Christ is risen
It is Easter at last! This is the greatest and most important feast for us Christians because Jesus is no longer dead, he is alive, he has risen from the dead.
Remove the violet and pink candles and replace them with a white candle. You may add small artificial flowers; place these on the sand, amongst the pebbles. You may also add 15 small Easter Eggs (note to parents: you may use these as the sign which will show where the next symbol is to be found)
Do you remember counting the days of Lent? Easter starts today, and it will end with the feast of Pentecost, which will be celebrated on the 28th May. So how long is Easter Time? (50 days)
Lent, a time when we made sacrifices was 40 days long, but Easter, a time when we are happy and with a joyful heart, is 50 days long. We are happy because Jesus is alive! Jesus is stronger than death and more powerful than anything which is wrong.
From your Bible, read the story of when Jesus rose from the dead, and afterwards listen and sing, Jesus is alive,.
Cut out the picture of the risen Christ and colour it. Hang it with your other pictues. (download from here)
On a heart (the same colour as the previous one), write, Jesus is alive!
see that today you wish everyone you meet, a Happy Easter.
Thank you, Jesus, for rising from the dead, and giving us the chance to be with you in heaven. Amen
What are angels?
How do you imagine angels to be?
In drawings of angels, we generally see them as cute beings with wings.
Angles are messengers of God. They are not human like us, although they were also created by God. The angels are mentioned several times in the Bible. We remember that angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, angels appeared to the shepherds to tell them that Jesus was born. When Jesus rose from the dead, the women went to the tomb, there was an angel and the angel told them that Jesus was not there, because he had risen from the dead. These were times when the angels appeared to people, however, generally we never see the angels, even though they are around us.
We have a special angel too; this angel is ours alone. We call this angel, our Guardian Angel. God gave us this gift, to look after us and help us do what is right. Our Guardian Angel is always with us, we may talk with him anytime and anywhere, when we are with friends and when we are alone; we may speak with our Guardian Angel when we are happy and also when we are sad, or afraid.
See the story, How the angels got their wings.
Cut out the picture of the angel and colour it. Hang it on your mobile. (download from here)
On the heart (same colour as the previous one) write: My Guardian Angel.
the Guardian Angel helps us. Be a guardian angel to others, help someone, today.
Say the Guardian Angel prayer.
The empty tomb
When something is empty, there is nothing inside, even though we may expect to find something. In a packet of biscuits, we expect to find biscuits, and we would be sorry, if we only find the paper, because the packet is empty!
Some women went to the tomb where Jesus was buried, they did not expect to find it empty, however that is what they found! Jesus had risen from the dead, so he was not in the tomb. This was very good news; Jesus was no longer dead! Jesus was alive. This is so important for us, that we celebrate it every Sunday. During Sunday mass, we celebrate once again, the fact that Jesus has risen from the dead, Jesus is alive.
Watch this video about the empty tomb, afterwards sing and dance to the song, Jesus is alive.
Cut out the picture of the empty tomb and colour it. Hang it on your mobile with your other pictures. (download from here)
On a green heart write: Jesus is alive
today go out for a walk in the countryside with your family. Look around and see the beautiful scenery, the plants and the animals, look up at the sky, you can see the beautiful sun and clouds during the day, and at night you can see the stars and the moon.
Thank you, Jesus for being alive, you are with us. We are never alone, because you are always there to help us and to care for us. Amen.
Do you like Easter Eggs?
Which ones do you like best? Brown or white chocolate?
Have you eaten a lot of Easter Eggs?
Jesus has risen from the dead and he is alive. What do you find in a real egg? A chick or a small bird … there is a new life. That is why the Easter Egg reminds us of the new life Jesus has given us when he rose from the dead. After this life, we will live forever with Jesus in heaven.
With an adult’s help, in the coming days, make some Easter Eggs. You may see how to do them here, (if you have the shape) or else you can use a balloon see here.
Cut out the picture of the Easter Egg and colour it. Hang it with the other pictures. (download from here)
On a green heart, draw happy faces 😊 Now you have enough hearts to form a flower. You may follow the instructions here, to make your flower.
☺ when you do the Easter Eggs, see that you do not eat all of them, but share them with others. To whom will you give some of your Easter Eggs?
Jesus, we are so lucky that we have a lot of food to eat. Today we wish to pray for all those children who not only have no sweets to eat, but they have no food either. Amen.
Remember to always thank God for your food. Say a prayer before you eat, and also after you are ready from your meal.
Chicks, bunnies and butterflies
During Easter time, in Spring, many animals are born, even trees and plants have new leaves and flowers. At this time, on cards and decorations, we see may pictures of chicks, bunnies and butterflies. These all show new life. However, they will grow up. Even we, will not remain children forever, we grow up like mummy and daddy. We do not only grow taller, but we will also know more. Now you know some things about Jesus, and about his love and how much he cares for you. You only know some of his teachings, and how Jesus wishes you to live. However, as you grow older, you will get to know Jesus more and you will learn more about what he wants to tell us.
Read the story of when Jesus was 12 years old. If your read the Bible (not a children’s Bible), this story finishes with these words, “and Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” (Luke 2, 52) Like you, Jesus was once a boy, he was a good boy, who grew up not only in years, but also in what he knew, and he also grew up in his love for God and for others. You can watch the story here,
Cut out the pictures of the chick, the bunny and the butterfly and colour them. Hang them on your mobile with the other pictures. (download from here)
On a heart (any colour you wish, but not green), write, New Life.
☺ today, hug mummy and daddy and thank them for helping you to be good children
Jesus, please help our parents, so that like Mary and Joseph, they help us to grow up, not only in years, but also “in wisdom and in favour with God and man.” Amen.
Do you know what Hallelujah means?
It is a Hebew word which the Jews used to praise God. When they say it, they would be saying “we praise you and bless you God.” Did you notice that during Lent, we did not say “Hallelujah” during mass? This does not mean that we do not praise God during Lent, however it is a word which also symbolises joy, so we do not say it during Lent to be able to express the feeling of joy and praise in Easter.
If you have gone for the Easter Vigil celebration, or attended mass on Easter Sunday, then you must have heard the joyful singing of the Hallelujah, accompanied most probably with the ringing of the bells, which announce that Jesus has risen from the dead. Jesus is alive. Hallelujah!
Sing, Oh Hallelujah.
With your parents’ help, look up Psalm 135. We said that Hallelujah means “we praise God.” This is one of the psalms which praise God. Read it together.
Cut out the picture with the word Hallelujah and colour it. Hang it on your mobile. (download from here)
On the heart (same colour as the previous one) write, Hallelujah.
☺ colour the picture of the Hallelujah and put the finished picture in your room, leave it there during Easter time, to remind you that we are to praise God every day.
For what will you praise God today? Let this be your prayer:
I praise you God…(mention the things you want to praise God for, for example, ‘because you have created me’, ‘because you love me’, ‘because you help me’, ‘because you have created everything’…)
Have you ever heard the word Chi-Rho?
Look at the picture that you will be colouring.
Have you ever seen these two letters written somewhere?
Chi and Rho, are two letters we find in the Greek alphabet. They are the first two letters of Christ. In Greek, Christ is written like this: ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ and it sounds like saying, ‘christos’.
These letters (Chi and Rho) have been put on top of each other and they became the symbol of Christ.
Christ means ‘the anointed’ or ‘the chosen one’. Do you know that Jesus was known by other names too? See this video to learn about other names of Jesus, and which we find in the Bible. Names of Jesus
Cut out the picture of the Chi-Rho symbol and colour it. Hang it with your other pictures. (download from here)
On the heart (same colour as the previous one), write Christ.
☺ today try to be more like Jesus, that is, try to do what is good. When we are good, everyone is happy.
Jesus, today we learnt that you are called by different names. Once you said, “I am the way, the truth and life.” We want to know you more, so that you can show us the way we need to go; we know that if we are your friends we are never alone in the dark, and we will have peace. Amen.
Lamb of God
Have you eaten any ‘figolli’ this Easter?
What shapes were your ‘figolli’? Did you have one in the shape of a lamb?
The lamb is mentioned a number of times in the Bible. In the Old Testament (before Jesus was born) we read that people used to offer lambs as a sacrifice to God, to show that they were sorry for what they did wrong. They believed that when they offered sacrifice, their sin was forgiven. When Jesus was born, John the Baptist, described him as ‘the Lamb of God.’ We know that Jesus died on the cross, in this way our sin can be forgiven, and when we die someday, we go to heaven near Jesus.
One of the stories where the lamb is mentioned is when Moses escapes from Egypt, together with the Jews. On the night before, the people ate lamb. Look up this story in your Bible and read it. You may also watch this video, The Passover and the Red Sea.
Cut out the picture of the lamb and colour it. Hang with your other pictures on the mobile. (download from here)
On a heart (same colour as the previous one), write, Jesus, the Lamb of God.
☺ if you do something wrong, today, remember to immediately say that you are sorry.
One of the prayers we say during mass is one in which we call Jesus, the Lamb of God. Say this prayer today.
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.
The Paschal Candle
Have you ever heard of the Paschal Candle?
Do you know what it is?
The Paschal Candle is that big candle which you see in church. It was lit during the Easter Vigil celebration. This candle reminds us that Jesus is the light, he shows us the way. When you go to church, go near this candle, and on it you will see:
The year: 2023
There are two letters, the alfa (Α) and the omega (Ω). These are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet. These remind us that Jesus is our everything.
There are also 5 pieces of incense. These remind us of the 5 wounds of Jesus when he was crucified. The incense is put in the form of a cross, to also remind us of the crucifixion.
Make your own Paschal Candle (click here for instructions.) You may keep this in your room or on the prayer table, so that it reminds you that Jesus is the light which shows us the way. This means that Jesus teaches us how to live a good life.
Sing, Jump into the light.
Cut out the picture of the Paschal Cande and colour it. Hang it on your picture mobile. (download from here)
On a green heart, write Jesus is the light.
☺ today, before, doing or saying something, stop and think, “what would Jesus do?” / “what would Jesus say?” Then do or say what you think that Jesus would do. This will not be easy, however, you will notice that if you do what Jesus would do, both you and those around you, will be happy, since Jesus only tells us to do what is right.
This is the prayer which is said when the Paschal candle is being lit, say it together with your family.
Jesus Christ, yesterday and today, the beginning and the ending, Alpha and Omega; all time belongs to him, and all ages; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The colour white
The Church uses white when it celebrates important feasts. Therefore, white is used for the feasts of Jesus; it is used during Christmas and Easter time. On Christmas day and Easter day, gold may be worn instead. White is also used for feasts of Our Lady, feasts of angels, and saints who were not martyrs.
White reminds us of cleanliness. When we do something which is wrong, our hearts are no longer clean. Some of you go to confession. You know that when you go to confession, your hearts become clean once again. Those of you who have not yet started going to confession, you need to say ‘sorry’ to Jesus and to those whom you hurt. Watch this clip, White as Wool.
Those of you who go to confession, remember to celebrate this sacrament this week, so that your heart is white and clean.
Cut out the picture with the white paint brush and hang it with the others. (download from here)
On a green heart make some white dots. Now you have enough hearts to form a flower. You may follow the instructions here, to make your flower.
☺ look around you, how many white things can you see?
Lord God, we are sorry for doing things which are not pleasing to you. Help us to do what you wish, so that our hearts are white and clean. Amen.
We always celebrate Easter during Spring, when nature is at its best after the rain we had in winter; the flowers grow, the fields are green with grass, or red with the poppies and clover, or yellow with cape sorrel and daisies. Another flower which grows at this time is the lily. The white lily reminds us of the cleanliness of the colour white, of our clean heart when we do what is right. The lily is like a trumpet which announces that Jesus has risen from the dead.
See this story about the lily, The Parable of the Lily.
Cut out the picture of the lily and colour it. Hang it on the string with the other images. (download from here)
On a heart (a colour of your liking) draw white flowers.
☺ ask your parents to buy you some flower bulbs and plant them, with their help. See that you take care of them, so that they will grow into beautiful flowers.
Thank you, Lord for the beautiful flowers that you have given us. The different colours of the flowers remind us that even we are different, you created us, and we are all beautiful because we are created in your image. Amen.
The upper room
During the Easter Triduum and even during the days of Easter, during mass we heard mentioned, the upper room. This is the room, where Jesus had the last supper with the apostles; after Jesus died, the apostles and his friends used to meet in this room to pray. They stayed in this room because they were afraid to go out, they were afraid that the soldiers would catch them and kill them like they had killed Jesus. When the Holy Spirit came down on the disciples, they were in this upper room. So this room was like a church, where people meet to pray.
Although you may go to church to pray, do you also have a special place at home where you can pray or read the Bible? If you do not, ask your parents to help you set up a special corner in the house, or in your room. In this corner, put a table with a bible on it, also put a crucifix and candle (it could be a battery operated one). You may add flowers, a rosary beads and pictures of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and saints. You may also cover the table with material the same colour as the liturgical colour of the day. At the moment the liturgical colour is white. When Easter time ends, the liturgical colour will be green. Put some cushions and chairs near the table, so that you may use them when you are talking with Jesus or listening to a story from the Bible.
Cut out the picture of the upper room, colour it and hang it with your other pictures. (download from here)
On a heart (same colour as the previous one) write, I want to pray everyday.
☺ when Jesus was in the upper room with the apostles, he washed their feet and asked them to do the same thing to others. Jesus wants us to help others. Today see that you do something for your parents or your brothers or sisters, without being asked.
The apostles stayed in the upper room to pray. Jesus I too, would like to stay talking with you. Help me so that every day I stop and talk with you; please help me not to forget. Amen.
Easter time will soon be over. It will end with the feast of Pentecost. Do you know the story of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came down on the disciples? Before the coming down of the Holy Spirit, the disciples heard a strong wind blowing.
What does the wind do?
We cannot see the wind; however, we can see what the wind does. The wind blows things from one place to another, when it is very strong it can also break things and uproot trees.
We cannot see the Holy Spirit, like we cannot see Jesus. The Holy Spirit helps us to do what is right. Therefore, all that is good, comes from the Holy Spirit. Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is very powerful. The Holy Spirit can help us to do what is right and not to choose what is wrong.
Make a pinwheel vane (see here) and put it in the yard or garden. When you see the wind turning it round, you will remember that although you cannot see the wind, you can see its effect, in this case, the wind is turning the pinwheel. In the same way, we cannot see the Holy Spirit, however when we see someone doing something which is right or we do something which is good, then we would be allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Cut out the picture of the wind and colour it. Hang it with the other images. (download from here)
On a heart (the same colour as the previous one) write, The Holy Spirit guides me.
☺ today allow the Holy Spirit to guide you: smile when you meet someone, say words like thank you, please and sorry.
Today we will say a breath prayer. Breathe in and say, “Come Holy Spirit.” Breathe out and say, “I give you my heart.” Say this prayer slowly a number of times.
Tongues of fire and the colour red
Fire is another colour used for the Holy Spirit. Tongues of fire appeard on the disciples on Pentecost. Fire is powerful, it can burn down whole forests; it reminds us of the strength of the Holy Spirit. Fire keeps us warm, like the fire of the fireplace or of the heaters, or else the fire of the BBQs in summer. In winter everyone gathers around the fireplace or the heater to keep warm. In summer we enjoy BBQs with friends. In the same way, the Holy Spirit, gathers us together and make us all friends.
For the feast of Pentecost, the Church uses the colour red. Red is the symbol of fire and of love. Red is used for the feasts of the Holy Spirit, also during Palm Sunday and Good Friday. We use red for the feasts of saints who were killed because they believed in Jesus, we call these martyrs.
Find the story of Pentecost, in your Bible and read it; you may also see this video, The Holy Spirit Comes.
Sing this song, Holy Spirit fill me up.
Cut out and colour the pictures of the tongues of fire and the colour red and hang them with the rest of the pictures. (download from here)
On a heart (the same colour as the previous on), write, Love.
☺ red is the colour of love, remember to tell your parents that you love them.
During the day, say this prayer often in your heart.
Jesus, I love you and adore you. Amen.
Sometimes, the Holy Spirit is also represented with a dove. Do you know the story of when Jesus was baptised? In the Bible we find these words, “the Spirit of God descending like a dove, alighting on him.”
The dove is a gentle bird. The white dove is also a symbol of peace. These are characteristics of the Holy Spirit, gentleness and peace.
From your Bible, read the story of the Jesus’ baptism. You may also see this video.
Speak with your parents about your own baptism. Who were your godparents? What did you wear? Do you have photos of your baptism?
Cut out the picture of the dove, colour it and hang it with the other pictures. This is the last picture. Your Lent and Easter mobile is ready! Keep enjoying it, do not put it away, leave it in your room to remind you all that you have learnt during Lent and Easter.
On a green heart, write, Peace and on another one write, Faith.
You have enough hearts to form a flower. You may follow the instructions here, to make your flower. You have made 5 flowers in all! Put them on your prayer table (we mentioned it 17th May).
☺ the Holy Spirit brings peace, enjoy singing, Peace like a river.
Say the prayer of St Francis.
Jesus Christ is Risen! The image of the Risen Christ gives us great hope. Jesus is not dead, He is alive. Today is Easter Sunday and we joyfully celebrate the feast of the Resurrection of the Lord. Jesus died on the cross but after three days He rose to new life. It is the most important event in the history of Salvation and in our Christian belief, it is the greatest feast for Christians. The resurrection shows us that Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus is the Son of God who fulfilled all that God promised to his people. It is a time of great celebration, joy, and peace.
Lord, thank you that on the cross you overcame all darkness, sin and death and are alive for evermore. Thank you that we are made alive in You and are eternally yours.Amen
Angels are God’s messengers and on Easter morning an angel delivers an important message of hope to Mary and Mary Magdalene as they are walking towards the tomb where Jesus is buried (Mt 28:2). The Gospel accounts differ slightly as in Mark, the tomb is empty, and they find a stranger inside dressed in white (Mk 16:5), in Luke and John there are 2 angels (Lk 24:4. Jn 20:11). The message which the angels deliver is very important. They tell the women not to be afraid, that Jesus is not dead, he is risen. The angels are dressed in dazzling white, they explain that Jesus truly is alive, and the women are amazed and are told to tell others what they have seen. They gave instructions as to what Jesus’ followers were to do next. Angels have always delivered important messages from God and so we acknowledge that we should believe in these divine beings.
Angel of God, my guardian dear to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day, be at my side, to light and guard, rule and guide.Amen
Pictures of Jesus’ empty tomb are a symbol of Easter as they are a sign of the mystery (something we cannot fully understand) of the resurrection. It symbolizes Jesus’ victory over death. God raised Jesus to life, and it gives us as his followers great hope, that one day we too will rise again to a new life in heaven. The tomb, which was Jesus’ burial place, becomes a symbol of new life and new beginnings.
Lord, your resurrection fills me with hope and love that one day we will be together in heaven. The empty tomb is the answer to your prayer Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.Amen
Eggs are a symbol of spring and new life and are a symbol of Easter since eggs must be cracked open for the new chick to emerge, just as Jesus’ tomb was opened by God, so that Jesus could come back to life. Easter eggs therefore symbolize the tomb of Jesus and His resurrection. From an egg which appears to have no life of its own a small chick will eventually emerge; the egg represents a transformation and new life. Also, if you remember eggs were one of the foods which traditionally should be given up for Lent and so in celebration of Jesus’ resurrection brightly painted eggs were exchanged as gifts between Christians at Easter. Customs such as egg and spoon races and egg treasure hunts have grown up in different countries around the world in celebration of Easter.
Dear God, we thank you for the gift of Easter eggs, a sign of new life and of Christ’s resurrection. May the joy of Easter be a reminder of the joy we have in you now and always through Christ’s death and resurrection. Christ is risen. Hallelujah!
Chick, bunny, butterfly
Today we have three symbols to cut out. The chick, bunny and butterfly are all symbols of Easter. The Easter bunny is a symbol of spring and new life since baby bunnies are often born in springtime. The legend of the Easter bunny started with the idea that a white rabbit would carry baskets full of eggs to share. Chicks are a symbol of Easter as they are born by hatching from an egg, they symbolize new life and fertility. Butterflies are symbols of Jesus’ resurrection since they emerge from a chrysalis which appears to be dead. Just like Jesus emerged from the empty tomb after 3 days. Butterflies undergo a complete transformation as does the Christian who lives in God’s grace.
Dear God, open our eyes to the changes we see around us during springtime. May the new growth and baby animals be a reminder that you are ever renewing our lives too. Open our hearts to the changes in our lives at Easter time. Amen
Do you know that during Lent we stop singing Hallelujah? The word “Hallelujah” means “Praise the Lord!” and comes from the Hebrew Hallelujah. It’s not that we stop praising God during Lent, but we stop singing it as recognition of the penitential season of Lent. We exclaim “Hallelujah” again during the Easter Vigil when we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. We joyfully sing “Alleluia” at Easter, celebrating a new life in Christ’s Resurrection which we received through our Baptism. At the Easter Vigil we also renew our Baptism promises recognizing that we were buried into Christ’s death and then rise with Him as new children of God, and so we joyfully sing “Alleluia.”
The Regina caeli is said in place of the Angelus during Eastertide.
Queen of Heaven
V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Chi-Rho is a Christian symbol for “Christ.” It is made of two Greek letters X (Chi) and P (Rho) placed on top of each other. These are the first two letters in Greek of the name of “CHRist.” It is known as a “Christogram,” as it represents Jesus Christ and the crucifixion. It is a very common symbol seen in Churches and in works of art. The Chi-Rho symbol was used by the Roman Emperor Constantine on his military flags, he was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity in the year 312 AD.
Thank you, Lord for drawing me close to you. Help me to stay by your side throughout my life and to grow in grace and be a faithful follower showing your great love to others so that they may love you as I do.Amen
Lamb of God
The Lamb of God is a name given to Jesus, John the Baptist calls Jesus by this title the first time that he sees him (Jn 1:29). The lamb symbolizes Jesus himself and is the most significant Easter symbol. The Jewish people celebrate the feast of Passover, and every year Jesus celebrated it with his family and friends. It is an important feast celebrating the Israelites freedom from slavery in Egypt led by Moses. It included a special meal called the Passover Seder where a lamb is cooked with bitter herbs and eaten with unleavened bread. The lamb is called the Paschal lamb as the feast was called Pesach in Hebrew. The lamb symbolizes Jesus as He sacrificed himself on the cross for the forgiveness of the sins of all mankind. He is the true Paschal lamb in human form. The lamb is often seen with the flag of victory, as Christ conquered death. The Jewish tradition of the Pasch lamb also led to the Christian tradition of eating lamb as the main meal on Easter Sunday.
Lamb of God, I worship you and thank you for all that you have done, for your selfless sacrifice on the cross which has brought reconciliation and eternal hope to all mankind. Thank you for your complete obedience and unending compassion.Amen
Have you ever noticed a very large candle in church? This is the paschal candle or Easter candle which is used throughout the year for Baptisms and is kept by the Baptismal font. Throughout the fifty days of Easter, the paschal candle stands near the altar. It is made from pure beeswax and is lit from a new fire during the Easter vigil and represents Jesus, light of the world who has now risen. The priest blesses the candle, and it is marked with the year, a cross and the Greek letters Alpha and Omega (which represent the beginning and the end). The candle also has 5 grains of incense which represent the 5 wounds of Christ on the cross and the aromatic spices which were rubbed into Jesus’ body before he was laid in the tomb.
The paschal candle is lit each day at mass during the Easter season up until Ascension Thursday.
Dear God, thank you for sending us your Son, Jesus. Thank you for the light which he brings to our lives and with that light, joy, peace, and love. In Jesus’ name.Amen
The colour white
The colour white symbolizes grace, purity, light, joy, and the triumph of Jesus’ resurrection. White is associated with perfection; white flowers are used to decorate churches for the Easter vigil. Jesus appeared in robes of dazzling white when he was transfigured on the mountain in front of Peter, James, and John. Priests wear white during the Easter vigil as it symbolizes Christ’s resurrection. They also wear white for weddings and baptisms. White is the colour worn by the Pope who is the head of the Catholic Church, he is Christ’s representative on earth it symbolizes purity and sacrifice.
Dear Lord, I open my heart to you, I offer this day to you. I am so grateful for the gift of salvation which you won for us on the cross. Thank you for the peace I feel knowing that your love, light and joy is always present in the world.Amen
The Easter lily
Easter lilies are symbolic of new life and purity and are used to decorate Churches at Eastertime. They are white in colour, fragrant and shaped like trumpets, they symbolize Jesus’ resurrection and His promise of eternal life. They are also known as “Trumpet lilies” and “Jacob’s tears.” Legend says that in the garden of Gethsemane just before Jesus was betrayed by Judas, he sweated blood and that where the drops fell to the ground white lilies sprang up. White lilies are also said to have grown up from the foot of the cross. The white lily is also an emblem for saints known for their chastity and they are pictured holding them. Such as Maria Goretti, St. Dominic, and Kateri Tekakwitha.
Creator God, you show us what love is through the beauty of the earth and the gift of your Son. Help us to protect the earth and all of creation and to speak up for those in need.Amen
The Upper Room
The Upper Room is also called the Cenacle. It was the room in Jerusalem where Jesus ate the Passover meal (Last Supper) with his apostles the night before he was arrested and crucified. After Jesus’ death the apostles continued to meet in the upper room to pray (Acts 1: 12-14). It is thought to be the place where Mary and the apostles prayed together after Jesus’ death and waited in fear, then Jesus appeared to them and showed them his wounds saying, “peace be with you.” After his ascension into heaven, they waited in the upper room for the coming of the Holy Spirit which Jesus had promised them (Jn 20: 19-23). The upper room was a place where Jesus as a human and Jesus as the Risen Christ (God) met with humanity and represents a place of prayer and a place where the Holy Spirit is at work.
Dear Lord, help me to be steadfast in my prayer just as the apostles were in the upper room. Empower me through your Holy Spirit to live a life which is pleasing to you, increase my faith so that I can tell others about your great love. Amen
Did you know that wind is a symbol of the Holy Spirit? We cannot see the wind, but we can see the effects of it, think of the leaves scattering in the wind, or the trees bending. We can also see the effects of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we show love and kindness towards each other. A wind blew over the water at the beginning of creation (Gen 1:2) and wind appeared on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and Mary in the upper room (Acts 2: 1-11). The Holy Spirit is like the wind, it has strength, energy, and vitality forever in motion.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth. Amen.
Tongues of fire and the colour red
Tongues of fire and the colour red are both associated with the Easter season. The colour red is a symbol of blood and sacrifice, we remember Jesus on the cross, when the soldiers pierced his side blood and water came out (Jn 19:34). Priests wear red on the feasts of martyrs (people who die for their faith), as well as Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Good Friday, and celebrations of Jesus Christ’s passion. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down on the heads of those gathered in the upper room as tongues of fire, we often see this in pictures and paintings. The tongues of fire symbolize the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit’s actions.
Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will transform us with His fire, His holiness, His glory, and His grace just like the first Apostles on the day of Pentecost. Amen
The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and each of the four Gospels describe one appearing at Jesus’ baptism in the river Jordan (Mt3:16, Mk1:10, Lk3:21-22, Jn1:32). In the Old Testament in the story of Noah, a dove was sent out from the ark, and it returned with an olive branch in its mouth as a symbol of God’s forgiveness (Gen 8:11). The dove and 7 tongues of fire are also a symbol for the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Sacrament of Confirmation, which some of you will be preparing for this year.
O Holy Spirit of God help me to be a true apostle. Guide me, illuminate me, and sanctify me. May my heart be always filled with your light and love. Amen
Today is the feast of Pentecost, the day we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and Mary in the upper room. The dove is a symbol of this special feast, the Holy Spirit transformed the disciples who were afraid and filled them with courage to go out and preach the Good News of Jesus. It is also the birthday of the Church!
Today you print out the last heart and write a prayer on it. Now you should have collected 30 hearts, these represent the way we have transformed our hearts on this journey of faith through the Lenten and Easter Seasons looking at the symbols we see.
The symbols have taken us from Ash Wednesday (ashes) until Pentecost (tongues of fire). They have called us to repent (be sorry and change) for our wrongdoing and choose ways of forgiveness and grow closer to God. Holy Week invited us to think about Jesus’ sacrifice and his death on the cross, we remembered his pain and suffering. This turned to joy as we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection, we have been present with the Apostles and Mary as they waited for the Holy Spirit as promised by the risen Christ. Jesus gave the Apostles a mission, to go out to all the world and spread the Good News and today we are given the same mission, that is, to tell others about Jesus’ great love for us. After Pentecost we return to Ordinary time in the Church’s year and surely, we feel renewed and closer to God in our everyday lives with our family and friends.
To appreciate our transformation, we are going to turn our hearts into flowers (see here).