It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Easter is truly the most important time of the liturgical year. As Saint John Paul II said, “We are an Easter people and alleluia is our song.”
Easter lasts 50 days, from the first Easter Sunday until Pentecost and is the time of year when we celebrate God’s victory over death and sin from the Resurrection of Jesus in which He opened the gates of Heaven.  
So how do we keep the Easter celebration going for 50 days?  First, we must learn that the first Sunday of the Easter season is when we begin to celebrate Easter.  Also, the first eight days of the Easter season, which begin on the first Sunday of Easter, make up the Octave of Easter, which started with the early Church to prolong the great joy of the first Easter day. 
The best way to celebrate Easter is by going to Mass.  As Saint Paul said, “if Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, is your faith” (1 Cor 15:14). The best way to keep your “faith fuel tank” full is by going to Mass as often as possible.
My husband and I try our hardest during Lent to keep celebrations, treats and “extras” to a minimum in order to highlight how important the upcoming Easter season is and to simultaneously get our children slowly accustomed to acts of penance.  We also make it a point to go to confession as a family, pray the Stations of the Cross and explain that Jesus had to die to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.
When Easter comes, our children are even more excited to participate in the joyful Easter activities and again, first and foremost, attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  
Here are 10 more ways to celebrate the Easter season:
1. Pray the Regina Coeli instead of the Angelus at 6 A.M., noon and 6 P.M.  
Sometimes we only get to pray at 12 PM and 6 PM, but it is fun to hear the little ones memorize the prayers as the weeks go on. 
2. Easter egg hunt every Sunday. 
If you can manage to save some Easter treats, you could have an Easter egg hunt on Sundays during the Easter season.  Instead of candy, you can also include stickers, money, scapulars and children’s rosaries.
3. Plant flowers in the yard to commemorate the season.  
Some of our favorites which also happen to be on the list of easier flowers to grow are zinnias, marigolds, pansies and daffodils.
4. Dried Beans to Jellybeans.
The premise of this activity is to have a child place a dried bean in a mason or other sealable jar/container each time they perform an unprompted act of kindness.  Then, when the jar is full, the parents will replace the dried beans with jellybeans for all to enjoy. While many implement this activity during Lent, Easter is a wonderful time for this activity to extend the good deeds and Lenten practices into the most important liturgical season.  
5. Go to Mass during the week.
This is the best way to keep the Easter season going.  There are so many benefits to attending Mass as often as possible.  Remember, start holy habits when children are young! 
6. Make your own Paschal candle.
During the pandemic, our family created our own Paschal candle.  It pains me deeply to remember that we were unable to attend Mass for so long, however, decorating a Pascal candle at home was a good thing to come out of that time. There are many instructions and tutorials that one can find online.
7. Serve mini dessert treats after dinner.
Our children have a hard time understanding that dessert does not always have to follow dinner.  However, during the Easter season, we try to offer more dessert for them and include healthier options like homemade cinnamon-sugar almonds, berries with whipped cream, homemade frozen yogurt melts, frozen dates stuffed with peanut butter and chocolate.
8. Rosary walks.
This activity is one of our favorites and one that we try to take advantage of throughout the year. Since our family has started to pray the rosary together each day, it has brought so many graces to our lives. Praying the rosary with little ones is challenging, however praying the rosary while going for a walk or bike ride makes it so much easier.
9. Adoration.
We try to go to Adoration as much as possible throughout the year, but especially during the Easter season.  Again, the more you go, the easier and more rewarding it will be for everyone.
10. Daily Mass Readings.
We read the daily Mass readings to our children each evening before the Rosary. It is a great way to keep up with the liturgical year and get our children used to hearing the Mass if we are unable to attend. 
From our family to yours, we wish you a joyful Easter season! 
Christina Frye is a lifelong Rhode Islander, wife, mother and founder of Catholic Mom Rhode Island,