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Easter Sunday: Family faith formation at home


If you have any art supplies handy (paint, crayons, colored pencils, oil pastels, markers, modeling clay, etc.) and paper or canvas, you may want to have those available for the second Scripture reading.

Invite various persons to bring a designated item and use this liturgy to begin your time of learning together.

We begin today a little differently, with the traditional Easter responsive greeting. You may need to teach it to your family and are encouraged to repeat it two or three times.

One:    Christ is risen!
All:      He is risen indeed!  

One:    Come, let us gather around and see how the Spirit will nurture our faith today.

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Christ, the light of the world.
(Place a candle on a table in your gathering place and light it.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:   The Love of God, who came to meet us in the world.
(Place a cross on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Wisdom of God, who speaks through the Scriptures.
(Place an open Bible on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Grace of God, who proclaims we are children of God.
(Place a symbol of baptism – a bowl of water, a seashell – on a table in your gathering space.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Our risen Lord, who meets us at the table.
(Place a symbol of communion – a plate and cup, a loaf of bread, grapes – on a table in your gathering space.)

One:    We are here, Holy Spirit, ready for your leading.

God sightings and prayer offerings

Invite each person to share where they saw or experienced God this week. Invite each person to share something — a person, community, experience, event, etc. – for which they want to offer prayer. 

Good and gracious God, we thank you for all the ways you were and are present in our lives and in the world. [Invite each person to say aloud the sighting they named earlier.] We bring our prayers to you, prayers for… [invite each person to say aloud the prayer need they named earlier]. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Connecting with Scripture: Matthew 28:1-10

Read the Scripture aloud the first time using the New Revised Standard Version or the Common English Bible.

Invite each person to choose from the art supplies. While they listen to the story read again, ask those gathered to paint, draw or sculpt what comes to mind as they listen to the story. It could be a realistic representation or the expression of emotion and response through color. Whatever they create is valuable. Allow for time at the close of the story for people to be immersed in the creative response to the story. When you are ready to close the time with this experience, engage in sharing and dialogue.

  • Tell us about your creation .
  • What colors did you use and why?
  • What were you seeing, thinking, feeling?

Connecting through story

Watch this clip from the movie “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial”

  • What was Elliott feeling when he thought E.T. was dead?
  • How did it change when he discovered he was alive?

Connecting with our lives

Engage in dialogue:

  • In what ways do you imagine Elliott’s response and the women at the tomb’s response were similar or different?
  • How do you think you would have reacted if you arrived at the tomb where you expected to find Jesus, but discovered he was gone?
  • Jesus had told his disciples that he would die and then live again in three days. Why do you think they had trouble believing it?
  • The story in Matthew says that the women ran to tell the disciples with “fear and great joy.” Describe a time when you felt both a bit of fear and a lot of joy?
  • When Jesus made himself known to the women, he said two things: “Do not be afraid” and “Go and tell.” If Jesus were to greet you, make himself known and say to you, “Do not be afraid” and “Go and tell,” what would you want to tell the world? What good news would you share with the world?

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion:

  • In the Apostles’ Creed, we say that Jesus “descended into hell.” In this, God through Jesus conquered death and evil.
  • Easter is the recognition and celebration of God’s glorious triumph.
  • Every Sunday we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, so in many ways every Sunday is an Easter celebration.
  • The women may have been the last ones at the cross and the first ones to share the good news from empty tomb, but each of us is called to proclaim with our words and with our lives the good news that Jesus has risen!

Invite each person to go to a different part of the house or out in the yard and share in the call-and-response Easter greeting. Calling to one another:

Christ is risen!
He is risen, indeed!


Close your time together by praying for one another, your neighbors, community and the world.

REBECCA DAVIS is the associate professor of Christian education at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. A teaching elder and certified educator, she served congregations for over 20 years before moving into academic teaching. In addition to teaching and mentoring students, her passion is child advocacy and ministry.