Easter Traditions & Christ’s last week

Jesus_tombEaster Traditions~


Why do we have the Easter traditions that we generally all participate in year-after-year? Where did th
ese traditions start and what do they symbolize?

For Family Home Evening tonight we are going to discuss and learn about the Easter Traditions in preparation for Easter weekend. We will also learn about the events of this week.

Opening Song: “I Believe in Christ” Hymn #134

For Little Ones: We suggest the very simple lesson for little ones in the nursery manual, Behold Your Little Ones. Here is the link for the Easter lesson.

Christ’s last week of His mortal ministry: Excerpts from Church leaders on the events of this last week.


Palm Sunday~ Palm Sunday is the anniversary of that momentous occasion nearly two thousand years ago when Jesus of Nazareth, the very Son of God himself, began the ultimate declaration of his divinity and entered the holy city of Jerusalem as the promised Messiah that he was.

Riding on a young donkey in fulfillment of Zechariah’s ancient prophecy (see Zech. 9:9), he approached the temple on a path that the jubilant crowd lined for him with palm leaves, flowering branches, and some of their own garments, thus carpeting the way properly for the passing of a king. He was their king; these were his subjects. “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they shouted. “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” (Matt. 21:9.)

Of course, that path so lovingly lined was soon to lead to an upper room and then to Gethsemane. (“Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee”, President Howard W. Hunter, Ensign: May 1993)

Passover & Last Supper (Tuesday)~

It began with the Paschal supper, or the Passover meal. Jesus made preparations for this meal in “a large upper room.” (Luke 22:12.) This Passover would officially close the requirement of animal sacrifices.

As Jesus and the Twelve Apostles entered the guest chamber in the upper room, the roasted lamb, unleavened cakes, bitter herbs, and dish with vinegar were prepared and ready.

Jesus presided at this meal. That was significant because as the One who took the place of the family patriarch, He made a last symbolic sacrifice in preparation for the real sacrifice that He later offered. He understood this; the Apostles did not. By celebrating the Passover feast, He gave His endorsement to all those similitude, signs, and tokens of the past millennia that had prefigured His great sacrifice.

Significant, too, is the fact that the Son of God commenced His earthly ministry with an ordinance—baptism—and ended His ministry with an ordinance—the sacrament. Both bore record of His death, burial, and resurrection. (“Remembering the Savior’s Atonement”, Elder David B. Haight, Ensign, April 1988)


Atonement (Garden of Gethsemane)~

For children: Garden of Gethsemane story

Elder James E. Talmage

“Christ’s agony in the garden is unfathomable by the finite mind, both as to intensity and cause. … It was not physical pain, nor mental anguish alone, that caused Him to suffer such torture as to produce an extrusion of blood from every pore; but a spiritual agony of soul such as only God was capable of experiencing. No other man, however great his powers of physical or mental endurance, could have suffered so; for his human organism would have succumbed, and syncope would have produced unconsciousness and welcome oblivion. In that hour of anguish Christ met and overcame all the horrors that Satan, ‘the prince of this world’ could inflict. …

“In some manner, actual and terribly real though to man incomprehensible, the Savior took upon Himself the burden of the sins of mankind from Adam to the end of the world” (Jesus the Christ, 613).

Calvary & The

Crucifixion(Friday)~

Elder James E. Talmage

“It seems, that in addition to the fearful suffering incident to crucifixion, the agony of Gethsemane had recurred, intensified beyond human power to endure. In that bitterest hour the dying Christ was alone, alone in most terrible reality. That the supreme sacrifice of the Son might be consummated in all its fulness, the Father seems to have withdrawn the support of His immediate Presence, leaving to the Savior of men the glory of complete victory over the forces of sin and death. …

“The period of faintness, the conception of utter forsakenness soon passed, and the natural cravings of the body reasserted themselves. The maddening thirst, which constituted one of the worst of the crucifixion agonies, wrung from the Savior’s lips His one recorded utterance expressive of physical suffering. ‘I thirst’ [John 19:28], He said. One of those who stood by, whether Roman or Jew, disciple or skeptic, we are not told, hastily saturated a sponge with vinegar, a vessel of which was at hand, and having fastened the sponge to the end of a reed, or stalk of hyssop, pressed it to the Lord’s fevered lips. …

“Fully realizing that He was no longer forsaken, but that His atoning sacrifice had been accepted by the Father, and that His mission in the flesh had been carried to glorious consummation, He exclaimed in a loud voice of holy triumph: ‘It is finished’ [John 19:30]. In reverence, resignation, and relief, He addressed the Father saying: ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit’ [Luke 23:46]. He bowed His head, and voluntarily gave up His life.

“Jesus the Christ was dead. His life had not been taken from Him except as He had willed to permit. Sweet and welcome as would have been the relief of death in any of the earlier stages of His suffering from Gethsemane to the cross, He lived until all things were accomplished as had been appointed” (Jesus the Christ, 661–62).


Resurrection Sunday~

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985)

“Only a God could bring about this miracle of resurrection. As a teacher of righteousness, Jesus could inspire souls to goodness; as a prophet, he could foreshadow the future; as an intelligent leader of men, he could organize a church; and as a possessor and magnifier of the priesthood, he could heal the sick, give sight to the blind, even raise other dead; but only as a God could he raise himself from the tomb, overcome death permanently, and bring incorruption in place of corruption, and replace mortality with immortality. …

“No human hands had been at work to remove the sealed door nor to resuscitate nor restore. No magician nor sorcerer had invaded the precincts to work his cures; not even the priesthood, exercised by another, had been brought in use to heal, but the God who had purposefully and intentionally laid down his life had, by the power of his godhead, taken up his life again. … The spirit which had been by him commended to his Father in Heaven from the cross, and which, according to his later reports, had been to the spirit world, had returned and, ignoring the impenetrable walls of the sepulcher, had entered the place, re-entered the body, had caused the stone door to be rolled away, and walked in life again, with his body changed to immortality, incorruptible—his every faculty keen and alert.

“Unexplainable? Yes! And not understandable—but incontestable. More than 500 unimpeachable witnesses had contact with him. They walked with him, talked with him, ate with him, felt the flesh of his body and saw the wounds in his side and feet and hands; discussed with him the program which had been common to them, and him; and, by many infallible proofs knew and testified that he was risen, and that that last and most dreaded enemy, death, had been overcome. …

“And so we bear testimony that the being who created the earth and its contents, who made numerous appearances upon the earth prior to his birth in Bethlehem, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is resurrected and immortal, and that this great boon of resurrection and immortality becomes now, through our Redeemer, the heritage of mankind” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 17–18).


Easter Traditions Trivia~
The
Easter Bunny is not a modern invention. The symbol originated with the pagan festival of Eastre. The goddess, Eastre, was worshiped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the rabbit.

The Germans brought the symbol of the Easter rabbit to America. It was widely ignored by other Christians until shortly after the Civil War. In fact, Easter itself was not widely celebrated in America until after that time.

The Easter Egg

As with the Easter Bunny and the holiday itself, theEaster egg predates the Christian holiday of Easter. The exchange of eggs in the springtime is a custom that was centuries old when Easter was first celebrated by Christians.

From the earliest times, the egg was a symbol of rebirth in most cultures. Eggs were often wrapped in gold leaf or, if you were a peasant, colored brightly by boiling them with the leaves or petals of certain flowers. Today, children hunt colored eggs and place them in Easter baskets along with the modern version of real Easter eggs — those made of plastic or chocolate candy.

(From http://wilstar.com/holidays/easter.htm)

Activity~ Dye Easter eggs and have a Easter egg hunt.

Treat~

ResurrectionRollsLarge Resurrection Rolls~

Servings: 12
Skills: Beginning
Prep Time: 10 min (not including thaw time)
Bake Time: 15 min

Ingredients

  1. 12 Rhodes Texas™ Rolls, thawed but still cold
  2. 12 jumbo marshmallows
  3. 1/4 cup butter, melted
  4. 1/4 cup sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions

    1. In a small bowl combine cinnamon and sugar.
    2. Roll out each roll into a 5 inch circle.
    3. Dip a marshmallow in butter and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
    4. Place one marshmallow in the center of each 5 inch circle.
    5. Fold each side of the circle over the marshmallow, and pinch together to close.
    6. Place on a sprayed baking sheet, with the seam facing down.
    7. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap, and allow to double in size.
    8. Remove wrap and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

 

Notes:

*For those of you who are interested in the symbolism of Resurrection Rolls* Marshmallow – the body of Jesus Melted Butter – the oils for embalming Cinnamon/Sugar mixture – spices used to anoint the body Roll- the wrapping of Jesus’ body Oven – the tomb Cavity in roll – the empty tomb after Jesus has risen.

Photo and recipe credits for Resurrection Rolls: RhodesBread.com.

 

Easter cup cakes

Makes 24 (1 cupcake) servings.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 package (18 1/4 ounces) white cake mix

1 container (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

Flaked coconut (about 1 cup for each desired color)

McCormick® Assorted Food Colors and Egg Dye or McCormick® Assorted NEON! Food Colors and Egg Dye

Candies for decorating, such as jelly beans or gum drops (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Prepare and bake cake mix as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool on wire racks. Frost cupcakes.

2. Place coconut in large resealable plastic bag. Squeeze food color into coconut (use 5 to 6 drops desired food color to 1 cup coconut). Shake until color is evenly distributed.

3. Sprinkle frosted cupcakes with tinted coconut. Decorate as desired with candies.


Our last thoughts: We hope that you have enjoyed the selection of talks and other works for this lesson on Easter week.

Be sure to check out all the links for the excerpts for more on the incredible talks on these great events. All that we posted, doesn’t even give these sacred topics justice.

Challenge yourself, family or FHE groups/wards to study these topics throughout this week in preparation for Easter Sunday.

Share your thoughts with us by leaving comments below.



photo: Associatedcontent.com

New Year’s Resolution Game & Time Capsule With Kids

Family Home Evening New Years Activities for children copy

Resolve for Some Fun

To make resolutions or not make resolutions. That is the question.

It’s the annual task of deciding if we want to resolve to make changes in our lives– have better health, manage finances better, send more Thank-You notes, etc. I made a resolution this year to not make a resolution. I am guilty of buying a planner, filling up the birthdays, anniversaries and other special dates and planning out the first two weeks– then forgetting to use it the other 50 weeks.

So, this year, have a little fun with your resolutions.

1. Gather with your family and friends and make a list of your resolutions on individual slips of paper.

2. Give each participant a piece of paper and read aloud the resolutions and have everyone write down who they think the resolution belongs to.

3. Reveal who the resolutions belong to and the person the most correct answer- WINS!

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Create A Time Capsule

You may find yourself holding a cell phone, or driving a car that can park itself, or video calling family or friends over your computer (or from the palm of your hand) and wonder– how did we get to this point? Remember life before such mobile and amazing technology? It wasn’t that long ago that we all had beepers/pagers as a means of getting a hold of each other. Now we have text messages, video texts and so on!

What will it be like in five, 10 or even 20 years from now?

Capture today by creating a time capsule.

Materials Needed:

Capsule: Use a large hot chocolate canister, or paint can (you can purchase empty ones from craft stores- don’t forget the lid)– or something similar- for your time capsule. Make sure that it can withstand elements if you decide to bury the capsule.

Decorations: You may want to decorate the outside of your capsule. You can use newspaper clippings, magazine photos, etc to decorate the outside. Don’t forget to include the year of your capsule and the date that it will be opened in the future.

Decide as a family the following things when creating your capsule:

What will your time capsule include? How many items can each person contribute? What date do you want to open your time capsule? Where will your time capsule be stored or buried? What photos will you put in? What items that represent this year can you include in the capsule (for example, someone’s old out-of-use cell phone to show changes in technology and so on)?

Include the following printable for each family member that you are including in the time capsule:

 

Family Home Evening-Time Capsule for Children copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FREE TIME CAPSULE PRINTABLE: (Click on link below for PDF file)

Family Home Evening-Time Capsule for Children

 

Christmas Family Home Evening Lesson

Christmas Family Home Evening Lesson

Purpose: To reflect on the true meaning of celebrating Christmas, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Song: “Away In A Manager”

Scripture:Luke 2: 1-14

Lesson:

Young Children~ Print & Use this Picture Strip of the Christmas Story. *Manger Cut Out
~From LDS.org

Tweens~ Print & Use Nativity Matching Game

Teens, Groups, Couples,Individuals~

 What Is Christmas?

Christmas is prophecy fulfilled. On the eve of His birth, the voice of the Lord came unto Nephi, saying, “Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.”

What did the holy prophets of old declare? Isaiah, more than 700 years before the birth of Christ, prophesied, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

On the American continent, King Benjamin said, “For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent … shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay. … He shall suffer temptations, and pain. … And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.”

Then came that night of nights when the shepherds were abiding in the fields and the angel of the Lord appeared to them, announcing: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy. … For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

The shepherds with haste went to the manger to pay honor to Christ the Lord. Later, wise men journeyed from the East to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. … When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

Since that time, the spirit of giving gifts has been present in the mind of each Christian as he or she commemorates the Christmas season. Our Heavenly Father gave to us His Son, Jesus Christ. That precious Son gave to us His life, the Atonement, and victory over the grave.

What will you and I give for Christmas this year? Let us in our lives give to our Lord and Savior the gift of gratitude by living His teachings and following in His footsteps. It was said of Him that He “went about doing good.” As we do likewise, the Christmas spirit will be ours. ~President Thomas S. Monson

Story:  “Maybe Christmas Doesn’t Come From A Store” ~ Elder Jeffery R. Holland

Activity:

Young Children~ Coloring Pages

Wise Men Still Seek Him Color Page ~ From LDS.org


Joseph, Mary & Baby Jesus Color Page ~ From LDS.org

Meaning Of Christmas Decorations~ from LDS.org

Want an activity for the older children. Have them observe Christmas decorations around the house or around the neighborhood and write down the decorations they see and what they think each of them symbolize. Compare the lists and talk about their meanings.

Decoration Symbolism
Bells Sheep bells
Candy canes Shepherd’s staff
Lights, candles, star The star that appeared on the night of Jesus’ birth
Holly The crown of thorns
Evergreen tree Eternal life
Green, ivy Life and hope
Red, holly berries The blood of Christ


Christmas Letter Stationary-FREE PRINTABLES!

Family Night or any night– gather your family together and print off some of the FREE CHRISTMAS STATIONARY printables and write letters to those that are alone, in the hospitals, nursing homes, widows, etc.

SHARE this BLOG POST with your family & friends!

Family Home Evening Christmas Stationary Free Printable copy

Family Home Evening Christmas Stationary Free Printable-Santa Claus copy copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Home Evening Christmas Stationary Free Printable-Christmas tree copy copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Home Evening Christmas Stationary Free Printable-Snowman-2 copy copy

Christmas Service Countdown Service

“Christmas Service Countdown Family Home Evening
Purpose: To reflect on serving one another in our families during the Christmas season. Often times we can focus on selfish thoughts during this gift-giving season. It’s important that we strive to keep the focus on being selfless as our Savior was as we celebrate His birth.
 

Lesson: 
     “Over the years, many people, especially youth, have asked me, “Elder Cuthbert, how can I become more spiritual?” My reply has always been the same: “You need to give more service.
       Service changes people. It refines, purifies, gives a finer perspective, and brings out the best in each one of us. It gets us looking outward instead of inward. It prompts us to consider others’ needs ahead of our own. Righteous service is the expression of true charity, such as the Savior showed.” – Elder Derek A. Cuthbert, Ensign May 1990

Here are a list of ways service helps us become more spiritual:

1.      Helps us see true value in material things vs. things of the eternal value
2.      Service establishes a righteous tradition. Start serving when you’re young and that will lead to more willingness to serve throughout your life in the community and church.
3.      Service helps us overcome selfishness and sin.
4.      Service helps us generate love and appreciation.
5.      Service is the principle in which we show gratitude to our Savior.
 
Discussion:
~ What ways have you been served? How did it make you feel?
~ What are some ways that you’ve served others?
~ How did it make you feel when you’ve served someone else?
~ Why should we focus on service during the Christmas season?
Activity Ideas: *This activity requires prep work*
Prep work for countdown chain: Count down the days from FHE night until Christmas Day. Cut out equal sized strips of red and green construction paper to make the countdown chain. 
1.      
P    Pick one of the ways stated below to use each section of your chain. Remember that the service continues and includes Christmas Day.
W  1. With each section of the chain you can write an act of service to perform as a family.
2.      2. Each night at dinner you can take a piece of the chain off and describe what acts of service each family member did during that day. 
Treat:
5-Minute Chocolate Pie

Ingredients:1 Ready Graham Cracker Pie Crust 1 1/4 C. cold milk 2 pkg. (4- serving size) chocolate instant pie pudding mix 1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping (thawed) 1. Beat milk, pudding and half the whipped topping together in medium bowl with a wire whisk for one minute. The mixture will thicken. 2. Pour into ready-made crust. 3. Top with remaining whipped cream. You can eat it right away or chill until ready to eat!