Resources for the Season of Easter
   
Easter  

Easter is the Christian feast celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.

Eastertide (or the Season of Easter) is the 50 days following Easter and concludes with the Feast of Pentecost.

The Council of Nicaea (325ad) determined Easter Day as the first Sunday after the full moon after the spring equinox (19/20/21 March). This is the reason the date of Easter changes from year to year. The earliest it can be is 22nd March and the latest, the 25th April.

Easter is known as the Pasch in the Latin and Greek Christian traditions - a name which derives from the Hebrew Day of Passover.

The English word 'Easter' may come from the name of a pagan goddess of the dawn, Eostre.



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The Paschal Candle

 

The symbols inscribed on the Paschal Candle are the cross of the crucifixion with five incense grains representing the five wounds of Jesus; tThe Greek letters Alpha and Omega announce that Christ is the beginning and end of all things; the date of Easter is also inscribed (2017).

The prayer from the liturgy of the Easter Vigil is as follows:

Christ yesterday and today (the vertical line of the cross is cut into the candle)
The beginning and the end (the horizontal line of the cross)
The Alpha (the letter Alpha)
And the Omega (the letter Omega)
All time belongs to him (the first numeral of the current year, top left)
and all the ages (the second numeral, top right)
To him be glory and power (the third numeral, bottom left)
Through every age and forever. Amen. (the fourth numeral, bottom right)

Then the five grains of incense (usually in brass containers with spikes to press into the candle) are put in place:

By his holy (first incense grain is inserted at the top of the cross)
and glorious wounds, (the second in the middle of the cross)
may Christ the Lord (the third at the bottom)
guard us (the fourth, at the left)
and protect us. Amen. (the fifth at the right)

 
Mass Texts  

Prayers and readings for an Easter Mass in schoool.
Easter Mass

You may wish to consider blessing the Easter Candle in place of the penitential rite (see above).

The Easter gospel could be done as a drama (either just with voices or with simple actions).
Easter Gospel (see below)

 
Images  
The Easter Vigil
Source unknown
 
Jesus and Mary Magdalene
Source unknown
 
The Stone Rolled Away
Source unknown
 
The Empty Tomb 1
Source unknown
 
The Empty Tomb 2
Source unknown
 
     
Videos  
He is Risen!
The story of holy week from the entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection appearance to Mary ( John 20:11-17)
Film (7m 35s)
 
Jesus is Resurrected
The events of Easter morning (John 20:3-18).
Film
(4m 00s)
 

Animated Easter Story
by Geoffrey McLean
Animated Easter Story (4m 13s)

 

The Easter Story told through Social Media
by Brian Dryfhout
Easter Story told through Social Media (3m 37s)

 

The Easter Story told through Animated Sand Drawing
Worship House Media
Easter Story (5m 18s)
 

Easter Story for Young Children
The story of Holy Week and Easter told by two young children with animated drawings
A Cute Story About Easter (3m 01s)

 

Why I Say Happy Easter
by IgniterMedia
Why I Say Happy Easter (2m 34s)

 
     
Texts  

Easter Verses of the Three Marys
A short drama adapted from the medieval Easter Verses of the Three Marys. This play tells the story of the three Mary's buying oil and setting out to anoint the body of Jesus. They meet the angel at the entrance to the tomb and he tells them, 'He is risen!'
Suitable for primary and secondary school actors and audiences.
Running time approximately 4 minutes.
Drama script and notes (PDF)

 

 

An Easter Prayer
by Michaela Youngson

When everything was dark
and it seemed that the sun would never shine again,
your love broke through.

Your love was too strong,
too wide,
too deep
for death to hold.

The sparks cast by your love
dance and spread
and burst forth
with resurrection light.

Gracious God,
We praise you for the light of new life
made possible through Jesus.
We praise you for the light of new life
that shone on the first witnesses of resurrection.
We praise you for the light of new life
that continues to shine in our hearts today.

We pray that the Easter light of life, hope and joy,
will live in us each day;
and that we will be bearers of that light
into the lives of others.
Amen.

 
Easter Dialogue
by Sandy Conway - from Dramatix, New Zealand
A short drama suitable for secondary school pupils.
Easter Dialogue 2
 
Reflection on the Resurrection
John Updike's poem Seven Stanzas at Easter (1964) can be used with Sixth Form pupils to reflect on the meaning of resurrection.
Seven Stanzas at Easter
A creative film interpretation of the poem (3m 10s)
 
     
Other resources  
Easter Garden
Churches and sometimes schools often have an Easter garden - here is an idea for each child to create miniature Easter gardens. (Quick grow grass seed is available from B&Q)
Confessions of a Homeschooler website
 

Site of the Holy Sepulchre
A fascinating website with materials, images, 3D-animations, maps and diagrams of the sites of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus in Jerusalem.
Jonathan Lipnick website