Begin with a few moments of quiet.
Invite all present to sit comfortably.
When sitting comfortably, take three deep breaths, as you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.
Now return to breathing normally.
Opening ourselves to the Presence of God in our lives
Have a conversation, allowing each person present a few moments to think about and to reply to the following.
Thinking back over the week, let us share with one another
What is it that I want to say thank you for?
What is it that want to say I am sorry for?
If you like to listen to some quiet music during this, click on it below .
Introduce the Gospel
Today is Easter Sunday.
On Easter Sunday we celebrate that the tomb, or grave, where they had buried Jesus is empty. We now know that is because he rose form the dead, at the time those who discovered it didn’t understand that.
You may wonder why the people were going to the tomb where Jesus was buried. A tomb isn’t like the graves we use now. Tomb’s were caves where the bodies of those who died were placed. The bodies would be cleaned and anointed with oils when they were put into the tomb as a way of respecting and showing dignity to the person who had died.
Jesus died late on the Friday evening. The Jewish sabbath begins at sunset on the Friday and ends at sunrise on the Sunday. Any type of manual labour was prohibited on the Sabbath. So they could only put the body into the tomb and leave on the Friday evening. Therefore the women were going there first thing on the Sunday morning to do what they needed in regards to cleansing and anointing.
We are going to read from the John’s account of this event today.
Read the Gospel
Early on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. It was still dark. Mary saw that the large stone had been moved away from the tomb. So Mary ran to Simon Peter and the other follower (the one Jesus loved). Mary said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb. We don’t know where they have put him.”
So Peter and the other follower started for the tomb. They were both running, but the other follower ran faster than Peter. So the other follower reached the tomb first. He bent down and looked in. He saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. Then following him came Simon Peter. He went into the tomb and saw the strips of linen lying there. He also saw the cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up and laid in a different place from the strips of linen. Then the other follower, who had reached the tomb first, also went in. He saw and believed. (These followers did not yet understand from the Scriptures that Jesus must rise from death.)
Have a Conversation about the Gospel
Use some of the following questions to help in having a conversation about the message in the Gospel.
What do you remember about today’s reading?
What can you remember about the Gospel today?
Why did Mary return to the tomb on Sunday morning?
What did she find when she arrived?
Whom did she tell?
How would Peter and John have felt?
On Easter Sunday a special candle called the Paschal candle is lit. This is a symbol of new life and of Jesus being the light of the world.
We sometimes give each other Easter eggs on Easter Sunday as a symbol of new life. Just as the chick in its shell must break free from its shell to begin a new life, so too, Jesus had to break free from death in the tomb. He had the new life which God has promised us all.
End with a prayer
Dear Jesus, when Mary arrived at the tomb and didn’t see your body, she was afraid someone had stolen you away. Mary did not need to be afraid, as you were alive and well. Help me not to be afraid and to trust that you are always with me. Amen
Here are some activities you might like to complete during the coming week as a reminder of this Gospel today.
Make an Easter basket and chick to remind you of new life. Printer needed.
How to draw an Easter basket. No printer needed.