Friday, March 24, 2006

Easter


Image hosting by Photobucket Once again, Easter is upon us.

Many people celebrate Easter briefly... just a fun Sunday for church, Easter egg hunts, and a holiday meal. We thank God for his gift of Salvation, and then go about our daily lives.

There are two holidays that I keep in my heart every day... Christmas and Easter. Christmas is the beginning of the fulfillment of the covenant between God and Abraham... the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Good Friday is the ending of that old covenant, and Easter Sunday is the beginning of a new covenant between God and all mankind. Easter is a reminder of the Salvation that is given to us. I do not ban eggs and chocolate bunnies in my house (I get dibs on the ears!), but I do make sure that Jesus is first and foremost celebrated on this day.

This is a very brief, very limited overview of the Easter holiday.



The Easter season is a time of springtime festivals. In Christian countries Easter is celebrated as the religious holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the son of God. But the celebrations of Easter have many customs and legends that are pagan in origin and have nothing to do with Christianity

scholars, accepting the derivation proposed by the 8th-century English scholar St. Bede, believe the name Easter is thought to come from the Scandinavian "Ostra" and the Teutonic "Ostern" or "Eastre," both Goddesses of mythology signifying spring and fertility whose festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox.

Traditions associated with the festival survive in the Easter rabbit, a symbol of fertility, and in colored Easter eggs, originally painted with bright colors to represent the sunlight of spring, and used in Easter-egg rolling contests or given as gifts.

The Christian celebration of Easter embodies a number of converging traditions with emphasis on the relation of Easter to the Jewish festival of Passover, or Pesach, from which is derived Pasch, another name used by Europeans for Easter. Passover is an important feast in the Jewish calendar which is celebrated for 8 days and commemorates the flight and freedom of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

The early Christians, many of whom were of Jewish origin, were brought up in the Hebrew tradition and regarded Easter as a new feature of the Passover festival, a commemoration of the advent of the Messiah as foretold by the prophets.

Easter is observed by the churches of the West on the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or following the spring equinox (March 2I). So Easter became a "movable" feast which can occur as early as March 22 or as late as April 25.

Christian churches in the East which were closer to the birthplace of the new religion and in which old traditions were strong, observe Easter according to the date of the Passover festival.

Easter is at the end of the Lenten season, which covers a forty-six-day period that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter. The Lenten season itself comprises forty days (to remind us of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert), as the six Sundays in Lent are not actually a part of Lent. Sundays are considered a commemoration of Easter Sunday and have always been excluded from the Lenten fast. The Lenten season is a period of penitence in preparation for the highest festival of the church year, Easter.

Holy Week, the last week of Lent, begins its with the observance of Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday takes its name from Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem where the crowds laid palms at his feet. Holy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, which was held the evening before the Crucifixion. Friday in Holy Week is the anniversary of the Crufixion, the day that Christ was crucified and died on the cross.

Holy week and the Lenten season end with Easter Sunday, the day of resurrection of Jesus Christ.

2 comments:

Thane said...

Above comment deleted for the author, who wishes to correct some mistakes... hint, if you get a Blogger account, you can delete your own posts. ;)

Anonymous said...

Sometimes during the Easter Season we get caught up in presents, candy and Easter Baskets. Nothing wrong with that, I love Chocolate too, also the ears. But as Thane posted, at this time we should take time out for deep reflection about the true meaning of the season. Easter is the church festival celebrated by Christians in commemoration of the resurrection of our Lord. The lone
scriptual reference to it (Acts 12:4) should have been translated Passover from the Greek pascha found in the original. The name Easter comes from the Norse goddess Eastre whose festival was observed at the vernal equinox. In 325 A.D. the Council of Nicea determined that Easter among Christians should be celebrated the first Sunday after the full moon on or following the vernal equinox. Obviously, Easter as now
celebrated has come into being a compromise between pagan and apostate Christian views, and obviously it does not pretend to be the anniversary of the actual resurrection of Christ. Nonetheless the true saints gladly take it as an appropriate occasion on which to turn their attentions to the infinite and eternal atonement of Christ as such was climaxed by his coming forth as the firstfruits of them that slept.

As for me, I'm still irriated at that mean kid who convinced me there was no Easter Bunny because shortly afterwards there were no more baskets for me. I still want one. BiddyBabyKelly