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Parting

To think about the grief of parting and the Christian idea of resurrection

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To think about the grief of parting and the Christian idea of resurrection.

Preparation and materials

  • This could be used as an Easter assembly.
  • Sensitivity is needed towards any who may have recently suffered bereavement.
  • Note: We have other assemblies suitable for Easter on the site. Please go to our Search Archive and enter the word Easter.

Assembly

  1. Begin by saying that there are times in our lives when something happens to make us feel very sad. This might be when we lose someone or something we love very much. The death of a friend, a relative, or even a pet can make us feel lost and unhappy. We cannot understand why it has happened.

    Sadly, death is a part of life. Every living thing is born into this life and everything eventually dies.

    When someone dies we do not see them again and we miss them very much, but we do not forget them and they live on in our memory.

    Once the first pain and shock of losing them is over we may begin to talk about the good times we had when they were alive. It is good to talk about them. This helps us to deal with the loss.

  2. Say that this story might help them to understand things more clearly.

    Once upon a time there were two little caterpillars. One was called Cathy and the other was called Carl. They lived happily together with lots of other caterpillars, munching away at the thick green cabbage leaves, getting bigger and fatter each day.

    One day Carl experienced a strange taste in his mouth. He felt cold but the silken thread coming from his jaws felt warm and comforting, so with twisting and twirling movements he wrapped it around his body. Soon he was completely covered.

    Cathy did not recognize Carl any more. She tried to speak to him but there was no reply. She felt very sad and alone. She missed her friend terribly.

    Then one day not long afterwards she too experienced the same strange taste and the same cold feeling. The silken saliva oozed from her jaws and she felt she needed to cover herself with its soothing slime. As it enveloped her she felt contented and sleepy. Her eyes closed and she drifted into unconsciousness.

    After resting for several weeks Cathy began to stir. She felt strange and different, the same Cathy yet not the same - very odd. The brightness and the warmth around her encouraged her to explore her surroundings. She found herself on the stem of a leafy green plant. On each side of her body, beautiful white wings were gradually inflating in the sunlight. After a while she was able to spread them and glide gracefully into the air.

    All at once she was aware of another white-winged creature beside her. As soon as he spoke she knew it was Carl, who had been waiting for her. She was so happy for at last they were reunited.

  3. Further discussion could be developed here. The children may have experienced rearing moths or caterpillars and this would help them to understand the process of metamorphosis.

    You could also use it to illustrate the Easter resurrection story. Jesus' friends thought that he was gone for ever and they were sad, upset and even frightened because their leader had gone. Then, three days later, he appeared to them. He was the same but not the same, he had gone through death and changed. This is what Christians describe as resurrection.

Time for reflection

When he came back from the dead, Jesus said to his friends, 'Lo, I am with you always' (Matthew 20.20).

Dear God,
Help us to be strong when we lose someone we love.
Help us to remember the happy times we spent with them.
Thank you for the Easter story,
a story of hope when everything seemed dark.
We ask that we might have that hope and joy in our lives.
Amen.

Song/music

'Lord of all hopefulness' (Come and Praise, 52)

Publication date: April 2004   (Vol.6 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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