What is Easter you may ask? Easter is when we celebrate that Jesus is risen from the dead. In the church seasons Easter lasts for many more days than Easter Sunday. In fact Easter lasts for 50 days, with the joyful tone set at the first Easter service (in St Mary’s this will be at 6.00am on Easter Sunday 9th April) is maintained for the next seven weeks until the day of Pentecost (28th May Joint service at St Thomas 10.30am) where the promised arrival of the Holy Spirit completes and crowns the Easter season.
There are many Easter customs around the world. Here are a few of my favourites:
Red Eggs – In Greece people dye eggs red. The eggs represent new birth (resurrection) and the blood of Jesus.
Easter Flowers – During Lent in the run up to Easter many churches don’t have flowers inside so Easter then becomes a riot of colour as flowers return both in vases and arrangements and Easter gardens. Lilies are used as they are white and represent a sign of purity and goodness reminding us that Jesus was pure and perfect when he died on the cross.
The Passion Flower (pictured) has a long history of being used to remember the events of Good Friday, for without this sad day there can be no Easter.
The three stamens the Trinity of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit or the three crosses.
The circle of petals represent the crown of thorns that Jesus wore or as the flower has ten petals they can represent the ten disciples that did not deny or betray Christ.
The leaves represent the spear that went into the side of Jesus.
The passion flower normally last for three days and represents the three days Jesus spent in the tomb.
I love the way that in her poem for Easter Judy Dinnen refers to it as “The hope in our hearts.” In one of the verses she describes Easter in this way, “It spells the hope in our hearts, the glory of reds and yellows in spring, the past crashing into the present, the present opening doors to eternity.”
May you know the blessings of Easter for eternity however you choose to celebrate it.