Growing up as a Catholic, Easter was easily the biggest holiday of the year – at least from a religious perspective. Easter meant a lot of church and a lot of ritual (I loved Palm Sunday and getting the chance to put a nail into the big wooden cross at Good Friday mass.) There was washing of feet, somber, silent masses and then jubilation and fancy dresses on Easter Sunday. It was all so ritualized and I loved that. I was Roman Catholic – ritual and God went hand in hand.
When I first started dating my husband I was shocked at how the Mormons didn’t celebrate Easter. Sure, they had Sunday mass but there was nothing on Good Friday and it didn’t seem to hold the same significance it did for other Christian churches. From a doctrinal standpoint, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. I mean Easter is it. Christ’s death and resurrection is the reason Christians are Christians. It remains one of the things that confuse me about Mormonism actually. One of many.
When Easter rolls around (and Christmas too) I sometimes miss going to Church. I miss the memories and the feeling of having a blank slate. “Jesus has risen and all is forgiven.”
Yesterday, Paisley and I talked about Easter. She asked me what it was all about and I told her it’s a chance to celebrate re-birth and fresh starts. That Easter is about Spring, and new flowers and baby animals and that the earth is getting ready to start a whole new cycle of life. She loved that idea (and of course, it is much easier to tie that into a mythical egg-hiding rabbit than it is a 2,000
dead resurrected man) and so do I.
As my kids grow up in a secular household, my hope is that they will develop strong memories and positive feelings towards the things we do to celebrate the different holidays. None of their memories will be tied to church or religion and I am so happy about that.
I guess Easter really is about new beginnings.