We spend so much time and energy on the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that we are often spiritually exhausted by the time the last “Alleluia!” rings out on Easter Sunday.
After the Easter chocolate has been unwrapped and consumed, and the Easter dinner has been reduced to a pile of dirty dishes, we’re all ready for our spiritual lives to go “back to normal.”
Normal? Not yet! There are still 50 days of the Easter season to celebrate, including the doctrinally important feasts of Ascension and Pentecost. The length of this celebratory season can be easy to forget, particularly for children.
What can parents do to counteract this problem? It just takes a little bit of planning ahead.
Easter can become a time for an age-appropriate unfolding of the great mysteries of our Catholic Faith. Here’s a chance for parents to focus on the “oohs” and “aahs”. Share some of your own faith stories from when you were their age and have those important conversations about how you have come to know Jesus.
Think of the 50 days as the pieces of a puzzle that you can put together with your children. Over the course of the Easter season, you can build up a beautifully articulated picture of the Faith. You could pick a different one to read with your children each Sunday during the Easter season, or work through a few pages each weeknight. Here are a few resources from CatholicsRead to help you put the puzzle together.
Pflaum Publishing Group’s My Little Catholic Encyclopedia includes answers to your children’s questions about God, the Bible, the Church, and more. You could read and discuss different questions and answers from the Encyclopedia each night during the week.
Ascension’s Riding on a Donkey tells the story of Christ’s Death and Resurrection in a beautiful picture book. It can help children ages 3-7 to learn their faith in an easy-to-understand and age-appropriate way.
Magnificat is offering six new children’s books. They introduce young readers to the Bible, a saint whose joy in the Lord literally lifts him off the ground, a friar who explains how God called him, a young boy befriended by St. Francis, a group of characters set in pagan Rome at the dawn of Christianity, and St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus.
If your children love music, The ABCs of Women in Music, from GIA Publications, Inc., is a great way to introduce them to the brilliant, creative, brave, and resilient women who are an essential part of the last 1,000 years of music history. Use the stories of these 26 remarkable women as a way to explore the Easter season by making a joyful noise!
This week’s list contains a wide range of different children’s storybooks, and there are many more listed at CatholicsRead to help make your family’s Easter season a springtime of faith.
Therese Brown is the Executive Director of the Association of Catholic Publishers. She holds a master of arts degree in youth and liturgy from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She previously served as senior marketing specialist at United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Publishing Office. She is the author of Graced Moments: Prayer Services for the Lives of Teens (World Library Publications). She resides in the Baltimore area.