The Easter Vigil service can prove to be a challenge for younger children. It takes place late at night; it tends to be a longer service. Children are tired and sometimes less than eager to endure for the entire service.
What if you had a resource that not only kept your children occupied but also directed them to the service, the readings and the events of the evening? Well, now you do.
LCMS Worship is pleased to present an Easter Vigil coloring book. Featuring writing by Jessie Bell and art by LW contributor and artist Edward Riojas, the book will help children learn the message of Easter Vigil, namely, God’s story of salvation. The book is available for free download or for purchase.
The introduction by the Rev. Sean Daenzer:
CHURCH IN A DARK SANCTUARY LATE INTO THE NIGHT, twelve Old Testament readings, extra hymns, the Holy Communion and, of course, open flame (all a few hours before early morning on Easter Sunday, mind you) — these are all the elements pious pastors and parishioners love in a service. They are also what make mothers of young children panic, even the pious ones. When our family at last had the chance to attend the Vigil together in the same pew, we braced ourselves for a two-hour slugfest with toddlers and infants that started (!) an hour after bedtime.
Our kids, of course, surprised us. The baby was glad to snuggle with mommy. The oldest child followed along with more than we expected and whispered lots of questions. The toddler held her candle very straight and still. Everyone resolved to learn to play the trigon. Not one fell asleep until the car ride home. How could they? “This is the night…”
Be of good courage, mom and dad! You have dared to brave the witching hour for fireworks and plays and gatherings with friends and family before. Holy Week is the ultimate family gathering for Christians, at which even little ones belong. This is the week when our Divine Services deviate most from their normal patterns as we observe the three days which lie at the heart of our most holy faith: the death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. These events, these truths, and this Lord’s promises are worth the risks that come with deviating from normal bedtime.
To help you and your family keep your lamps trimmed and burning, LCMS Worship is pleased to offer these coloring pages. Edward Riojas (father and artist) has brought each prophecy and liturgical element to life in elegant line art, rich in references to common symbolism in the Lutheran tradition. Jessie Bell (mom and homeschool teacher) has provided commentary and a guide for each picture to help you talk together with your family about the Scriptures and the service. We hereby authorize you to bring the crayons, whisper softly in your pew, (maybe allow them pajamas in church, just this once) and come prepared to watch and revel together as a family in our Lord’s great history of salvation, culminating in this most holy night, in which Christ passed over from death to life. May He bring you and yours with Him also, now and forever. Amen.
Rev. Sean Daenzer
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Visit LCMS Worship for all the details.