Thursday, March 25, 2010

Our Lent Activities


Today we started our Resurrection Eggs. If you're not familiar with Resurrection Eggs, they are basically a fun way to tell the Easter story. This is one of those things I've wanted to do for years, but never could get myself together enough to have them ready. After looking over all the variations at Catholic Icing last week, I started gathering eggs. We have 22 eggs in our set. I originally planned on a dozen, but decided it would be best to have an egg for both Sport and Spice to open each day. It would have made more sense to do two dozen eggs, but I didn't get them put together soon enough to spend 12 days opening eggs. I'll add two more next year!
I numbered each of our eggs and placed them in a pretty basket to make a sort of centerpiece out of them. I figured this is a good way to appease Spice's ongoing need for holiday decorations while still keeping Lent holy! Today's pickings included a palm branch in egg #1 (a leaf from silk flowers trimmed to resemble a palm) and a piece of felt in #2 to represent a donkey's fur. (John 12:12-15)

Here's what's in the rest of our eggs:

-Three dimes for the 30 pieces of silver Judas Iscariot was paid to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16)
-Piece of soap because Jesus washed the feet of his disciples on Holy Thursday (John 13:4-5)
-Small cracker & a chalice made from foil representing the last supper (Mark 14:22-24)
-Feather to represent the cock crowing three times (Matthew 26:33-34)
-Twine with knots showing how Jesus was bound and led away (Matthew 27:1-2)
-Purple fabric signifying the robe Jesus was dressed in and a branch twisted into a crown of thorns (Matthew 27:28-30)
-Wooden cross (John 19:17-18)
-Piece of paper with INRI written on it representing the "King of the Jews" sign that was hung on the cross above Jesus (John 19:19)
-Three nails (Matthew 27:31)
-Dice to show how onlookers cast lots for Jesus' clothes after he was crucified (Matthew 27:35-36)
-Piece of paper towel soaked in vinegar for the sponge soaked in wine that was passed up to Jesus on a spear (John 19:29-30)
-Black fabric split in two representing the sky turning dark and the temple veil ripping apart (Luke 23:44-45)
-Dirt and small pebbles because the earth quaked and rocks split apart after Jesus died (Matthew 27:50, 51 & 54 )
-Lego sword symbolizing the lance that was thrust into Jesus' side (John 19:34)
-White fabric to represent the linen cloth Jesus' body was wrapped in (Matthew 27:58-60)
-Large rock to be the stone rolled in front of Jesus' tomb (Matthew 27:65-66)
-Dried oregano for spices the women brought to anoint Jesus (Mark 16:1-4)
-Empty egg symbolizing the empty tomb. (Matthew 28:5-6)

I admit I was feeling a bit guilty for not setting up some kind of Stations of the Cross display in our home, but I think these eggs will get the Easter message across just as well to younger children. I'll save the stations for when Sport and Spice are a bit older.

If you'd like to make your own set, there's still time! Catholic Icing has a post with lots of links or head to Rainbow Castle where a printout of all of the corresponding Bible verses is available.

Another thing we have been doing throughout Lent is choosing a daily "activity" from our Lenten Journey box.

OK, if you take a good enough look, I'm sure you'll recognize it as an old Kleenex box. I've been looking for an excuse to recycle a tissue box like this for awhile now. I filled the box with about 30 slips of paper containing activities focused on praying, fasting, and giving.

Each morning the kids pick a "sacrifice" from the box to work on for the day, like fasting from all drinks but water, making a donation to our church's Lenten almsgiving program, doing a secret good deed for a family member, making a card for someone special and mailing it, fasting from junk food or TV, saying a special prayer for someone...Spice especially has loved this activity.

Tomorrow will be our last day of school before taking an extended spring break. We will spend a good portion of the school day on this project from Lacy at Catholic Icing. (Can you tell Catholic Icing is my latest addiction?) We will start off discussing this awesome piece of artwork I picked up at the thrift store right after Christmas for only 75 cents.

It was actually priced at $1.50 but I got it half-off because the girl ringing up my purchase assumed since it had Jesus on it, it must be a Christmas decoration. I didn't correct her. : ) We'll follow up with a picture study of da Vinci's real Last Supper painting before creating our own version of the masterpiece.
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