01 April 2013

Gamel Easter Tradition 2013: Visit to a Grave

A few months before Easter, I sat down and gathered all of the best family Easter traditions I could find, especially those that tell the story of Easter.  This is one of several Easter traditions we have adopted in hopes it will help our children more deeply appreciate and understand what Easter is all about.  We are always looking for creative ways to teach our children about God and the world around us.  If you have a family Easter tradition to share, please leave it in the comment box below!

This year, as a way to illustrate Good Friday to the boys in a concrete way, Brian and I decided to follow the suggestion (found at here) to "go to a park, search for an oversized boulder and try to move it.  Read Matthew 27:62-66; 28:1-4.  Discuss how a larget stone couldn't keep Jesus in the tomb and how surprised the soldiers must have been when it was rolled away."  The only change we made was to go to a cemetery instead of park.  It turned out to be a pretty special family experience.

When we told Oliver on Good Friday we were going to visit a real grave so we could talk about the grave Jesus was buried in, Oliver exclaimed, "really?!  A cemetery!?  I've never been there before!"  Who knew a five year old would find such a place interesting or exciting? :)

This was the largest tomb marker the boys could find.

The boys tried to roll it away.

I love how Oliver, exasperated he couldn't move the tomb, wrapped his arms around Bennett's body and tried to help him push even harder.  Obviously, it didn't move.

Our theologian in residence, Daddy, read from the Bible, (Matthew 27:62-66 and then Matthew 28:1-7) parts of which we each acted out.  Oliver loved doing this!  Oliver played the part of the "angel" and I pretended to be "Mary Magdalene."  With Daddy's prompting, Oliver the angel said to me, "Do not be afraid.  He is not here!" while Bennett watched on.

During breakfast on Easter morning, when Brian told the boys about how when Jesus came back, Jesus' disciples thought he was an angel, Bennett piped up and said, "do not be afraid!"  We laughed at the moment and took joy in the fact that even he had remembered what we did a few days earlier.

The boys loved coming across this large cross in the middle of the cemetery.

We wouldn't let them sit down on any of the tombstones out of respect for the cemetery and all those buried there.  But we did let them sit at the foot of the cross.  It seemed only appropriate.  :)


  1. I've been doing some genealogy research after reading your blog post because the tombstone jumped out at me. My great grandfather was George Holstead and his brother was John. His wife, my great grandmother, was from Waco. However, she was an Oliver. George was from Ruston. It seems that this may just be a coincidence, but it definitely caught my eye! What a neat way to tell them about the Resurrection. Love it.

    1. Anna, that's crazy that the boys could have been trying to "push over" the tombstone of one of your great uncles! :) It turns out that the cemetery we were in is pretty old. We actually saw the last names "Oliver" and "Bennett" in the cementery so your great grandmother might be buried there. If you have any info, I'd be happy to take the boys back to look for you. What a wild thing for you to possibly see your great uncles' gravestone. I love genealogy so this stuff is just downright cool to me!! :)


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