This is the day to fill our home altars with flowers! If there is anything blooming outside, create a bouquet (be sure to ask the owner of the property before you cut a branch or flower) or make some paper flowers. Put on some uplifting music and watch a livestream of a worship service. If your church is not offering one, you can watch the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.
Here are some ideas to do at home:
Make Resurrection Rolls
Ingredients (and what they symbolize): 1 (8 ounce or 12 ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls (the bigger size makes it a little easier to wrap around the marshmallow) = the wrapping of Jesus’ body or the tomb); 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon = spices used to anoint Jesus’ body; 8 large marshmallows = body of Jesus; 1/4 cup butter, melted = oils of embalming; oven = tomb
Directions: Separate rolls into eight triangles. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip each marshmallow into butter, roll in cinnamon-sugar and place on a triangle. Pinch dough around marshmallow, sealing all edges. Make sure to seal well or all the marshmallow will escape. Dip tops of dough into remaining butter and cinnamon-sugar. Place with sugar side up in greased muffin cups. It helps to use jumbo muffin tins so that the juice doesn’t overflow.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. Allow to cool slightly then eat warm. There will be a surprise inside – the tomb is empty!
Make Paper Flowers
There are lots of DYI instructions online. Check these out to find what fits best for you with the materials you have at home: The Spruce Crafts, for folding techniques – Instructables, or First Palette (for kids).
Grow Easter Wheat
The Easter custom of growing wheat at Easter – as a symbol of Jesus’ death and resurrection – is finding new popularity in our own times. Listen to (or sing) the hymn, “Now the Green Blade Rises” (The Hymnal 1982, #204; Evangelical Worship, #309; The United Methodist Hymnal, #311; Worship, third edition, #453).
Supplies: container, pot, or basket (lined with plastic wrap); soil; wheat seeds (available as whole wheat at natural foods stores – or you can use grass seed); spray bottle of water; and a plastic bag.
Directions: Take the container or basket (lined with plastic wrap) and fill it almost to the top with soil. Sprinkle a thick pinch of seeds over the surface of the soil. Carefully water the soil with a spray bottle and put the watered pot or basket in a plastic bag. Keep in a warm place and check daily for sprouting. When sprouts appear, remove from the bag and put in a sunny location, You’ll have new green grass in 7-14 days.
Create “You Were There” Postcards
Make some postcards to mail (yes – with a stamp!) to family and friends. Share the Good News of the resurrection with them.
Supplies: unlined white index cards that are at least 3.5″ x 5″ and no more that 4.25″ x 6″ (to qualify for first class mailing); markers and crayons; Bible; postage stamps
Directions: Read aloud the Easter story from Matthew 28:1-9. Pretend that you are with the women who found the tomb empty on the first Easter morning. How will you tell another person this good news? Create a postcard (or two or three), drawing an Easter illustration of joy on one full side. On the other side, draw a line down the middle of the card. On the left side, write your message of joy; on the right side add the recipient’s name and address. Affix a stamp and drop it in your mailbox (flag up!) for the postal carrier to pick it up for delivery.
Create an Alleluia Banner
If you already made an Alleluia Banner on Shrove Tuesday and buried it before Lent began – dig it up! Or find where you hid it (closet? under the bed?)
If your banner is buried at church (where you don’t have access to it now), create a new one for your home. All you need is some paper along with some markers, crayons, or paints. Write Allelulia! in big letters on the paper and then decorate it with Easter symbols such as eggs (a symbol from which new life emerges, lambs (new life representing Jesus as the “lamb of God”), pomegranate (a regal symbol, filled with red seeds that further symbolize life and fertility and the open tomb), butterflies (symbolizing resurrection or new life from a cocoon), lilies (for purity and beautiful new life), an ear of corn (as it burst open we see fertile new life within), the empty cross (a sign of the victory of Easter). You can download these symbols, which were created to accompany Faithful Celebrations: Making Time for God from Mardis Gras through Pentecost where this project comes from.
As an alternative, An Illustrated Ministry has offered a downloadable coloring sheet to create a banner.
PS: When you return to church in the future – don’t forget to take dig up your Alleluia banner. There will definitely be a celebration when everyone is all together again!
Dear God, we thank you for the miracle of Easter – for sending you Son, Jesus, to overcome death. When darkness or death separate us from you and from each other, give us faith to claim your life-giving Spirit. At the dawn of each day, let us awaken to a new Easter morning. Amen.