Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Six environment ideas for unifying the Easter season

The Easter season lasts from Easter Vigil to Pentecost. That's seven weeks of trying to keep up the enthusiasm and joy of Easter Sunday! How can you use the liturgical environment to unify the season as well as to keep the sense of Easter through the entire 50 days? Here are some ideas.

1) Overlap colors, for example,
  • Keep some red from Palm Sunday to Holy Thursday
  • Transition the red from Thursday to Friday, but add some white
  • Continue the red and white from Friday and add gold or yellow
  • Keep some element of red throughout Easter to Pentecost

2) Keep the font decorated throughout the season including Pentecost. Leave the Easter Candle lit at every gathering and in a prominent place.

3) Have the neophytes wear their baptismal garments every Sunday of Easter.

4) Keep your church doors, inside and outside and on all doors on the church property, decorated throughout the season with festive wreaths or ribbons.

5) Leave symbols of the Triduum out, for example, bowls and pitchers near the font, the cross venerated on Good Friday placed outside and decorated. What other symbols were used during Triduum which can be displayed or used during Easter?

6) If you have a projection systems, show pictures of what happen at Easter Vigil throughout the Sundays of Easter as people are gathering. Include pictures of the neophytes.

Other ideas:

1) Remove tacky foil and price tags from flower pots and put them in terra cotta pots (large and small)—maybe even paint the pots with Easter designs—or large baskets. Don’t create an “altar rail” with them. As Peter Mazar said, “They’re not cabbages.” Bunch and layer them at main focal points: font, ambo, candle.

2) Add height to floral arrangements by using peacock feathers or pussy willows.

3) Incorporate some of the Easter Vigil decorating into the rite itself, for example, during the Gloria, Gospel Acclamation, preparation of gifts, have persons process in banners and flowers to place throughout the worship space.

4) Give an icon of the Resurrection prominence, if you have one, or highlight a stained glass window with the resurrection scene.

5) Use incense throughout; use green sprigs for sprinkling throughout.

6) Make sure sacristans and altar servers light other candles from the Paschal Candle.

7) Consider using origami, such as paper cranes. Parishioners can make some and bring them each Sunday to add to the environment.

8) Decorate trees, indoors and outside, with Easter eggs.

9) Decorate parking lot lights, add outdoor banners, use wind catchers and kites.

10) Decorate the assembly area: on columns, overhead, at windowsills.

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