Family Reflection: Resurrection Gardens

Easter season is more than one day!

After the Resurrection, the Gospels report that Jesus appeared to many different people. He walked and ate with his friends again with His resurrected body.

Celebrate the Easter season with a Resurrection Garden

Our Easter Sunday Resurrection Garden

Does your family celebrate Christmas with a Nativity scene? Seeing the manger really brings to life the story of Jesus’s birth.

For Easter, you can also create a Resurrection Garden to recreate the Empty Tomb! Here are some examples I found on Pinterest.

When gathering figures, pay attention to the Gospel reading for that year. There are four different accounts of the Empty Tomb in the four Gospels. They all describe the same event, but remember slightly different numbers of people getting there first.

The Gospel of Mark: 3 women meet an angel at the empty tomb

Gather items from around your house, or plant one outside

  • Stone that rolled away (or broke in an earthquake)
  • Women carrying spices
  • Other figures depending on the Gospel: angel, guards, Jesus, John, and Peter
  • Dirt or pebbles for the path
  • Live or fake plants for the garden
  • Some folks also add one or three crosses to remember Golgotha was nearby

Let the children work

Once you have gathered materials, read the Gospel for that year. Let the child or children us their imagination to bring the story to life. My nine-year-old son was not excited about dying our chickens’ eggs this year. But he was very enthusiastic about making the guards look dead, and hiding Jesus in the bushes so he could surprise the women on their way back down the path.

Change the Garden Each Week

Every Sunday during the Easter season, we hear another moment of someone encountering the Resurrected Christ. The second Sunday of Easter, we heard about the disciples in a locked room (like we are today), but Thomas was not there. Maybe he was designated to go get supplies? A week later, Jesus appeared again! We switched our garden to the locked room, and can change it each week.

Suddenly, Jesus appeared in their midst!

Via Lucis: Stations of the Resurrection

Many people are familiar with the Stations of the Cross, or Via Delorosa (Way of Grief). There are 14 stops in the City of Jerusalem that followers of Jesus used since ancient times. It still attracts pilgrims from around the world, and many churches have 14 numbers or statues or paintings to represent these real places.

Fewer people are aware of the Stations of the Resurrection, or Via Lucis:

  • 14 stations with appearances of the Resurrected Christ
  • These stations were first solemnly celebrated in the Catacombs of St Callistus in Rome
  • Developed by the Salesian Family Moment of the Risen Lord in 1988
  • Included in the official 2000 Vatican Prayerbook for the Jubilee called Pilgrim Prayers

This devotion helps us remember that Jesus died once, but He is Risen now and forevermore. Older children and adults may find this celebration an engaging way to continue to celebrate the Easter season. Here are some lovely resources for this devotion:

Catholic News Agency

EWTN: Via Lucis – The Stations of the Resurrection in a Time of Pandemic

May we all be able to say with joyful hearts, “Cheist is Risen! He is Risen indeed!”

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