Six Ways People with Disabilities Can Enjoy 2020’s Unusual Easter

Man with a developmental disability laughing with a relative while looking on a tablet device.

Holy Week is a sacred time for Christians.  For many of us, the occasion is traditionally marked by attending church, being with family and most importantly, renewing our faith.  This year as we practice social distancing and avoid gatherings, Easter takes on a different feeling. But that doesn’t mean it is any less special.  Here are some resources and ideas to help you celebrate Easter and make it special—and safe—for your loved ones.

Keep your traditions

We all have traditions for Holy Week or an expectation on how to celebrate Easter. One of these may sound familiar to you or trigger a memory from your childhood… attending Maundy Thursday and Good Friday church services, traveling to your grandparent’s house, putting on a special Easter outfit, arriving to church earlier than usual to get a seat in the packed sanctuary, smelling sweet and savory aromas from the kitchen, reading the Easter story, enjoying an egg hunt, finding an Easter basket, playing games, visiting with friends and relatives.

Whatever your tradition, this year is liable to be a little different as we practice social distancing and avoid gatherings.  However, you don’t have to forgo all of our traditions. 

  1. Worship. There are service offerings available for you to recognize Jesus’ last supper on Maundy Thursday, mourn his death on Good Friday service and celebrate that he rose from the dead on Easter morning. Many churches are offering live streaming or on demand services. AbleLight has gathered a list of them in their at-home activity center to help you easily find a service or you can search for a local service from your computer or smart TV.
  2. Dress up. While there is certainly something appealing about attending Easter service in your PJs, if your tradition is to dress up for Easter, keep it. Put on that special dress or knot that tie.  For a person with a disability, making the extra effort to put on their Sunday best may help signify the special day.
  3. Plan a special menu. Everyone has a favorite dish. Involve your loved ones in planning and preparing your Easter meal. 
  4. Create a virtual table. There are many technologies that will help you connect with family and friends during this special time. Since most of us have been social distancing for a few weeks now, you likely have your favorite – Zoom, Houseparty, FaceTime. Set up the computer or pass the phone during your meal and involve those who you would normally be with if you could travel.   
  5. With the onset of spring, games are a special part of Easter.  One of the most common traditions for children of all ages involves Easter eggs. Whether you make your own, buy chocolate or use plastic eggs, the egg is a symbol of resurrection.  An empty tomb containing new life and potential. 
  6. AbleLight’s Activity Center offers Easter resources. The in-home activity center offers all kinds of resources to help parents and guardians bring Easter to life for people with disabilities.  Bible stories, coloring book pages, activities and devotions can help you make Holy week a special time in your house.

However, you choose to celebrate Easter this year, make it special.  Yes, this is an unusual time in our world, and we may not be able to observe our normal traditions.  However, we need to remember that this time will pass. Holy Week is God’s perfect demonstration of unconditional love. He loved us so much, He gave his only son, Jesus, to die on a cross for our sins so that we can live eternally.  This in and of itself is worth celebrating.