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Easter Sunday!

April 3, 2013
Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is always a special celebration and is a great service for children.  The energy is high, the music is fun, everyone is in a good mood.  At Christ Church Cathedral, as in many places, we bring in brass instruments and timpani and go a little wild with bells.  We are also fortunate to have a talented liturgical dance choreographer in our parish who always adds beauty and depth to our Easter worship.  All of this engages kids and makes a service where a little extra kid-noise is just part of the fun.  This year, however, we wanted to go further in finding ways to involve kids in the drama and the joy of Easter morning.

Easter morning 6At the beginning of the service, during the singing of the Gloria, children and adults processed to the front of the church carrying plants that were just beginning to sprout.  These plants, part of a fundraising appeal to support our partner diocese in Tanzania, were added to the Easter morning 11Easter garden and blessed as signs of new life and the promise of the resurrection.  (more about this project in a future post)…

Including their plants and their liturgical participation in the symbolic act of blessing the garden didn’t just catch their attention.  It told the children that their contribution to our worship was important because it enhanced the experience of the whole community.  It made them full members and partners in the work of the people – the liturgy.

Easter Day 036

The other point in the service when children were specifically addressed was at the end of the sermon, when we released the Alleluias in the form of helium balloons. Easter Day 037 This was more than a gimmick, more than a tacked-on children’s talk but rather a relevant (if admittedly gimmicky) illustration of the sermon which was about how the empty tomb shows us that God cannot be contained in an box – not heaven, not death, not religion, nothing.  God is too big and too free and will always get out of the box in order to be with us and lead us to freedom, too.  Alleluia!  The sermon repeated the refrain “God refuses to be boxed up” in the hopes that children would catch that message, even if the rest of the sermon was too complicated or wordy to be of interest.  The balloons drove the point home.

And were a lot of fun.  A lot.  (Click here to read the sermon on the Cathedral website)

Release the Alleluias!

Releasing the Alleluias!

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