Make a Basket of Blessing Eggs
by Monica McConkey
used with permission, from "A Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholic Families"
Eggs are a symbol of new life.
Make a mix of watered down glue or wall paper paste for adhesive. Blow up a regular size balloon to about 6 inch length. Draw a 1/4 inch x 2 inch rectangle on the balloon with a marker, being careful not to burst the balloon.
Saturate one torn strip of newsprint at a time and apply to the small balloon. Do not apply the strips on top of the knot of the balloon (where it has been tied). Work around this opening, maintaining the smooth shape of the egg.
Leave a hole where the drawn rectangle is. Strips of newspaper with one straight edge can be used to neatly frame the opening, using the rectangle as a guide. This opening will serve as a mail slot (for inserting messages).
Pierce the balloon through one of the openings. Allow to dry and then apply an additional layer of paper maché, covering the hole left where the balloon knot had been.
Allow the egg to dry thoroughly. Paint each egg colourfully and write a family members' name on it, identifying it as their egg. Paint a coat of varnish on the egg for a shiny finish.
Leave the colourfully decorated eggs in a basket on the kitchen table. Encourage everyone in the family to say special prayers and do good deeds (in secret) for each other. Let them write little messages revealing these prayers and deeds and put them in the other family member's egg. Feel free to add other positive notes (You did a great job with your homework!, Thanks for dinner!...) into the eggs as well. Try to remember to date each message too!
As Lent goes on, these eggs will be filled with messages. On Easter Sunday, these eggs are cracked open so that everyone can read their secret messages. With the prayers and encouragement of loved ones, we celebrate our new life through Jesus, continuing to serve Him in our daily lives with renewed enthusiasm.