Easter, the most important feast of the Church year, has an “octave”, that is, it is celebrated for eight days — through the following Sunday or “”Low Sunday”, the Octave of Easter Day.

Catholic schools have a holiday on Easter Monday. If the weather permits, this would be a good day to go to the park or zoo if you live near one, or to go on a walk looking closely for signs of spring, promise, rebirth, reawakening.

An alternative is to go to an art museum to look at Christian art; or to the library in search of some of the beautifully printed reproductions of medieval Books of Hours (the Très Riches Heures painted by the Limbourg brothers for the Duc de Berry is one of the finest.). These wonderful books are filled with fascinating pictures depicting virtually every event in the life of Christ, and most children would enjoy looking at and talking about these pictures with you. (This could take place of the bedtime story this week.)

Making a table-top tableau of a scene from the Bible can occupy children for hours. These can often be highly entertaining interpretations of the original Bible stories. To get the children started, cut the top and one side off a small cardboard box (a shoe box is fine) to use for the “stage”. Figures and other props can be made of modeling clay or play-dough. Other bits and scraps you have around the house — cloth, yarn, string, scraps of cloth or colored paper, pipe cleaners, etc. — can be used, too. (Another idea is to use scraps to make collages on cut-open brown paper grocery bags.)

Families may pray the Divine Mercy novena, beginning Good Friday and ending on the Octave of Easter, which Pope John Paul II named Divine Mercy Sunday.