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Resurrection eggs tell the Easter story

April 14, 2006|by Lisa Tedrick Prejean

Like many of you, I will be decorating Easter eggs with my children this weekend. It's a tradition that we began when they were toddlers and could barely tell the colors apart.

We don't do anything fancy, just dye the eggs, add a few stickers and arrange the eggs on brightly colored Easter straw in a container that will fit nicely in the refrigerator.

The kids look forward to this each year, and so do I. I don't want to think about the year when they are too "mature" for our traditional welcome to spring.

We always have an even number of eggs so each child has the same number. If one egg cracks, another one joins it to even the score. Plus, it's hard to make egg salad with only one hard-boiled egg.

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As we create and decorate, questions inevitably arise.

The children ask why we decorate eggs for Easter. I tell them that some people think eggs symbolize birth, the start of life, the newness of spring.

We talk about our faith and how Easter is an important holiday for Christians because it helps us to remember what Christ did for us.

Parents and Sunday school teachers sometimes use sets of "Resurrection eggs" to help tell the Easter story. Each plastic egg in a set contains an object that is related to the Easter story. As the child opens an egg and holds an object, the adult can share that part of the story. It is quite effective, and children tend to remember the objects, which help them remember that part of the story.

Apparently, many people had planned to use the eggs this year. Earlier this week, most local stores had sold out of the sets they had. Even online carriers were sold out. Perhaps I should have looked for a set right after Valentine's Day. That's what I get for waiting until after Palm Sunday to think about Easter.

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Thankfully, the eggs contain fairly common items. Putting together a set would only take a little time and would be cheaper than the store-ready version.

It appears that I'm not the first person to think of this. The Family Classroom Network Web site, www.easyfunschool.com, lists suggestions for making your own Resurrection eggs.

Start with an egg carton and 12 different colors of plastic eggs.

Here are some items you can place in the eggs, along with the explanations you can provide as your child opens each egg. Some of these items are small or sharp, so be sure to closely supervise the child:

Part of a palm leaf. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, people waved palm branches.

A piece of bread. At the Last Supper, Jesus broke bread with his disciples. He told them it was his body, broken for them. Christians continue this practice of remembering him each time they take Communion.

Coins. Jesus was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.

A cross. You can make this from sticks or toothpicks, or use a cross charm from a necklace. Jesus was crucified on a cross.

A thorn. Roman soldiers put thorns in the shape of a crown on Jesus' head.

A die. The soldiers cast lots, gambling over who would receive Jesus' clothes.

A nail. The soldiers nailed Jesus' hands and feet to the cross.

A piece of sponge. When Jesus asked for a drink, the soldiers dipped a sponge into vinegar and held it up to his mouth.

A few whole cloves. Spices were used when Jesus was buried.

A stone. The tomb was sealed with a stone.

An empty egg, symbolizing the empty tomb and Jesus' resurrection.

More information on Resurrection eggs can be found at www.rainbowcastle.org/resurrectioneggs.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at lisap@herald-mail.com.

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