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Easter Children’s Message

Children

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Need another resource?  Looking for advice? Please contact Kathy Pittenger.

Easter Children's Message/A Time For All Ages

Easter 2021 will be a joyous celebration! Even as life continues in a pandemic with uncertainties and shifts. The "Children's Message" or "A Time For All Ages" may look different depending on your context and your format for worship. The resource and links below can serve as guides regardless of your worship format.

The first section is "Tips for the Children's Message."

The second section contains recommended books.

The third section contains 2 scripts that you can use or adapt.

If you have questions or need additional support, please contact Rev. Kathy Pittenger.

Download the 2021 Easter Children's Message Resource (color)

Download the 2021 Easter Children's Message Resource (black & white)

Tips for the Children's Message

  • Know your why and shape the time to honor your why
  • Know your audience
  • Limit your Children’s Message to 3 (three) minutes
  • Use visuals and avoid object lessons. Preschool and elementary kids are concrete thinkers and will remember the object and not the lesson. Using images with questions can invite theological conversation. Use open-ended questions and not “right or wrong” answers. For example: “I wonder what Mary thought when she arrived at the tomb and the stone was rolled away.” Instead of “What did Mary find when she arrived at the tomb?” (you can get all kinds of responses to that!)
  • If you are in-person - follow your covid protocols. Consider asking children to stay in their seats, but say this is a special time for them. You may even want to call the time “A Time for All Ages” or something that encompasses the entire congregation. Read (or paraphrase - you don’t necessarily have to read every word) a children’s book. If you have a small congregation, ask open-ended questions that anyone can respond to. 
  • If you are in-person and/or streaming live - talking to two audiences at one time is tricky. Make sure that you make eye contact with both the in-person congregation and the camera for the on-line congregation. If you want to ask an open-ended question, invite people to respond to someone near them or type in the chat box or comments section. 
  • If you are pre-recording - Eye contact with the camera is important. If you want to ask an open-ended question, invite people to respond to someone near them or type in the chat box or comments section.

Additional Resources for Preparing a Children’s Message:

Recommended Books

Easter Books

The author, Amelia Richardson Dress, has graciously granted permission for churches to read the book in worship (in-person, streaming, or pre-recorded). Learn more about This is the Mystery of Easter.

The publisher has granted permission to read 'Twas the Morning of Easter with proper attribution. Learn more here.

A lovely book for toddlers and preschoolers. This book could be used with a felt board to tell the story.
Churches have permission to read Good News! It's Easter! in-person or on-line. If the reading is recorded, the publisher requests that the recording be deleted after Easter.

A book that tells the story of Easter as well as some church traditions that is appropriate for toddler - early elementary ages.

Recommended Children's Story Bibles

Easter Scripts for Children's Messages

Alleluia Butterflies

This script is based on Mark 16:1-7 and adapted by Rev. Kathy Pittenger with permission from Rev. Christine V. Hides.

Consider your worship format:

  • In-person - provide butterfly pictures and crayons (consider a small box that people can take home with them)
  • On-line - email the butterfly picture to families in advance, put them on a website or on social media for people to download, or have printouts available at the church for people to pick up ahead of time. If you are doing a take home box you might include it in that.

Two options for Butterflies:

Script:

At the beginning of the service, invite people (all ages can participate) to color their butterfly to prepare for the Children’s Time/Time for All Ages

Invite the congregation to the Children’s Time/Time for All Ages. (if the person doing the children’s time has not participated in worship yet, take a moment to introduce themselves)

Say: “Today’s Bible reading is about the empty tomb.” (you can read the Easter morning story from a children’s story bible, re-tell it in your own words, or continue with the script.) “Jesus’ friends were very sad when Jesus died on the cross. Three of the women who were his friends, Mary Magdalene, Mary, and Salome, went to the tomb very early in the morning, when the sky was still pink and orange. They were going to put special spices on Jesus’ body in a way that was common during that time. They wondered with one another how they were going to roll the enormous stone away from the front of the tomb. (If you want to ask a question, you could ask, “I wonder how you might have thought to roll away the stone? And give a moment or two for responses.) But, when they arrived, they noticed that the stone was already rolled away! When they peeked into the tomb, a young man in a white robe was in there and it startled them! The man said “Don’t be afraid!!! You are looking for Jesus and he has been raised! He isn’t here! Go tell the disciples!!” (If you want to ask a question, you could ask, “I wonder what you might have thought when Jesus’ body was gone and the young man said Jesus was alive? And give a moment or two for responses.)

“Easter reminds us that even after very sad things, wonderful new things can happen. God makes it possible for amazing things to happen: people to make up after a fight, plants to grow again after a long winter, and any time we go from sad to happy. We have a special word we say when we are this happy, “Alleluia!” “Alleluia” means “Praise the Lord” or “Praise God” 

“Take out your butterfly, and as we wave our butterflies in the air, let’s say “Alleluia” together. “Alleluia!” (repeat a couple of times) (Depending on your context, you may need to have people whisper it or invite people on-line to shout it out!)

"If you haven’t finished coloring your butterfly, as we continue in worship, you can keep coloring, whisper “Alleluia” and remember the mystery and wonder of Easter.” Let’s pray, “Dear God, thank you for Jesus! And for the mystery and wonder of Easter. Help us remember that you make amazing things happen! Alleluia! Amen.”

Emotions of Easter

This script is based on Matthew 28:1-10 and was written by Rev. Kathy Pittenger.

Invite the congregation to the Children’s Time/Time for All Ages. (if the person doing the children’s time has not participated in worship yet, take a moment to introduce themselves)

Say: “Today is a day of celebration! It’s also a day filled with lots of emotions. This past year has been filled with lots of emotions. Sometimes there has been fear, anxiety, sadness, and joy. Let’s listen to the Easter story from Matthew and listen for different emotions. (Optional - invite people to make a face that expresses the emotion they hear as you read the story. This adds an interactive element, especially if you are in-person and streaming live at the same time.)

“Jesus’ friends were very sad when Jesus died on the cross. (pause) His friends, Mary Magdalene and another Mary, went to the tomb very early in the morning, when the sky was still pink and orange. They were going to put special spices on Jesus’ body. They wondered with one another how they were going to roll the enormous stone away from the front of the tomb. But, when they arrived, there was a tremendous earthquake as an angel came and rolled away the stone from the entrance of the tomb! The guards who were there were terrified! The angel said to the women: “Don’t be afraid!!! You are looking for Jesus and he has been raised! He isn’t here! Go tell the disciples!!” Mary Magdalene and Mary were both afraid and excited! They hurried away from the tomb to tell the disciples. Then, surprise! Jesus met them and greeted them! They were so excited that they worshipped him right there! Jesus told them not to be afraid and to tell the disciples.

Wow! I heard lots of different emotions in the story. I heard sadness, because Jesus died. I heard anxiety about how the women would roll away the stone from the entrance of the tomb. I heard fear from the soldiers and the women. I heard excitement and joy as the women realized that Jesus was alive and hurried off to tell the disciples. I heard surprise and excitement when the women saw Jesus! I wonder what emotions you feel as you listen to the story (offer a moment of pause or invite people to share out loud or on social media). I wonder if you have ever felt more than one emotion at the same time. Like Mary and Mary were afraid and excited at the same time!

Today we celebrate Easter! We celebrate that even after very sad things, God makes it possible for amazing things to happen! We can be very happy that Jesus is alive! (optional - teach the ASL sign for “resurrection”

Let’s pray: “Dear God, we give thanks for our emotions. All of them! Thank you for moments when we can go from sad to happy. Thank you for the love of Jesus who is with us through ALL our emotions. Thank you for always being with us. Alleluia! Amen!”