Easter – intergen ideas

For those of you expecting children or grandchildren to be in your service on Easter Sunday or just looking at including some movement and activity, here are a couple of ideas:

Opening ideas – do you know the secret?

The altar is still shrouded in dark cloth. The Christ candle is unlit. These words are offered as an introduction to the service and links in with Good Friday's sorrows. It is an adaptation of Mark 16 but turns the good news proclamation of Christ's resurrection into a secret that we have to share.

On Friday, we sadly left Jesus upon the cross. By Friday night he was dead and buried, in grief too deep for tears. But what then?

Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, the women were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. But I’ll tell you a secret …..”

Ask the congregation:

Who knows that secret? The secret of Easter day?  If you think you know it, whisper it in someone else’s ear.

As people share what they think it is with one another, unveil the cross, change the black cloths to white or gold, and light the paschal candle. Light the Paschal candle, unveil the cross …. Then ask people again to answer in the group:

What’s the secret? What did you hear?

Once people have answered, share the traditional greeting:

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

HYMN SUGGESTION 370      Christ the Lord is risen today!

Story and craft – the legend of the Easter eggs

We're preparing baskets full of plastic, coloured eggs along with paint pens and strips of stickers for people to decorate. The eggs split open and contain a slip of paper on which the words are written: "He's not here. He is risen!" The baskets will be passed around at the end of the Godly Play story "The legend of the Easter Egg" which we have adapted to suit the language and nature of our community a little better. There will also be an Easter egg hunt after the service and bowls of chocolate eggs for older folk to enjoy at morning tea.


All over the world today, people are celebrating Easter. Those of us in church this morning celebrate in special ways like changing the black cloths to gold and using words like “risen” or “resurrection.”

What are some of the other ways in which people celebrate? EGGS!

This is the legend of how Easter eggs came to be part of our celebration:

There was once an old man and an old woman who lived just outside the walls of a great city called Jerusalem. They had everything they needed there – a cow to give them milk, a garden to give them vegetables, trees to give them fruit, and chickens to give them eggs.

In the morning, the old man would go out to the hen house and say, “Good morning. May I have some of your eggs?” And they gladly gave him plenty. Some days, when they had more eggs than they needed, the old man would take the ones they did not eat into the city to sell.

One day, he went into the city with a basket full of eggs covered by a bright white cloth. He went in through a high gate and along a narrow stone street towards the market. But as the road widen out into the square, he could see a large crowd had gathered. He put his basket down carefully in a quiet corner then pushed his way forward to see what all the fuss was about.

The Roman soldiers were taking three people through the city to kill them in the hills outside the walls. They were carrying their own crosses made of heavy wood.

As the old man watched, one of them stumbled and began to fall. The old man just could not help himself! He stepped out and caught the wooden beam. The soldiers grinned and said, “Well, mate, seeing as you’re so keen, you can carry the cross for Jesus the rest of the way.”

So he did. He followed Jesus. And he stayed there all afternoon, even when the sky grew dark and it began to rain. He watched Mary, the mother of Jesus, and a few others standing and weeping as Jesus suffered and died.

When it was finished, they took Jesus down and carried him away to put in a stone tomb. This time, the old man did not follow. He’d remembered his eggs and wondered if they were still even where he had left them.

He hurried back to the place where he had started carrying the cross, and sure enough, there they were in their basket in their safe little corner.

Carefully, he pulled the cloth away to see if any of them had been broken. And then he rubbed his eyes and looked again! They were all changed – covered with colours and designs that tried to tell the story of what had happened that day:  purple for power, red for love, circles for the sun, crosses for suffering, dots for Mary’s tears …. So many patterns.

Simon, for that was the old man’s name, showed everyone he could the beautiful eggs and told them the amazing story – and from that day since, people began to colour eggs at Eastertime.

And we’ll have a chance to do the same today:

Time is given for people to decorate their eggs with colours and symbols they choose to tell the story of their journey over Lent and Easter. If you have no sermon or a short reflection, you can invite some to share what they have thought about - or to crack open the eggs, read the words therein, and ponder together what their significance might be.

Prayers of the People (embodied)

These prayers are part of another post entitled "Easter Eucharist" but are adapted here for use without Holy Communion. The leader should demonstrate the movements/actions as they take place and leave space between each movement for people to pray in silence. It is important to introduce the prayers by giving people to participate as they are comfortable or simply seat throughout if they choose.

I invite you to hold a hand over your heart, to feel it beating life through your body, to consider the state that it’s in – strong or stressed out, broken or whole, happy or hurting. What, in this moment, is its longing? Offer that in prayer to God.

Reach out your arm to another,
rest your hand on their shoulder if you can,
or, if you like, put your hand in theirs
and feel the connection –
whether friend or family member or stranger –
the gift of life,
the dignity of our humanity,
the belonging together in all our unity and diversity.
What in this moment, do you long for for them?
Offer that in prayer to God.

Now hold your arms in a circle
as though you are embracing the world within them –
all the bruising,
all the crushing,
all the death,
all the darkness.
Hold it tenderly, hold it lightly
before the One who came to bear the burdens of us all.
And, when you are ready, picture one person or one place.
What is your longing for them on this resurrection Sunday?
Offer that in prayer to God.

Now, when you are ready to receive the gifts
of our risen Lord, lift up your hands:
Spirit of Life, with and within us,
receive our prayers
and help us be God’s gifts of life –
the love of God holding, reaching, enfolding
now and forever.