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Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter



Today and this weekend marks the commemoration of the crucifixion of Christ and the resurrection of Christ. To Christians alike, this is yet a solemn day in the liturgical year and then a celebration three days (Easter Sunday)later the celebration of Christ's resurrection to Heaven. Culturally this Sunday is also the day the Easter bunny comes to visit thousands of households around the world and leaves various sorts of presents and candy in childrens Easter baskets.

I was raised in a Catholic household where we celebrated the resurrection and the Easter bunny would also pay us a visit. On Easter morning my sister and I would pop out of bed, grab my parents and run to see what the Easter bunny had brought us. Generally we would get small but nice token items of crayons, coloring books, bubbles, candy, etc., Afterward, my parents would take us into the living room where my sister and I would "hunt" for eggs that we dyed a few days before. We each had a dozen eggs (to make it a fair hunt) in which we had to find. After a nice breakfast we got ready for church. My sis and I as children always had new dresses complete with a hat and white gloves. I really loathed the hat as the elastic band that kept the hat on my head always seemed to strangle me. My Dad also made it tradition where each of his girls (including his wife) would get fresh little corsages to pin to our dresses. Then we would head off to church and return home for the Easter feast. Each portion of our meal had symbolism. It is broken down as such:

~Easter Bread (Pascha)-symbolized our Lord Jesus Christ, the "living Bread," (Jn. 6:51)

~Meat products (ham, kolbasa)-symbolized the sacrificial animals of the Old Testament, foreshadowing the true sacrifice of our Savior, who became for us "a Lamb of God"

~Dairy products (cheese, butter)-symbolized the "prosperity and peace" of the Messianic times which had been foretold by the Prophets (e.g., Is. 7:22; Joel 3:18, etc.)

~Eggs (deviled)-symbolized the resurrection of a new life.

The tradition will carry on today and on Sunday in our new little family. Today will mark a solemn occasion in which we will fast from meat products. On Easter there will be much celebration with the resurrection by going to church and eating the traditional meal with my entire family. The Easter bunny will also come to visit. I believe this year I will start the tradition (now that my son is older) in hiding a few plastic eggs around a small perimeter for my son to find. I don't dare try to dye the eggs or hide them around the house with a toddler just yet. I honestly can't wait to share this religious celebration with my beautiful little boy.

Although it is premature, I will say for Sunday's event, Christ has risen! Христос воскресе!

2 comments:

Erin said...

i love the corsage idea!

Anna said...

My mom always got us Easter dresses and the hats with the itchy elastic too! I'm truly considering it for Ella, despite all my own complaining! My dad even did the corsage thing every year, though I hated it, and to this day I despise wearing flowers in any capacity. Notice the distinct lack of boutonierres on my groomsmen in my wedding photos. :-)

Don't forget, Good Friday is a day of fasting AND abstaining from meat! Same as Ash Wednesday. Does the Byzantine rite still do the "black fast" thing?