below
Chorus of disciples (all other participants)
Dialogue (from John 20:1-9 and improvised as needed)
Music (opening song or closing song in which the audience joins)
How will you participate in the Easter Liturgy as fully as possible?
Rise and ShineChoose one of the following ways to express the joy of Easter today. Or come up with your own way to "rise and shine" like someone who truly believes that Christ is risen.
Blow bubbles! Watch their rainbow spheres rise! Each one is a sign of resurrection!
Launch a toy boat or a bottle with an "Alleluia" message in it.With your family and friends, decorate Easter eggs with symbols of the risen Christ, for example, the chi-rho (a P with an X through its stem. These are the first two letters of the name of Christ in the Greek alphabet) or an A and a Q. This means that Jesus is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega (first and last letters of the Greek alphabet). These letters are carved or placed on the Paschal Candle at the Easter Vigil. Use a crayon to write the symbols on the eggs, then dip the eggs into the dye.
Plan and carry out an Easter egg hunt for small children, using the eggs that you decorated.
Some families have a custom of finding the strongest Easter egg--sometimes called the "Alleluia egg." Each one takes an egg from the basket. Take turns hitting one egg against another. If one end of your egg gets cracked, try the other. The egg that survives with no cracks at all is the Alleluia egg! The winner may get a special chocolate bunny as a prize, or just a hearty round of applause. Use the cracked eggs to make egg salad sandwiches on the day after Easter.
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
All rights reserved.