Ever since I was a little girl, my family celebrated the season of Advent (the days of December leading up to Christmas) with special Advent devotions. We had a big felt Christmas tree wall hanging, and each night one of us kids would get to take a turn hanging a felt ornament that symbolized part of the story of Christ's incarnation, while Dad would read a corresponding passage from the Bible. Collin and I have been doing Advent devotions in our own little family now for three years, and the girls love it so much that I wanted to expand our holiday devotions to celebrating Easter as well.
Resurrection Eggs are certainly not my original idea. You can buy sets of them at Christian book stores, and find ideas for building your own sets all over the Internet. I've put a lot of work into creating our set over the past three years and I really like the way it's turning out, so I wanted to share our version with you all.
Our Resurrection Egg set includes a full two dozen eggs, and they extend the Easter season on both sides. We start 17 days before Easter (that's today, this year!), with Easter Sunday being egg number 18. The remaining six eggs continue past the resurrection to Christ's ascension back into heaven. Each egg contains both a little object symbolizing part of the passion or resurrection, as well as a slip of paper with a Scripture reference to read and discuss. After the girls open the egg and Collin reads them the story and asks them a few questions about it, we sing a hymn related to the part of the story we read. There are so many wonderful hymns about Christ's passion and resurrection, it was a very enjoyable part of the project to pair hymns with the Scripture passages.
Right after Easter last year I finally put together a songbook with all the hymns we sing with these devotions. I can't share the compiled songbook with you because I downloaded the songs from many different sites, but I can share the links to the music with you. If I could find it available, I included a lead sheet that has the melody written out as well as guitar chords. When I couldn't find a lead sheet, I went for the sheet music, and when I couldn't find that I put in lyrics with guitar chords. If there is a recording that's particularly great or helpful with a less-known song, I'm including that in this blog post as well. If you have a favorite recording that I don't have included, I'd love to hear about it in the comments!
Now that we have all that explanation out of the way, here come the first six days of our Easter devotions!
1. Perfume. (This can be a sample-size bottle of perfume or a cotton ball soaked with perfume. As you can see, I found a small bottle, but it was still too large for our egg so I had to cut a hole in the bottom of the egg to make it fit.)
Story: Mary anointing Jesus' feet. John 12:1-8.
Hymn: We Three Kings (Especially verse 4)
2. Palm leaf. (This can be an actual piece of a palm frond, a similar-shaped leaf from your back yard, or a plastic fern like this. Your kids won't care!)
Story: Triumphal Entry. Matthew 21:1-11.
Hymn: Ride On, King Jesus or Hosanna, Loud Hosanna
Story: Cleansing the temple. Mark 11:15-19, John 2:13-17.
Hymn: Cleansing the Temple or All Glory, Laud, and Honor
4. Silver coins. (Three dimes)
Story: Judas betrays Jesus. Matthew 26:1-4, 14-16.
Hymn: Why? by Michael Card
5. Unleavened bread. (Broken crackers or matzah bread)
Story: Last supper. Luke 22:7-20.
Hymn: Nothing but the Blood
6. Praying hands. (I found this little pin at a thrift store, but you can also print a paper picture)
Story: Garden of Gethsemane. Matthew 26:36-46.
Hymn: Go to Dark Gethsemane
Continue reading with Part 2