April 16-22: Octave of Easter
Blessed James Duckett + St. Agnes of Montepulciano + St. Anselm + Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu + Earth Day
We’re just beginning Triduum (find resources for that in last week’s edition), but we’re already planning ahead for the Octave of Easter. So, a little early…may your family enjoy a warm and blessed Easter!
JOIN US FOR A LAUNCH PARTY
In the Realm of Mist and Mercy Launch Party • 7-9 pm CDT • On Facebook
You’re cordially invited to a launch party for In the Realm of Mist and Mercy, our new religious adventure novel for young teens! We’ll be giving away signed author copies and other gifts, interviewing author Susan Howard, and talking about Catholic fiction for kids. The party’s on Facebook, so it’s a BYOB thing; you can join by going to the Mist and Mercy Launch party event page and selecting “Going.”
8 THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS
1. Celebrate the season with food, fun, and prayer. Everyone knows Lent lasts forty days, but do your kids know how long Easter lasts? Fifty days! And we’ve got 10+ ways for your family to celebrate on Easter Sunday and throughout all the Easter season—not to mention a primer on the Easter liturgy.
2. Give your kids a heads up about what to expect at Easter Mass. Here are four things for your kids to note about the Easter Sunday liturgy:
- We’re singing the alleluia again, after “burying” the alleluia for the forty days of Lent.
- We’re ringing bells again (if your church has any).
- The Sequence, an ancient liturgical hymn, is sung before the proclamation of the Gospel.
- Instead of the profession of faith (“I believe…”), we’re renewing our baptismal promises and being sprinkled with the waters of baptism.
Going to the Easter Vigil instead? Here’s what kids can look for.
3. Say an Easter meal blessing. The USCCB’s Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers contains a special blessing for the first meal eaten after the Easter vigil, following a widespread tradition in Slovak countries. If you don’t have a copy of Household Blessings, you can learn more about the practice, and find an older version of the blessing, at Catholic Culture.
4. Don’t be afraid! That’s what Jesus tells the women he meets after the Resurrection in Sunday’s Gospel, which you can preview with your kids with the help of Breaking Open the Word at Home.
5. Sing “Alleluia!” Remember those Alleluias you buried with your kids at the beginning of Lent? Time to go “dig them up”—or at least point out to your kids that the Easter lit6urgy is lousy with alleluias!
6. Read the Resurrection narratives all week. During the Octave of Easter, the Scripture readings for Mass focus on the resurrection narratives. Try reading the daily Scripture readings every day this week so that your kids can hear a wide variety of resurrection narratives. What are some common features of the different stories? Point out to your kids that Jesus always appears to his friends, not to the general public; the people to whom he appears often don’t recognize him at first; and although he can appear and disappear at will, he has a real body, which he demonstrates by showing the apostles his wounds and eating with them. Teens, precocious older kids, and parents might be interested in Felix Just, S.J.’s web page on the Resurrection in the New Testament. Besides providing extensive background on the Resurrection, he also provides a chart comparing the accounts and questions for reflection.
7. Change your prayer table for Easter and set out holy water. If you keep a prayer table in your home, be sure to change it up for Easter. Here are some ideas:
- Change the covering to white (or gold) for the duration of Easter.
- Set out a picture of the Resurrected Christ.
- Purchase an Easter lily (they’re usually discounted after Easter).
- Get some holy water from your parish and set out a bowl of it on the table, and use it to bless your kids during family prayer.
- Make a Paschal candle for your prayer table.
- Bring out the bells! Bells are traditionally rung to celebrate Easter in many European countries.
You might also put holy water out by the doors of your home during the Easter season. If you do, explain to your kids the connection between holy water, baptism, and the Resurrection.
8. Mark Earth Day the Catholic way. The Church preached respect and care for the natural world long before it was cool. This Earth Day, share some of that tradition with your kids. We’ve got 5 ways to put a Catholic spin on Earth Day.
SAINTS FOR YOUR KIDS TO KNOW & LOVE
Blessed James Duckett (Wednesday). James (d. 1601) was raised as a Protestant at a time when it was illegal to be Catholic in England. But while working as a bookseller and publisher in London, he read a book called The Foundation of the Catholic Religion, which led him to become Catholic. Years later, he was sentenced to death for printing Catholic books; on the way to being hanged, he embraced and forgave the man who had betrayed him.
St. Agnes of Montepulciano (Thursday). Agnes (1268-1317) was such a good and wise child, she persuaded her parents to let her enter the convent at age 9, and became abbess (leader) at age 15. Her reputation spread far and wide with stories of healings, visions, and miracles performed by her. On her deathbed, she told her sisters: “Do not grieve over much at my departure; I shall not lose sight of you. You will find I have not abandoned you and you will possess me forever.”
St. Anselm (Friday), who wanted to be a monk when he was a teen, but his dad wouldn’t let him. When he did become a monk, he became famous for his writings about the Christian faith. He is known as the father of scholastic theology, which tried to prove the existence of God logically. He
defi ned theology as “faith seeking understanding,” and wrote Why God Became Human. He is a Doctor, or learned teacher, of the Church.
Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu (Saturday) was involved in Catholic Action as a teenager and taught the faith to children. She entered a Trappistine monastery at the age of 20 and devoted her time there to praying for Christian unity. She offered her life for that cause during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 1938, and died the next year.
ALL THE COOL KIDS . . .
. . . are going to be reading In the Realm of Mist and Mercy, a new fantasy/adventure novel from author Susan A. Howard. When young Waljan of the Wood is forced to move to a new home in the city, his first instinct is to resist everything about the change. However, it isn’t long before his new circumstances put him on a collision course with the evil lurking in Mortinburg, as well as his own true identity . . . an identity that will only become clear if he can somehow discover what lays beyond the mysterious, unassailable wall that lies waiting in the woods outside the city. You can read an excerpt from Chapter 7: Secrets of the Heart right now, or preview the entire book at Gracewatch Media.
In the Realm of Mist and Mercy was written for ages 9 and up as an allegory of the Catholic faith, and is accompanied by a book of lesson plans with a complete catechetical framework. You can get it now at Gracewatch Media, or wherever books and ebooks are sold.
MARK YOUR (CATHOLIC) CALENDAR FOR . . .
- Divine Mercy Sunday (Apr 23)
- Feast of Catherine of Siena (Apr 29)
- Catholic Home Missions Appeal (Apr 29-30)
“Whoever looks at us must see
Jesus in us, for charity is the virtue
above all others that makes
—Blessed Savina Petrilli, whose feast day is Tuesday
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE
We’re previewing the next round of MISSION:CHRISTIAN journal covers over on our Facebook group, Peanut Butter & Grace Parents. Join us! It’s a closed group, so you’ll need to request to be added.
GET MORE PEANUT BUTTER! GET MORE GRACE!
BOOKS FOR SPRING
MISSION:CHRISTIAN Easter 2017. Did you know that the Easter season lasts longer than Lent? Help your kids celebrate Easter to the fullest with this colorful daily journal. It’s full of missions for every day, plus prayer prompts, saint stories, fun facts, and much more. Order early; quantities are limited.
The Illuminated Rosary complete set. “I can lead the rosary now!” That’s what we hear kids saying when they have one of the Illuminated Rosary books in their laps. The words of the prayers are printed on every page, opposite a sacred artwork depicting the mystery of the rosary being said. Kids love these books, but so do adults and grandparents! Available in hardcover (allow extra time for shipping) or softcover sets.
Molly McBride set. Kids love the spunky young Molly McBride and her feisty sidekick, the wolf-pet Francis. Get books one and two for one low price while supplies last.