Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Preparation

We don't really observe Lent in our house.  Neither of us comes from a liturgical church tradition, so my dh and I do not have any history to draw from.  We have decided to include some of the liturgical church year in our home, though, to provide a framework for some of our spiritual training.  Lent provides an excellent introduction to Easter (which is of course its intent), but we don't "do Lent" in any traditional sense.

This year, starting on Ash Wednesday or shortly thereafter, we began exploring the story of the Good Shepherd.  The girls each had a set of paper figures--one shepherd and several sheep--and a shoebox sheepfold, left from last year.  DS got a tissue box sheepfold, a clothespin doll shepherd, and some cotton ball sheep.  We explored a different aspect of the story each week.

Older dd needed a bit more, so we also read the Gospel reading from lectionary cycle A each week (although we missed a few weeks because I forgot).  Next year I'll try to remember to have both girls illustrate that reading each week.

Starting with Palm Sunday, we began reading from the lectionary Gospel reading each day at breakfast, still reading from cycle A.  In this way we've read through the whole passion story up through the burial.  We've been listening to the second part of Handel's Messiah each night at supper.

On Palm Sunday, the kids made their own palms and danced.

On Thursday we ate matzo ball soup and a modified haroset (a fruit salad for Passover). 

Today we made hot cross buns (although again they are rising very slowly and look to be headed for the rock status they had last year, alas).  We also made jeweled crosses (to symbolize how beautiful is the cross of Christ) and a rock tomb, into which we put the clothespin good shepherd before sealing it with a rock.

Tomorrow we will go through our Resurrection Eggs, I'll hang up a fancy jeweled egg we have, and perhaps we'll decorate eggs (although that isn't likely).  I learned today that long ago the egg symbolized the rock tomb in which Jesus' body was laid, so egg activities are particularly appropriate for Saturday.  Then tomorrow night we'll bake our Easter Story Cookies.

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