Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Craft/Activity: Paschal Mystery Eggs

Happy Holy Week!

I wish I could say that I came up with this fun (and easy!) Easter craft/activity all by myself, but I stole it from a few different sources.  My go-to faith-related craft site is Catholic Icing.  If you've never visited before, do yourself a favor, and check it out!  It has all kinds of fun ways to celebrate the liturgical calendar with your family.  

Catholic Icing had a great link on how to make "Resurrection Eggs" with various other links to other bloggers that have done the same craft.  Between Catholic Icing and a really straightforward explanation from Our Sunday Visitor with corresponding verses, I came up with my own version.

Instead of calling them "Resurrection Eggs," I decided to call our set "Paschal Mystery Eggs" because they help us to remember the Last Supper, Christ's death, and His resurrection.  (Again, I wish I could say I came up with that all by myself, I but I stole that from blogger Gae.)  Maybe next year I'll get around to decorating our egg carton like the other fancy bloggers, but I'm trying to remember that the goal is to enhance our liturgical celebrations rather than detract from family time.  So, here's our plain carton with the eggs inside. 

To make your own "Paschal Mystery Eggs," you will need:
1.  Empty egg carton
2.  12 plastic eggs
3.  The following 11 items to place inside of your eggs:
  • Palm (cut-up fake leaf from old centerpiece for Christ's entrance into Jersualem)
  • Coin (3 dimes to represent Judas' betrayal with 30 pieces of silver)
  • Feather (representing the rooster and Peter's denial of Christ)
  • Towel (small piece of terrycloth from a rag from Jesus washing the disciples' feet)
  • Bread (mini saltine cracker to represent the Last Supper)
  • Crown With Thorns (small twig with thistles to represent the Passion)
  • Cross (I had a small wooden cross from an old retreat.  Others recommend using a crucifix from broken rosaries.  Most of us have one if we have small children!  Of course, this represents Christ's crucifixion.)
  • Sword (I used a cocktail toothpick sword, but a regular toothpick will work perfectly to represent the Centurion piercing Christ's side with his sword.)
  • Dice (Representing throwing lots for Jesus' clothing.)
  • Spices (I placed dried spices in a sandwich bag, wrapped a rubber band around them, and cut off the excess.  This represents the burial of Jesus.)
  • Stone (Any small pebble from outside will do.  This also represents Jesus' burial.)
These are just the 11 objects I chose.  Other sites and bloggers have a plenitude of other ideas to choose from!  If you're wondering why I only used 11 objects to fill the eggs, the last egg remains empty to signify that Christ left the tomb empty upon His Resurrection.

If you like the objects I chose, please feel free to use the document I created with the corresponding verses to explain how each item fits into the Paschal Mystery.

After you have assembled your eggs, the idea is that you will open one a day, discuss how the object inside relates to the Paschal Mystery, and read a corresponding verse from Sacred Scripture.  

If your children are like mine, they will want to open, reopen, and move around all of the items.  To save yourself a little sanity when you go to reassemble them, I recommend writing the number, item, and corresponding verse on the outside of the eggs in permanent marker.  I only wrote on the tops so that I don't have to find the exact bottom for each.  For example, I wrote:

John 12:12-13

Hopefully next year we will open one egg each day (starting the Wednesday before Holy Week), but we got a late start this year since I made the Paschal Mystery Eggs this morning.  So, we're just enjoying opening them whenever we get a chance, discussing what the kids find inside, and reading the Scripture verses that go along with them.  I stored the printed off Paschal Mystery Eggs doc in our ever-growing family prayer binder that stays on top of the fridge.

NOTE:  The eggs contain small items that are choking hazards for small children.  Please do not leave your children unattended with the eggs! 

Have a blessed rest of your Holy Week!

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