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Celebrating Easter

April 9, 2010

Easter is one of my favorite holidays. It’s also the holiday that makes the least sense to me from a secular point of view. What do bunnies, chicks, and eggs have to do with Easter, really? At least with Christmas, the tradition of gift-giving is somehow related to the main event even if most people leave Christ completely out of it.

For most people, it seems Easter is really a celebration of spring and the changing of the season and has very little to do with Christ’s death and resurrection. Since the time of year coincides with the Christian holiday of Easter, the two joined together. I suppose this is a very American way of things. Do Europeans celebrate Easter non-religiously as do most Americans? What about countries without Christian-Orthodox influence? I suppose it probably isn’t even on the calender in those places.

Growing up, I received a Spring basket on the first day of Spring instead of the traditional Easter basket. I have always appreciated my parents doing this as I still got to have the fun of baskets and eggs, but with the proper emphasis on what we were really celebrating on Easter. This is a tradition I plan to continue with my own kids someday.

Now, back to the present day, which was what this post was going to be about when I first started. :) Our church has a Tenebrae (Latin for ‘shadows’ or ‘darkness’) service on Good Friday which I find powerful and moving. Candles are lit, the choir sings in between dramatic Scripture readings, we observe Communion, the candles are extinguished, and we all leave—as we came in—in meditative silence.

Due to several factors, we were not able to travel to be with family for an Easter meal this year. However, we were blessed to join in with our good friends, Ryan and Kyna, and Kyna’s family who were in town visiting. We had a big celebratory meal on Saturday evening (so the travelers could be on their way after church on Sunday). The meal included roast lamb, mashed potatoes, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, salad, bread, and tiramisu and strawberries for dessert. It was quite a delicious feast! It was a wonderful day of fellowship and fun. Sunday morning we ended up going to first service at church (we’re normally second service people) and enjoyed a relaxing day including a nap in the sun and some gardening. We built the first fire of the year in the fire pit and cooked hot dogs and s’mores over the flames. We finished the day with a movie, as per usual. While we missed spending time with family, we both enjoyed the celebrations… all possible because He is risen. He is risen, indeed!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Katie permalink
    April 9, 2010 9:31 pm

    Rodney and I had almost the same conversation on Easter and we decided that we won’t be celebrating an Easter bunny in our home. Spring baskets is a great idea! Thanks!

  2. Karen Stevenson permalink
    April 14, 2010 5:16 pm

    Aww – I really appreciated your post! I was sick over Easter so it wasn’t the most celebratory one for me – I wanted to call someone up and say Christ is risen (and hear the He is risen, indeed as the return comment!). You know, I was thinking the same thing about the easter eggs and bunnies and stuff and why is that associated so much with easter. I always heard the phrase in my secular upbringing of “Easter time is the time for eggs, the time for eggs is Easter time” – kind of cute but nothing to do with the resurrection. I really like your idea about the Spring baskets – that’s a really creative way to still enjoy the start of spring so that the emphasis on the day of Easter can be Christ-centered. I will mark that down as another cool tradition to start! I did give jelly beans to Doug as a fun anniversary gift (knowing he likes those black ones so much)….but that was as much as we saw about Easter candy!

  3. Rick permalink
    April 24, 2010 11:13 pm

    Like many other aspects of our holidays (Holy Days), people have added touches from the secular and pagan worldviews. In the case of chicks and bunnies, it’s a fertility rite of spring thing. And i think fertility and new life in spring is a cool thing to clelbrate. But it isn’t neccasary to worship it in order to observe it…
    That’s my take.

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