Easter Sunday: Family faith formation @ home


We begin today a little differently by using the traditional Easter responsive greeting. Before you begin, invite those gathered to go outside (or, if weather does not permit, around the house) and gather something that reminds them of new life (a flower, a leaf, water, a cross, the Bible or anything they think connects with resurrection) and place it in the center of the gathering after each repetition of “He is risen indeed!” Repeat as often as necessary.

One:    Christ is Risen!
All:      He is risen indeed!
(Place a sign of new life on the table.)

One:    There are signs all around. Christ is risen!
All:      He is risen indeed!
(Place a sign of new life on the table.)

One:    The old has gone and the new is come. Christ is risen!
All:      He is risen indeed!
(Place a sign of new life on the table.)

One:    Because of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we can begin anew. Christ is Risen!
All:      He is risen indeed!
One:    We are here, Holy Spirit. Show us new ways to be faithful.

God sightings and prayer offerings

Invite each person to share a 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: Mark 16:1-8

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

Ask each person to listen to the second reading of today’s text, and to choose one character and imagine their expression when they hear the news that Christ is risen. When the reading is over, invite each person to use their face to make that expression and then explain which character is was and why they think that was the expression on their face.

Connecting through story

Watch this movie clip from “Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

  • When the scene opens, what were Susan and Lucy feeling/thinking and why?
  • How do their feelings/thoughts change once they see Aslan has risen?

Connecting with our lives

Engage in dialogue:

  • In what ways do Susan and Lucy’s actions reflect those of Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus in today’s Scripture?
  • In what ways does Aslan represent Jesus?
  • Why do you think there was a “young man, dressed in a white robe” sitting in the empty tomb?
  • Sometimes the phrase “don’t be alarmed” is translated “don’t be afraid.” When has the phrase “don’t be afraid” been spoken before in Scripture? Why do you think the young man tells the women not to be alarmed or afraid?
  • How would you have reacted if you were the one to find the empty tomb? Why?
  • The young man tells the women to go tell the disciples, especially Peter, that Christ is risen and yet they do not. Why do you think they didn’t tell anyone what they saw?
  • After Jesus was arrested, Peter denied him three times. Why, then, do you think Peter was specifically named in the instructions to tell the disciples Jesus was risen?
  • What do you think it means that even when we do things that deny we are followers of Jesus, Jesus still loves us, forgives us and includes us?
  • Later in the Bible (in 2 Corinthians), Paul writes that for those who are a part of Christ all their old ways are gone and their new ways can begin. How does that connect to the story of Christ’s resurrection?
  • What are old ways that you want to get rid of so you can start anew – start fresh – and live more faithfully?
  • How does Christ’s resurrection make that possible for you?

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion:

  • In the Apostle’s Creed, we say that Jesus “descended into hell.” In this, God – through Jesus – conquered death and evil.
  • In 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.
  • In Mark’s Gospel, the women may have been afraid to tell anyone about what they had seen, but somewhere along the way they found their courage and told the story.
  • Each of us has times of fear and lack the courage to stand up witness to the power of God’s love and grace in the face of a doubting and, sometimes, hostile world.
  • The good news of the Good News is that even when we drop the ball, even when we are afraid, even when we are not at our best, the power of God’s grace cannot be contained — by a tomb, by fear, by failure or by time.
  • The gift of the resurrection is that we can get up when we fall. Jesus helps us get up and lets us start over – start anew – and this is indeed the good news that Christ has risen!

Invite each person to create some sort of sign (a poster, a banner, an art installation) of the good news of Christ’s resurrection and place it in your front yard, in the front window of your house or car so all who see you know:

Christ is risen!
He is risen, indeed!



Close your time together by praying for one another, your neighbor, 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.