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Catholic Activity: Easter Eggs Decorations

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Easter eggs are one of the oldest and most popular tradition at Easter. This is an English interpretation on how to decorate and distribute the eggs. This was written at the time of World War II, when eggs (and other goods) were being rationed.

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In some parts of the country these eggs are called paste or pace eggs, a corruption of the name "Pasch egg." Their symbolism is obvious enough, since the apparently lifeless egg contains the elements of new life. "It is an emblem of the rising up out of the grave, in the same manner as the chick, entombed, as it were, in the egg, is in due time brought to life."

Almost everyone eats eggs on Easter day, and this blessing of eggs might well form the grace before meals on that day:

We beseech Thee, O Lord, to give the favor of thy blessing to these eggs; that so they may be a wholesome food for thy faithful who gratefully take them in honor of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee, for ever and ever.
It is not surprising, in view of their symbolism, that eggs were decorated. Some were stained scarlet in honor of the blood Christ had shed in his passion, but generally they were painted yellows and browns, and sometimes gilded. There are more ways of decorating eggs than by boiling them with cochineal. Onion peel gives a beautiful yellow ochre, furze gives yellow, nettle roots give a dark brown. One can stain the eggs and afterwards with a penknife scrape a design upon the shell: or a pattern, or perhaps someone's name, may be written on the egg with the end of a candle, before the egg is cooked. On being boiled the greased parts of the shell remain uncolored.

One cannot suggest a revival of the custom of giving eggs away at Easter when eggs are still rationed. But anyone who has hens might decorate a small basket with flowers, place in it however many eggs she can spare, eggs stained and greased so that they shine, and she could even set in the midst of the eggs an unlighted Easter candle.

Activity Source: Candle is Lighted, A by P. Stewart Craig, The Grail, Field End House, Eastcote, Middlesex, 1945

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