Easter

Easter is the pinnacle of the liturgical year. On this day, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ from the grave. This event that forms the foundation of our faith invites us to deepen our belief in the mysterious paradox that life follows death. In theological terms, this is called the paschal mystery. The broader season of Easter, or Eastertide, lasts fifty days. During that time, we also observe Jesus’ ascension into heaven and the giving of the Holy Spirit to the church on the Day of Pentecost, which marks the end of the season.

Just when I thought I was lost: my dungeon shook and the chains fell off.

(from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)

    • What could it mean to practice resurrection in my life?
    • How have I witnessed new life flow forth from death?
    • How do I experience the Holy Spirit’s gifts?

      • Pay attention to evidence of new life, whether in nature, relationships, people, or situations
      • Keep a gratitude journal, adding to it at the beginning or end of each day
      • Take up a fifty-day practice, in contrast to the forty-day fast of Lent, that promotes joy, freedom, and celebration
      • Pray for “resurrection eyes” that allow you to see where God is wanting to do something new
      • Wear new clothes—an outward sign of the new, inner person—in white and gold or bright, spring colors
      • Decorate Easter eggs throughout the season with images that represent the themes of this season

    The butterfly is a long-held symbol of resurrection and new life. It perches atop a hyacinth, mythic herald of spring and rebirth which also symbolizes a massive heavenly triumphal concert proclaiming the arrival of the Resurrected King of Creation. The sunrise represents a new beginning in Jesus’ redemption of mankind. Its seven rays stand for completeness, perfection, and unity. The outer ring is comprised of eight sections, a reminder that a new beginning in Christ is beyond completion, beyond perfection, even more than whole. The Greek egerthe is the traditional Easter greeting, “He is Risen.” Throughout the Easter season we surrender to Jesus’ lordship, proclaim the fullness of his perfection, and accept the invitation to join him in abundant new life.

    All creatures of our God and King,
    lift up your voice and with us sing
    alleluia, alleluia!
    Thou burning sun with golden beam,
    thou silver moon with softer gleam,
    O praise him, O praise him,
    alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

    Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
    ye clouds that sail in heav'n along,
    O praise him, alleluia!
    Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice,
    ye lights of evening, find a voice,
    O praise him, O praise him,
    alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

    Let all things their Creator bless,
    and worship him in humbleness,
    O praise him, alleluia!
    Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
    and praise the Spirit, three in one,
    O praise him, O praise him,
    alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 

    (from “All Creatures of our God and King,” Author: St. Francis of Assisi (1225), Paraphraser: William H. Draper, Public Domain)