Catholic Activity: Easter Sunday in the Home
Here are some suggestions from Maria von Trapp for young families on ways to celebrate Easter Sunday.
On Easter Sunday, according to age-old custom, meat, bread, salt, and eggs are blessed. Therefore, the big Easter ham and the beautiful Easter bread, a basket of Easter eggs, and a little dish of salt are placed on the Communion rail. There is a special blessing for just these essentials of human food which the priest says over them before Holy Mass begins.
Easter breakfast is a very special occasion. The table is set differently every year and always most elaborately decorated. It is amazing how much love one can put into such things, how much happiness it spreads throughout the family. We have, for instance, an iron mold with which we bake an Easter lamb. This presides over the breakfast table. With red ribbons, pussy willows and multicolored Easter eggs, a large family table can look breathtakingly beautiful.
Everyone finds his special Easter eggs at his place. All are in a mood for fun. An Easter egg with a fitting cartoon referring to some funny incident of the past weeks can be a happy surprise. Then there is a bowl with just plain colored eggs. Everyone takes one and asks: "Who wants to crack with me?" It is an interesting game. Grasping their Easter eggs firmly with the small end protruding the two "crackers" hit the eggs sharply together, each one trying to crack the shell on the others egg, but not his own.
The highlight for the children comes when the parents announce that they think the Easter rabbit has been around somewhere, and why don't they go and look? All over the garden, or in rainy weather, all over the house, are little nests with eggs and small surprises. The occasion is like a second Christmas Eve for the little ones.
Of course, the family is dressed in their feastday best, which is the best of the best. When the memhers meet for the noonday meal, where the blessed ham and bread and eggs and salt are waiting for them, instead of saying grace, the father intones, and the family repeats three times: "Alleluia, alleluia, alleluial" This is kept up during the whole Octava Privilegiata.
Activity Source: Your Home, A Church in Miniature by Compiled by The Family Life Bureau in the early 1950s, The Neumann Press, Long Prairie, Minnesota, 1994