Celebrating Easter Sunday

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Easter Sunday is one of the most popular celebrations in the Catholic Church. It is an annual commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s also the most attended Sunday service in Catholic churches. It marks the end of the 40-day lent season that begins with the Ash Wednesday. During the Lenten season, people reflect on their Christian lives, offer sacrifice, engage in works of mercy, and ask forgiveness for their sins.

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According to the Bible, Jesus was raised from the dead three days after he died on the cross. His death on the cross as well as his sufferings is commemorated on Good Friday. This is the Friday before Easter Sunday. Catholics believe that the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ served as a salvation for mankind and penalty for the original sin to earn all those believe in him an eternal seat in heaven.

People have plenty of ways to celebrate this important day. One is of course by attending mass. As mentioned earlier, it is the most attended Sunday service in the entire year. When you attend mass, thank God for all your blessings and remember all his sacrifices for you and your family.

Also a very popular way to celebrate Easter is to have Easter egg hunting. This is the probably the most popular of all Easter traditions. It takes place not only in the United States but also in different parts of the world like United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Australia, Malaysia, and Sweden. During this activity, adults hide colorful eggs at the yard for children to find.

In Australia, UK, and US, there is also a tradition called the Easter Bonnet Parade. During this event, people parade wearing colorfully decorated hats. Some come with bunny ears, Easter egg shapes, and colorful designs. There’s also the Easter Bunny tradition that you’ll find in Sweden, Austria, Canada, US, and Germany. Children believe that every Easter, an Easter bunny delivers sweet treats to the kids. The kids are ready with their vibrant Easter baskets.

People also get together during Easter Sunday. Families hold reunions and friends catch up over Easter festivities, usually after hearing mass. Easter egg hunting activity is often a part of these parties.

All these merry-making truly make Easter Sunday a joyous occasion. However, people should never forget the true essence of the celebration. It’s not really about the adorable sweet treat-delivering bunny or the colorful eggs. It’s more about the resurrection of Jesus and how this meant salvation for mankind.

Catholic Prayers to Teach Your Child

If you want to raise your child as a devout Catholic, start by teaching him common prayers that can be memorized easily. These include Grace Before and After Meal, Guardian Angel Prayers, and Our Father, among others. Children can learn these prayers quickly if you repeat them every day. Here are the Catholic prayers that you should start to teach your child.

Sign of the Cross

This is the most basic of all Catholic prayers but many people don’t see it as a prayer but as a beginning of every prayer. When teaching your child the sign of the cross, see to it that he uses his right hand and not his left. He should also touch his left shoulder first before the right one.

Our Father

This is the prayer that Jesus taught to his disciples. It is also said to be the “summary of the gospel.” It’s imperative that you teach this to your child. This can be recited as a morning prayer before the child goes to school or as an evening prayer before he sleeps. Ensure that your child pronounces the words clearly since many children mispronounce this prayer.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

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Teaching your child to pray the Hail Mary reinforces devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mother. It is also a good way to introduce Marian prayers like the Rosary.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death. Amen.

Glory Be

This one is very simple and easy to memorize. Glory Be is also an important prayer not only because it’s part of the Rosary but because it can be said at any time of the day to culminate a personal prayer.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Grace Before Meals

Saying Grace before meals is vital to remind not only the children but also the adults the importance of saying thank you for the blessings of food. After all, every good thing that you have comes from God. Grace after meals is equally important.

Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

We give Thee thanks, Almighty God, for all thy benefits, Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.

Guardian Angel Prayer

Then there’s the Guardian Angel prayer that would enable a child to connect with his guardian angel so he will have the protection he needs every day.

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Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God’s love commits me here, Ever this day, be at my side, To light and guard, Rule and guide. Amen.

How Do Catholics Celebrate Lent?

Lent refers to the period of liturgical year that begins from Ash Wednesday and lasts up to Easter Sunday. The main purpose of this tradition is to prepare Catholics for the commemoration of the resurrection of Christ through prayer, repentance, self-denial, and works of mercy. This 40-day period is also an opportunity for Catholics to reflect on their lives as Christians and to ask forgiveness for their wrongdoings. It is during this time that people also thank Jesus for his sacrifice. They engage in sacrificial rituals to commemorate the hardships that Jesus endured to save mankind from the original sin and to purify their souls from sins. Catholics celebrate lent through the following:


Since lent is a time for asking for forgiveness, it is the ideal time for Catholics to confess their sins. Confession, which is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, is to be done every year. It’s important to prepare for confession so that you’re able to ask penance for all the sins you’ve committed from the previous year.


Fasting is required for all Catholics from 18 to 59 years old. It means that you can only consume one main meal and two smaller meals on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Snacks in between those meals are not allowed. Fasting is a form of sacrifice that reminds people about the sufferings of Jesus Christ.


Abstinence is similar to fasting in that it involves dietary sacrifice. But in this one, Catholics over the age of 14 years old are not allowed to eat any meat every Friday during the Lent. Even foods that are made of meat cannot be eaten as well. This is to pay respect and honor for the sacrifice of Jesus when he gave his own flesh for the salvation of our souls and forgiveness of our sins.

Acts of mercy

It is also during the lent that people are encouraged even more to engage in acts of mercy. Of course, these acts of mercy can be done all year round. These actions include feeding of the hungry, giving drinks to the thirsty, clothing the naked, giving shelter to the homeless, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned, and burying the dead.

Spiritual acts of mercy

There are also what are called spiritual acts of mercy and these are admonishing the sinner, directing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, comforting the sorrowful, bearing mistakes patiently, forgiving mistakes of others, and praying for the living and the dead.

Ash Wednesday: First Day of Lent

The season that prepares members of the Catholic Church for the resurrection of Christ is lent. The beginning of the lent is marked by Ash Wednesday. It falls 46 days before Easter Sunday. Even though it is not a Holy Day of Obligation, the Church encourages all Catholics to attend mass and get the ash crucifix marking on their foreheads.

Distribution of ashes

During the holy mass, ashes made from blessed burned palms from the previous Palm Sunday are distributed. After the Palm Sunday mass each year, parishioners are asked to bring back their palms so these can be burned. Before the priest distributes the ash marking, he blesses the ashes first with holy water. He dips his right thumb into the ashes and makes the Sign of the Cross on the people’s foreheads while saying, “Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.”

Day of repentance

Ashes symbolize people’s mortality. It therefore calls for all Catholics to repent for their sins. When they receive the ash marking, it represents public penance. It serves as a reminder of sinfulness and forgiveness. Catholics do not wash off the marking on their foreheads for the rest of the day to represent their repentance and humility.

Fasting and abstinence

Since Ash Wednesday is penitential in nature, people are called to fast as well as abstain from meat. Those who are between the ages 18 and 60 are required to fast during the day. Fasting during Ash Wednesday doesn’t require complete abstinence from food. Instead, people are allowed to eat one complete meal and two smaller meals for the day. Snacks may not be taken in between. Catholics over the age of 14 must not eat any meat or any food that includes meat as an ingredient.

Spiritual life

Fasting and abstinence done during the Ash Wednesday is not just about penance but also for the improvement of spiritual lives. It gives time for a person to look at his/her life in perspective to see how his/her relationship and connection with God.

If you’re a devout Catholic, Ash Wednesday is an important part of your year. Not only does it begin the Lenten Season, it also gives you the opportunity to enhance your faith and relationship with the Lord. It’s a good practice to hear mass every Ash Wednesday and practice the traditions of fasting and abstinence until the Easter Sunday.

The Catholic Church’s Seven Sacraments

The Catholic Church has seven sacraments and these include baptism, confirmation, holy communion, confession, marriage, holy orders and anointing of the sick.

The Sacrament of Baptism

This is the first among the three parts of the sacrament of initiation. It is the entrance to the Catholic Church. It is usually done shortly after a child’s birth. Through the baptismal ceremony, the person is cleansed of the Original Sin. The person also receives grace and the life of God. It is the preparatory step to live a life of a Catholic that focuses on virtues such as faith, hope and charity.

The Sacrament of Confirmation

This is the second sacrament of initiation. In some Catholic Churches, the baptized is immediately confirmed. In other churches, confirmation is done in the person’s teenage years, a few years after the first communion. Through this sacrament, a person can live a life of a Christian proudly and without shame.

The Sacrament of Holy Communion

The third and final in the sacrament of initiation is the Holy Communion. It is the only one of the three sacraments of initiation that can be received repeatedly. In this sacrament, a person receives the Body and Blood of Christ. It brings a person closer to God and helps him/her grow in grace.

The Sacrament of Penance

More commonly referred to as confession, the sacrament of penance is about absolution or forgiveness of sins. During confession, a person enumerates all the sins and offenses he/she have committed since the time of his/her last confession. The priest would then grant forgiveness to the penitent so he/she can receive reconciliation with God. This sacrament is also sometimes called the sacrament of reconciliation.

The Sacrament of Marriage

Marriage refers to the lifetime union between man and woman. It is a union between members of the opposite sexes. It is a lifetime union that can only end if one of the spouses dies. As long as the marriage exists, it makes any person not free to marry again. Its exclusivity is guaranteed in a contract. Incompatible with this sacrament are divorce, adultery, and marriage between same sexes.

The Sacrament of Holy Orders

This refers to the “continuation of Christ’s priesthood.” In this sacrament, a man is ordained for priesthood. This comes in three levels that include: episcopate, priesthood, and diaconate. The primary duties of priests are to sacrifice and pray for people.

The Sacrament of Anointing the Sick

This was traditionally called the Last Rites or the Extreme Unction. It refers to the prayer service done for the dying either for the remission of the sins or recovery of health. Like the confession and holy communion, this one can also be repeated as necessary.

Getting Married in the Catholic Church

Since marriage is one of the Catholic Church’s seven sacraments, a man and woman who wishes to get married in this religious institution must be able to meet the following requirements:


A couple doesn’t have to be both Catholic to get married in the Catholic Church. However, both must be baptized as Christians and at least one of them should be baptized Catholic. If not, the marriage will not be permitted. If a person wants to get married to an unbaptized person, he/she must request for a special dispensation from the bishop. When the dispensation is granted, the marriage will be permitted inside a Catholic church but it will not be a sacramental marriage.


The Catholic Church forbids marriage between close blood relatives such as between siblings, cousins, and uncles and nieces (or aunts and nephews). Before 1983, even marriages between second cousins were not allowed. Today, the Catholic Church has become less strict. Some second-cousin marriages are permitted. Couples who are first cousins who wish to get married may request for a dispensation from the bishop. Although these are now allowed, the Church still discourages these types of marriages.

Previous Marriage

If a person has been married before, he/she may only be allowed to get married again if the spouse has died or if he/she has obtained nullity declaration from the church. Many times, divorce is not honored in the Catholic Church. Also, it’s a must to inform the priest if you or the person you’re marrying has been married before, whether it’s a Catholic ceremony or civil rite.

Opposite Sex Marriage

The Catholic Church defines marriage as a lifetime union between a man and woman. Even as civil marriage, the Church doesn’t recognize and honor marriages between the same sexes. If you want to get married in the Catholic Church, you must marry a person from the opposite sex.

Good Standing

Marriage is a sacrament and for you to be able to receive it, you must be in good standing with the Church. This doesn’t only require attendance during mass but also means following the rules of the Church. For example, a couple who has engaged in immoral behavior may not be allowed to get married in this institution.

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If you want to get married in the Catholic Church but you’re not sure if you’re qualified for a valid sacramental marriage, you can talk to your parish priest. This is especially necessary if one of you is not Catholic or had been married before.