**this is a very long post with beau-coup pictures, so please read at your own risk...
I think one of my favorite things about having kids (because the list is never-ending) is the way that they challenge me to learn more about my Catholic Faith. I'm not exactly the most catechized Catholic you'll ever meet, so ever since we started both homeschooling and attending the Traditional Latin Mass, it's like I'm learning my Faith for the first time. It's so exciting and fun and interesting to see what a rich and beautiful history we have as Catholics. And, with the kids, there are so many opportunities to learn things from a different perspective as well. I mean, the questions they ask are so awesome, because it gives me a reason to go and seek out the answer. "Mom, what will we look like in Heaven?" "Do angels have bodies, or are they just a head with wings?" "Does the Devil have wings?" "When is Jesus coming to earth again?" "How do we get to Heaven?" "Does God come down and get us?" "Why do we sometimes say 'Holy Ghost' and sometimes 'Holy Spirit'?" "Can Mary appear to me like she did to the children at Fatima?" They are very curious about all of it. So, while Lent may not have been as prayerful as I would have liked, and maybe I didn't do the best at my Lenten sacrifices, but it was most certainly a learning experience. Which, in hindsight, is the best kind of Lent, because I came out the other side knowing more about who Christ is and more about why the Church does all those awesome traditions She is so famous for. Natalie seemed to really get it, too, which was so sweet to watch. Andrew thought Lent was a person, and asked to go to Lent's house several times, but that's ok...there's always next year =). So, here are some of the ways we celebrated Passion tide and Easter.
We started off Holy Week by making a Holy Week banner to mark off the days until Easter:
We also made an Easter Lapbook that we used to tell the Passion Story with:
We attended the washing of the feet services for Holy Thursday, and then on Good Friday we participated in a Good Friday walk. This was probably my favorite thing that we did. It was so awesome! We did a 9 Church walk in downtown New Orleans with a group of fellow parishioners. We would say 1 or 2 Stations of the Cross outside of each Church, and then visit the Church and pray for a short while before walking to the next one. I'm not sure how many miles we walked, but it was a lot! The kids did surprisingly well, and really didn't start getting tired of walking until the last 20 minutes or so. After the walk, we attended Veneration of the Cross at our Parish. When we got home that night, Phil and I watched The Passion. Amazing movie!
Here are the kids on the way to New Orleans...she how excited they were!
Andrew wanted to hold Natalie's hand the whole time =)
I didn't realize how many gorgeous Catholic Churches there are in New Orleans! They were simply amazing. Here is one of my favorites:
The above picture is from St. Mary's Assumption Church, and it is the location of the national shrine of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. That was really cool to see, too! I didn't get any pictures of that, though =(
On Holy Saturday, we made Ressurection Rolls and died our Easter Eggs
You were supposed to use one, large marshmallow to represent Jesus' body, but all I had were the tiny ones! Oh well. I also used a homemade crescent roll dough instead of the store bought kind...these things were SO GOOD!
Favorite part of Holy Week!!
When I asked Andrew what he wanted his egg to say, this is what he requested:
Ever since we celebrated St. Patrick's Day this year, he believes his middle name to be 'St. Patrick'...it's too cute, and I can't bring myself to correct him =)
Little Rachel's first dyed Easter egg!
The Easter baskets all done up and waiting for the Easter Bunny =)
On Easter morning, we checked out our goodies, then headed off Mass, and then to Grandma's house for lunch and an Easter egg hunt:
It's hard to tell from the picture, but the Easter bunny left the last marker for the Holy Week banner that read "He is Risen!"
After we put it on our banner, Natalie said, "look, it's shaped like a cloud so Jesus can ascend into Heaven!"...the Easter Bunny totally did not do that on purpose...in fact, he didn't even think of that idea...he just kind of drew a squiggly line around it before cutting it out, but it was cool that Natalie saw it that way ;)
Rachel enjoying and Easter sucker:
which doubled as a drum stick:
and then she was sad because we took it away:
Daddy and Rachel enjoying our beautiful Easter day!
weeds Easter flowers Natalie picked for me:
Finding Easter eggs!!
Rachel doing what she does best...begging for candy:
the traditional sucker for breakfast on Easter Monday:
and, last but not least, the aftermath from Easter:
All in all, we had a fantastic Easter! I always feel especially blessed to be Catholic during Holy Week and Easter.
Be sure to visit Catholic Icing for the Easter Link-Up party today to see how other families celebrated our most treasured Feast Day!!
Happy Easter everyone!!