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The Must Have Easter Anthology For Catholic Families

An Easter Greeting

The lark at sunrise trills it high -

The greeting Christ is risen!

And through the wood the black bird pipes

The greeting Christ is risen!

Beneath the eaves the swallows cry

The greeting Christ is risen!

Throughout the world man's heart proclaims

The greeting Christ is risen!

And echo answers from the grave

In truth, yes, He is risen!

This poem by the nineteenth century Russian Apollon Maikow, translated by Martha Gilbert Dickinson Bianchi, is only one of the many treasures collected in the anthology The Easter Book of Legends and Stories by two ladies with the old fashioned names of Alice Isabel Hazeltine and Elva Sophronia Smith. I believe Ms. Hazeltine was a librarian.

This thick book, originally published in 1947, sadly is out of print. If you can find it for a price you can afford, grab it. It contains a selection of the finest writing by great European and American authors about Easter. This is an anthology of great Christian Easter literature: stories, legends, drama, liturgical pieces and poetry. If you cannot buy the book, look for it at your local library.

We have been reading stories from this book aloud during Lent and Easter ever since I discovered it at our library about 20 years ago, and we never get tired of them.

Our favorite stories are Marguerite Clement's Ys And Her Bells, a legend from Brittany; Saint Patrick At Tara adapted from early sources; The Maid Of Emmaus by Agnes Sligh Turnbull; and Ivan's Easter Service by Amelia W. Swayne.

We love the poems Pasque by Ella Young; Loveliest of Trees and Easter by Joyce Kilmer; The World Itself by John Mason Neale and Risen by John Oxenham. I remember my little ones copying the poems and decorating them with butterflies and flowers.

You will also find contributions by Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Georg Friedrich Händel, Marguerite D'Angeli, Selma Lagerlöf, Padraic Colum, A.E. Housman, Carol Ryrie Brink and many more.

We hope your family will enjoy this book.

Blessed Lent and Easter!

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