Hand out “Alleluia Sticks” (small plastic rods covered with fun things like streamers, glitter, and all sorts of fun things) and talk about how we “get our Alleluias back” that we have not had all during Lent. Prepare the children to respond by waving the Alleluia Sticks when they hear Alleluia in the hymns and during the ‘adult’ Sermon:
Pastor: Christ is Risen!
Congregation: He is Risen Indeed!
From Spill the Beans
Put 3 jelly beans in plastic eggs and distribute to every member of the congregation. Shake whenever a particular phrase is used (“he is risen,” for instance).
Blow out two eggs per children’s sermon (two services = four eggs). Put them back in the carton. Ask the children what is inside an egg. Break a regular egg into a bowl to look at the stuff. Do a second REGULAR egg to be sure. Talk about how the women knew what was in the tomb. It’s always the same thing: a body. Break one of the blown eggs! It’s empty- just like the tomb. What they expected to be inside wasn’t there. Where was Jesus? Where is he now? What does it mean? (The second egg is because they’ll want to see it again.)
If you want the “messy” part, you can empty out the eggs, as above, fill them with confetti, then glue a layer of tissue paper over the hole. Then, as tradition has it here, you break it over someone’s head in celebration of the empty tomb! Very messy but fun.
Jelly Bean Prayer
With thanks to Naomi Carriker, who may have adapted it from something at Young Clergywomen’s Project.
GREEN – because He’s God’s own Son
RED – for His passionate Love he gives to everyone
BLACK – for the empty tomb flooded with light
ORANGE – for the Sun that shines so bright
YELLOW – the Good News the Resurrection brings
PURPLE – because He’s the King of kings
WHITE – is for the grace He gives
PINK – reminds us that He lives
Unbury the Alleluias
We’re unburying the alleluias. My blacksmith has made another wondrous creation [to go with the palm trees, the donkey, the life-sized Christmas stable] of a massive self-standing rainbow. His wife and I were putting it into position this afternoon and, having retrieved the post-it alleluias from the box they’ve been in at the foot of the cross all thru lent, they are now decorating the rainbow quite charmingly. Said rainbow, complete with cloud at one end, is now covered with the purple lent cloth I’d been using for other things over the season. It does look a little like Mr Snufflufagus is hiding under it.
We’ll sing Halle Halle Halle, and then do the reveal. Seriously hoping for gasps, lol! After which, a quick reprise re. having buried them – remembering some that accidentally escaped – alleluias that couldn’t be contained…play on that re. death not containing Jesus… have a cheery time, make an affirmation of Easter hope and faith, and thereafter, I may hand out creme eggs…and then we finish again with Halle Halle Halle.
And heck, if it sinks like a lead balloon, well, hello, creme eggs.
Telling the Story using Colored Paper
(To use with colored paper distributed in advance to congregation, with each color in a different section. Adjust number of women, men and/or angels to match your gospel for this year. If the choir is seated visibly, consider having them be YELLOW, which is the Easter sunrise.)
Early on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and her friends got up while it was still BLACK as night to go to the place where Jesus was buried. It was so quiet, hardly a bird was singing yet. They all felt sad because their friend had died.
They walked down the dusty BROWN path, telling each other stories about Jesus. They remembered the times they followed him around the countryside. They remembered the time he sat on a GREEN, GREEN hillside and taught the people. They remembered the time there was not enough food to eat, only five loaves and two fishes, but when Jesus blessed the food, there was enough for everyone.
Soon they reached the garden where Jesus’ body had been put in a tomb with a big, stone to cover the entrance. They found the GREY stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body.
While they were trying to figure out what had happened, suddenly two men in dazzling WHITE clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men in the dazzling clothes said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen! Remember how he told you, while you were all still together, that he would be killed but on the third day he would rise again.”
Then they remembered what Jesus had told them, and they left the tomb to tell all of Jesus’ friends and disciples what they had seen. As they left the garden, the YELLOW sun was shining in the clear BLUE sky, and they noticed beautiful flowers, PINK and PURPLE and RED!
And all these years later we remember how they went to the tomb, and found it empty. We celebrate on Easter Sunday with flowers of all colors. We give thanks for Jesus, who rose that day. We give thanks to God, and we say “Alleluia!!”
I am talking about the “Resurrection Lily”. I found a silk version of the lily and the leaves pop off, leaving the surprise lily which blooms months later after the leaves have fallen off. Here is the wiki link:
I put the lily in a glass vase with glass beads.