18 April 2012

Eastertide guest post - Stations of the Resurrection

Sheila was one of my first blogger friends. We both live "abroad" and use Godly Play with children in church. She lives and works in Berlin, and blogs about Godly Play, art education, and encouraging kids to enjoy nature. The Celebrating Lent link party that we co-hosted this winter was largely her idea, and together we've decided to celebrate Eastertide with a series of guest posts. 

Her guest post here begins with a reference to the Stations of the Cross. For those who might not know, this is a way of prayerfully remembering the events of Good Friday. There are 14 stations, including "Jesus is condemned to death", "Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the cross", and "Jesus is nailed to the cross". The stations are often depicted visually and separated from one another in space - so you pray with your body as well as your mind as you move from one station to the next, and no reading is required. Wikipedia lists two variants of the stations, one more traditional and one more closely tied to Scripture. An excellent introduction to the traditional one is this website for children, but I also love reading about creative approaches like praying on the Chicago "L".  

You may be familiar with the Stations of the Cross, but did you know that there are Stations of the Resurrection as well? 

After several years of doing the Stations of the Cross with my children and finding them so meaningful, I thought it odd not to spend just as much time focusing on the Resurrection. I was looking for something similar for Eastertide when I found out about this awesome tool through Lacy at Catholic Icing. (If you are not familiar with Lacy's blog, it is full of wonderful ideas!) 

The Stations of the Resurrection cover all of the stories found in the four Gospels and beginning of Acts that happened after Jesus was resurrected and began appearing to different people. If you click here, you can find several versions of the Stations that Lacy has provided links for. My favorite is the downloadable Montessori-type cards found in her post. 

As you can imagine, I immediately printed out the Montessori cards (despite the fact that my printer was running out of ink!) and began to think about how to use them. So far, I have used them in these ways:

1) As a basis for good old-fashioned storytelling! (After all, we don't always have our Godly Play stuff right on hand, do we?) While on vacation in Texas last week, I sat with both children in a hammock looking up at the stars and began to tell them the story of Jesus appearing unexpected to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Both kids were mesmerized, and my son wanted to hear the story of Jesus' encounter with Thomas afterwards. Since then, I have been intentionally telling one of the Stations as a bedtime story and encouraging the kids to respond in prayer afterwards. 

2) As a game! My son loved matching the cards to the pictures and guessing the sequence. And since these cards have Roman numerals, it was also a great way for him to practice recognizing them.

3) A place to "hang out" or "revisit". In the Stations of the Cross for Children, the author explains a station as "a place to wait or one that you can come back to". I reminded my son of this and asked him, "Which Station would you like to hang out at tonight?" He wanted to go back to the first Station where Jesus is resurrected, so I told him that story all over again. Sometimes we think that children get bored easily and that they need more variety than they actually want. Many times they will simply want to hear the same story over and over again. The Stations of the Resurrection allow kids to "hang out" at the places they want to revisit and process, even if we adults may not understand exactly why.: )


  1. LOVE this, totally marking it for next year somehow.

    1. Thanks, Ticia! So glad that it is helpful.


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