Easter: Christians rejoice for the Resurrection of Christ

Different colored dyed eggs

Dyed Easter eggs. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

SUNDAY, APRIL 5: Christ has risen! Christians the world over shout in exultation on Easter Sunday, as the faithful celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Eastern Orthodox Christians will celebrate Pascha, the Orthodox term for Easter, on April 12, this year.)

The New Testament tells Christians that the Resurrection of Christ is the core of their faith. Around the globe, crowds flow into and out of churches, bells are rung in praise and adherents joyously profess their faith. Dressed in the pastel hues of spring, children search for eggs and baskets, while families and friends gather for the Easter feast.

MARY MAGDALENE
AND THE STORY OF EASTER

Gospel accounts testify that early on the Sunday morning following Jesus’ crucifixion, Mary Magdalene (and, though accounts vary, other women as well) traveled to the tomb of Jesus to anoint his body. Upon reaching the tomb, an earthquake shook the ground; the stone was moved from the tomb, and a holy messenger announced that Jesus had risen from the dead. Though no specific moment of Resurrection is recorded, Mary Magdalene’s encounter has, since the 2nd century, been celebrated as Easter. The Resurrection is described as having occurred c. 30 CE.

CHURCH CUSTOMS

Hand-painted eggs with roses and pastel dot designs

Photo by Barbara B, courtesy of Flickr.

Traditional Eastern and Western Christian services for Easter begin on the night of Holy Saturday with a liturgy that starts in darkness and gives way to light, exuberant singing of the Gloria and Alleluia and proclamation of the Resurrection. Many churches have moved the Easter vigil to Sunday morning in a “sunrise service” to reflect the women’s experience at Jesus’ tomb.

The Easter service differs from that of most Sundays, with its festive atmosphere often accompanied by richly colored banners, bells, brass instruments, fresh flowers and particularly joyous music. (Wikipedia has details.) In many Christian countries, Easter is a public holiday filled with processions and celebration.

The week beginning on Easter Sunday is known as Easter Week, or the Octave of Easter.

Did you know? The earliest Easter eggs were likely dyed red, in memory of the blood shed by Jesus Christ.

NEWS, RESOURCES AND RECIPES

Looking for a great recipe or ideas to spruce up your Easter table?

Start with our own FeedTheSpirit, where Bobbie Lewis has an unusual treat you might want to prepare for your holiday table—vegetarian chopped liver.

Find delicious recipes, from appetizers to brunch to dessert, at Food Network, AllRecipes and Hershey’s.

Give eggs extra style, or try an Easter craft, with ideas from HGTV and Martha Stewart.

Kid-friendly Easter coloring pages, cards, games and more are at the UK’s Activity Village.

Lamb isn’t on everyone’s Easter menu—but it should be, says a food writer from the New York Times who recently penned a story on the small number of Americans who dine on lamb for the spring holiday. Learn cooking tips and all of the reasons why lamb should be making a comeback, in this article.

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