Easter is the
festival commemorating the resurrection of Christ. It is the holiest of
all Christian Holidays.
Some Easter customs come from
pre-Christian spring festivals. Others come from the Passover feast of
the Jews, observed in memory of their deliverance from Egypt. The
resurrection of Jesus took place during the Passover.
Easter was celebrated on
different days of the week, including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In
A.D. 325, the Council of Nicaea was convened by emperor
Constantine. They issued the Easter Rule which places Easter on the
first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox
(first day of Spring). Therefore, Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday
between the dates of March 22 and April 25.
Good Friday denotes Jesus'
crucifixion, and Easter Sunday denotes his resurrection.
The true meaning of Easter is
to celebrate the fact that 2,000 years ago Christ was crucified for our
sins. Crucified so we can live eternally. He was laid to rest in a tomb,
and after three days he was resurrected. He rose from the tomb to live
forever with God.
Preceding Easter Sunday is the
40-day penitential season of Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday and
concluding at midnight on Holy Saturday. Lent is a season of prayer,
fasting, and almsgiving (acts of charity). Lent is observed in
memory of Jesus' 40 day fast in the desert.
Before 1966 heavy-duty fasting
during lent was normal.
for Sundays, you were allowed...
only one full meal a day.
two other meatless meals sufficient to maintain strength.
eating between meals.
parties, showers, dances or other festive events.
In recent years, Christian have
strayed away from this strict fasting during Lent, and turned more to
acts of charity.
Lent is a realistic
down-to-earth time. It's about ashes & the cross. It's about how we
spend our time. It's about sin & sorrow, life & death.
Lent may be hard at times, but
it is meant to lift our inner spirit. It is meant for us to realize that
we are made for the unimaginable greatness of God.