"However you choose to incorporate and channel the excitement of Easter morning, do it intentionally, with love and the full knowledge that death has been defeated."
It is the principle feast day of the year; we look forward to it for all of Lent; it's exciting and powerful: it's Easter Sunday! One traditional way of marking the day has been the Easter egg hunt. But Easter Sunday should be more than a mad dash to grab eggs full of melted chocolate. If we do egg hunts, let's make them better than ever! And on the other hand, if you don't do an egg hunt, consider the flowering of the cross as a child-friendly alternative.
Egg Hunt Tweaks
Here are some ways to shake up your Easter egg hunt, based on suggestions from various churches and educators.
1. Empty eggs
Hide only empty eggs, and trade the empty eggs for a treat bag at the end. Set a specific number of eggs for each age group.
2. Pair up
Create egg-hunt partners, so that the youngest have someone to help them and the oldest still experience the thrill of the hunt.
3. Outreach egg hunt
Shift the focus of your hunt from goodies to good works, like Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in San Diego.
4. One week later
Move your egg hunt to the Sunday after Easter, an outward and visible sign of the Great Fifty Days of Easter!
Flowering the Cross
From empty frame to profusion of blooms, nothing illustrates Christ conquering death like Flowering the Cross. If your church does not yet participate in this tradition, you'll need to think out each step:
1. Timing and logistics
Be intentional about when and where the flowering occurs. Is the cross flowered in the narthex before the service begins? Is it brought forward empty and the flowers presented at the altar before or after the service? Or perhaps it is brought in triumphant, before the crucifer. What else is happening during this time? How are people included? Is this an activity for children only? Where will the flowered cross be displayed after the service?
2. Appoint helpers
Ask for assistance with actually inserting stems into the cross. Some churches use acolytes for this, but it could just as easily be members of the altar guild or youth group or Sunday school teachers.
3. Blooms aplenty
Regardless of who will be doing the flowering, ask all parishioners to bring flowers. Purchase additional flowers, so that there are enough for everyone and so that the entire cross is covered in blooms.
4. Incorporate mite boxes
In churches that offer mite boxes during Lent, boxes may be placed at the foot of the cross, or exchanged for flowers.
5. Good Friday connection
Some churches use the empty cross as a meditation on Good Friday, offering it as space to write out those bad things that weigh heavy on our hearts. This same cross is then turned around on Easter morning to be covered in flowers.
However you choose to incorporate and channel the excitement of Easter morning, do it intentionally, with love and the full knowledge that death has been defeated. Christ is Risen. Alleluia!
Charlotte Hand Greeson is thankful to share her passion for formation as a manager, editor, and writer for Building Faith. She is grateful for almost twenty years of Navy life, which has exposed her to a variety of churches and formation styles. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and two teenagers.
Featured photo credit: Easter Flower Cross by Avondale UMC via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
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