When I worked at the parish I typically took Easter week off after all of the things of Holy Week, the Triduum, and Easter weekend. To say there’s a lot of things going on in Lent is the understatement of the Liturgical year. We’ve got ashes and stations and fish fries and devotions and fasting and service and small groups and that’s all before we even consider the added events of Holy Week like distributing palms, receiving new oils, washing people’s feet, stripping the altar, building a fire, baptizing new members, and being happy, friendly, and welcoming to our visitors on Easter morning.
First we say Alleluia and then we say “Lord, let me rest please.”
So many times the Easter season is a quiet one in the parish because “we just need a moment to pause.” But what if it wasn’t this year?
I’ve got two ideas you can still implement or encourage your parishioners to participate in.
First, have a four to six week book study on the Apostolic Exhortation Guadete et Exsultate. What better time to talk about holiness than in the joy of Easter?! There are five chapters and just 180 paragraphs (which sounds like a lot, but isn’t for a papal document!) … so one chapter a week for participants and a discussion at the parish over morning coffee and donuts or an evening of wine and cheese. Keep it informal, inviting parishioners to just come and discuss holiness and the world.
A few resources for a small group study:
- Purchase copies of the book in bulk: OSV Catholic Bookstore
- People can also read it online: The Vatican website (even in multiple languages if they prefer)
- Share a webcast about it with summaries: Recorded Webcast with
- Great resources from America Magazine: Top 5 takeaways
- Reflection Guide from the Archdiocese of Washington: PDF
Second, share a verse daily from the Acts of the Apostles. We read from Acts each day for daily Mass as well as weekly on Easter Season Sundays. Share a story from Acts each day on your parish’s social media. Remind parishioners that we are called in the same ways as the early church to share the Good News of the Resurrection. Create a simple graphic and change out a verse each day to share on social media.
Additional Resources for Acts:
- Ascension Press’ study on Acts
- Formed.org Resource of the Audio: This is a dramatized reading of the Acts of the Apostles. You could encourage families to listen to some each week. (your parish does need an account)
Do something different this Easter Season; don’t let it slip by because it’s almost May, the end of the school year, or there’s just ‘too much’ going on. Remember as St. John Paul II says:
“We are an Easter people and ‘Alleluia’ is our song.”-Saint John Paul II, Address in Harlem, New York (1979)
At my parish we sing a simple version of this song and each year it makes me incredibly happy to be in Easter! Here’s a version in both English & Latin.
and one more video because children’s choirs are so cute: