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Source: (consider it) Thread: Why Doesn't Easter Feel Like a Holiday?
stonespring
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When I was I child (in the US, whose parents did not take me to church, not that the children that I knew that went to church particularly enjoyed it), Easter meant candy, dyeing Easter eggs, and the Easter Bunny. However, in terms of how important it seemed to me, my family, and society, Easter paled in comparison to even Valentine's Day. Now as an adult who does attend church, Easter has a deep religious meaning and I love the services of the Triduum and Easter Sunday - but outside of Church I feel like life goes on without any notice of Easter. Stores are full of candy and there are some egg and bunny decorations here and there - and families go out to brunch on Easter Sunday while others have lamb or ham at home (my family never had a big Easter meal and this year I am far away from them so my husband and I just went out to dinner which did not feel particularly special. The restaurant did not seem to be doing much special for Easter either, although they did have a lamb special on the menu). There is the White House Easter Egg Roll, but most of the attention it is receiving this year is criticism of the Trump administration's planning of it and mockery of Sean Spicer for when he worked in the G.W. Bush administration and had to wear the Easter Bunny outfit. All in all, Easter, at least in the US, seems just to exist as a holiday in church and in family homes, and even for most self-identified Christians (in my opinion, although I am sure here on the ship there are many counterexamples), does not seem to be that big of a deal outside of the uplift they may get from Easter Church services, if they attend.

Easter may never be able to compete with Christmas in terms of social relevance, and we may not want it to, because of all the ways that Christmas has been secularized and commercialized. However, I always feel disappointed at Eastertime at how little of a celebration seems to be going on - if my family were more religious or less geographically spread out, or if we had friends who found Easter important, we may be able to make Easter feel more relevant privately for us, but I wish that Easter could feel like a big public expression of joy. I don't want more government recognition and I don't want non-Christians to feel pressure to celebrate Easter like many do at Christmas - but I still think that Christians could do a better job of making Easter seem less forgettable.

I am sure that many of you will disagree or feel that I am missing the point of Easter by desiring an irrelevant public festiveness, but I've given my opinion and am wondering what all of you think.

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
I am sure that many of you will disagree or feel that I am missing the point of Easter by desiring an irrelevant public festiveness.

This, precisely. You might as well ask why we don't declare a national day of mourning when the Jews observe Tisha B'Av.

[ 17. April 2017, 14:15: Message edited by: Amanda B. Reckondwythe ]

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Boogie

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Plenty of Easter stuff going on in the U.K. - both on TV and locally. Egg races, bonnet parades, egg hunts, documentaries etc. Plus Good Friday and Easter Monday are both public holidays so lots of chances for family and friends to get together over the four day weekend.

We are going to our friends' house for a meal this evening - ten folks invited.

[Smile]

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Stetson
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This point is not original to me, but...

What would be the Easter season's equivalent of mangers, shepherds, wise men, and guiding stars? Flogging, nailing, piercing, and dicing centurions?

You can bet that any subsequent "War On Easter" would be resolved pretty quickly in favour of the secularists, since almost NOBODY would want an ongoing snuff-film blighting the public square.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
I am sure that many of you will disagree or feel that I am missing the point of Easter by desiring an irrelevant public festiveness.

This, precisely. You might as well ask why we don't declare a national day of mourning when the Jews observe Tisha B'Av.
I don't really know why Easter hasn't been co-opted more by our American consumerist culture, so I simply remain grateful that it hasn't.

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Gamaliel
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I might be wrong, but I get the impression that Easter is still a bigger thing in the UK and across much of Europe than it is in the USA - even though the US is a far more religious society - in terms of the numbers/proportion of people participating in church life of some kind.

Obviously, it's a bigger deal in countries like Greece and Italy than it is in Northern Europe but even so ... Easter still has something of a festival feel on this side of the Pond.

We tend to have more holidays than Americans do so perhaps that's part of it.

That doesn't mean that the average Briton (I don't like 'Brit', I prefer other terms to describe us), has much of an idea what it's all about, though.

I might be wrong, but my impression talking to people from a range of Christian traditions - Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox - is that there were noticably more people in church this Easter than there has been in recent years.

I don't know whether that was just a local thing or whether it represents a trend - but I heard that it was standing-room only on Good Friday at an RC church in a town north of here and a large - and generally very empty - medieval parish church where my wife helps with the choir on high-days and holidays was apparently packed to the gunwales on Easter morning. She sang at an evening service there so missed that, but by all accounts the place was full.

The evangelical parish here seemed to do well - with an Easter egg hunt and all that ...

Not that anyone's expecting to see so many at church on subsequent Sundays but it was interesting to hear.

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Boogie

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Not a cross or crown of thorns in sight.

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Not a cross or crown of thorns in sight.

Well, yeah, but that's because(from what I saw in my brief scroll-down), they're not at all featuring the biblical motifs behind Easter.

But yes, I suppose if you want to completely eliminate the religious stuff, you could find a way to make people more enthusiastic about the bunnies and chocolate eggs than they are now. Because that's about all there is to Easter, once you factor out the Passion and Resurrection.

[ 17. April 2017, 14:52: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Gamaliel
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I think Boogie's touched on an important difference.

The higher profile of Easter over here has little or nothing with a kind of Mel Gibson Golgotha-Porn Fest. It's become more of a family holiday thing with very little reference to religion - other than some religious themed TV programmes that range from fairly positive to out-out-out 'It's Easter so we'll debunk the whole thing' documentaries - as in the thread about 'The Last Days of Jesus'.

The thread in Heaven I posted about the programme about the Franciscan monks in Bradford is an example of the more positive coverage.

Of course, in more Catholic countries it tends to have a more explicitly religious flavour. In Germany it does too - in a kind of sober Lutheran kind of way in the North and in a fairly Baroque kind of way in Bavaria.

The Spanish and Italians make a big deal of it too, of course and in Greece Easter is obviously the main holiday/festival of the year.

Here in the UK, of course, given our reluctance to let religion seep out of the private sphere, Easter's largely drifted away from its Christian moorings in the public mind.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Probably the lack of a fixed date for Easter and the changing of the start of the new year from March 25 or 1st or Easter itself had something to do with it. If Easter was the same day each year and also the start of a New Year, it might have done better. Plus presents. Though I have trouble with the idea of erecting a cross in our homes, putting lights on it and presents around it. We'd need a mythology of presents to each other signifying redemptive love I suppose.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I might be wrong, but I get the impression that Easter is still a bigger thing in the UK and across much of Europe than it is in the USA - even though the US is a far more religious society - in terms of the numbers/proportion of people participating in church life of some kind.

ISTM, it is because there are fewer elements to commercialise. For the reasons Stetson mentions. It is also always on a Sunday, so no extra time off.

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Og, King of Bashan

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I wouldn't be surprised if the lack of a fixed date is an issue. Americans (outside of New Orleans or other areas where Carnival is a thing) aren't used to moveable feasts. It's hard for people to get behind a holiday if they have no idea when it is going to occur in any given year. (Don't take this as my endorsement of fixing a date, an idea that I oppose.)

I also don't think that it fills a seasonal need the way that Christmas does. People want to celebrate the end of the year and the novelty of Winter before it turns into an ugly slog, and Christmas fits the bill nicely. On the other hand, between national events like Mother's Day and regional celebrations that involve putting on your pastels and enjoying the outdoors (Kentucky Derby, The Masters, St. Patrick's Day, Baseball Opening Day, etc.) Spring is well fixed for seasonal celebrations.

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Soror Magna
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Celebrating the birth of a baby is easy. We do it all the time. We even celebrate the birth of non-human babies - pandas, giraffes, eaglets and owlets ...

Responding to Easter is a lot more complicated. When was the last time someone walked up to you and said, "I died on Friday to save your sorry ass and I'm baaaaack!"?

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bib
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Unfortunately Easter has become all about chocolate. My 10 year old grandson said to me that like any kid he loves chocolate but wants to know what chocolate has to do with Easter. Certainly in Australia most of the public sees Easter as a chance to gorge on chocolate and to enjoy a long weekend. For those Christians who celebrate the true meaning Easter is a quite exhausting but joyful time of many church services including Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday,Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Day. Although I find it a memorable time, I'm also exhausted at the end due to heavy church music commitments. I'm wondering if maybe we church members go a bit overboard and therefore create something which possible new Christians would find rather daunting. It would be tempting one year to take the holiday just as most of the community does and just worship quietly and privately, but somehow I just can't commit to that.

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Al Eluia

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I'm amused by the fact that the New York Stock Exchange closes for Good Friday. Of course I assume it's because Easter is on Sunday when the NYSE isn't open anyway, but I wonder how many stock traders and hedge fund managers take time on Good Friday to contemplate the passion of Our Lord.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
Unfortunately Easter has become all about chocolate.

EVERY day is about chocolate and it is not unfortunate.

Heathen.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Anglican_Brat
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It's easy to separate the religious aspect from the cultural aspect in the holiday of Christmas. Christmas in the secular world is a gift-giving holiday. As much as Christians may complain about the commercialism of the holiday, we can think of it as non-Christians celebrating a winter festival and simply naming it "Christmas" as a result of residual Christian influence in western culture. For secular people, then the religious aspect of Christmas is little different than stating that Saturday is derived from the Roman god Saturn, but no one seems to suggest that we change the name of the last day of the week.

I think one reason why secular-minded people has taken off with Christmas and not Easter is the time of the year. In the winter months, people need a holiday because in America and Europe, winter can be bloody depressing. There is little need for a secular Spring festival because by in large, the weather is much nicer in March and April.

The challenge for Christians I find, liturgically, is that while we say, we celebrate Easter for fifty days, in reality, it's hard to keep singing Easter Hymns for seven Sundays in a row. This year, Pentecost is in June. By that time, people are thinking about planning BBQs and beach vacations and less about reflecting on Easter a month and a half so away.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Provincially both Good Friday and Easter Monday are holidays, with provincial employees having negotiated to put the Monday adjacent to Canada Day. The temp being typically 30°C warmer than today's -8.

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Provincially both Good Friday and Easter Monday are holidays, with provincial employees having negotiated to put the Monday adjacent to Canada Day. The temp being typically 30°C warmer than today's -8.

I never understood why Easter Monday is a holiday. I remember reading a children's book about Easter in Canada when I was an elementary student, and the only reason given for the stat holiday was that in the UK, Easter Monday was the day to watch horse racing.

Christ is risen, time to bet on the right horse
[Razz]

[ 17. April 2017, 17:01: Message edited by: Anglican_Brat ]

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leo
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All ther big shops here were shut on Easter Sunday.

And my street is practically empty of parked cars (the only other time this happens is Christmas).

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
This point is not original to me, but...

What would be the Easter season's equivalent of mangers, shepherds, wise men, and guiding stars? Flogging, nailing, piercing, and dicing centurions?

You can bet that any subsequent "War On Easter" would be resolved pretty quickly in favour of the secularists, since almost NOBODY would want an ongoing snuff-film blighting the public square.

[Killing me]

I am so very glad that Easter has remained so thoroughly a Christian celebration. It makes for great conversations when non-Christian friends what's so important about bunnies anyway. [Snigger] And it cuts down on the amount of manure I have to navigate in order to focus on the heart of the celebration. A basket of chocolate and a few colored eggs are nothing in comparison with Santa and elves-on-shelves and ridiculous TV specials and ....

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
This point is not original to me, but...

What would be the Easter season's equivalent of mangers, shepherds, wise men, and guiding stars? Flogging, nailing, piercing, and dicing centurions?

You can bet that any subsequent "War On Easter" would be resolved pretty quickly in favour of the secularists, since almost NOBODY would want an ongoing snuff-film blighting the public square.

My post was about Easter Sunday, not Holy Week leading up to Easter. I think that, aside from Palm Sunday and Good Friday processions, it is understandable that the sorrowful nature of much of Holy Week makes it tend to be observed within the church and home rather than in public (except for whatever religious movies may be out or religious programming may be on TV). However, the joy of Easter Sunday does not seem like anything that seems inappropriate for big and bright public celebration.
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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
I am sure that many of you will disagree or feel that I am missing the point of Easter by desiring an irrelevant public festiveness.

This, precisely. You might as well ask why we don't declare a national day of mourning when the Jews observe Tisha B'Av.
Well, when I went to public school in NY state and CT we had days off for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but not for any of the days around Easter (as far as I can remember). Since Church attendance is not mandatory (it is strongly encouraged for all days of the Triduum, of course, for RCs) on any weekday of Holy Week (as opposed to Easter Sunday itself) for RC's or any Protestants that I know of, this makes sense. As for Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians, I do not know what days church attendance is mandatory or not, but in the districts that I lived in there were not very large numbers of members of those denominations.

I said in my OP that I wasn't looking for government recognition. I was looking for public celebration and a general sense of joy among people who observe Easter, especially those who do not have young children. Even as a little child I didn't think of Easter as anything very special. The candy was nice, but in the US at least Halloween is THE candy holiday, followed by Valentine's Day, and Easter comes a distant third, no matter how full of Easter candy the stores may be starting Feb. 15.

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Lamb Chopped
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IMHO celebrating it rather commits you to believing it--as in, "Great! You're happy I'm alive again. Now let's have a chat about what that means to the way you're living your life, shall we?"

Celebrating the birthday of the baby-in-a-manger is a bit less fraught, possibly because he can't say this sort of thing. [Biased]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
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Stetson
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Stonespring wrote:

quote:
However, the joy of Easter Sunday does not seem like anything that seems inappropriate for big and bright public celebration.
Yeah, but it's a little bit difficult to commemorate the Resurrection without the buildup of Holy Week. I mean, I suppose you could just do a reverse Jesus Christ Superstar, and celebrate the Empty Tomb without talking about how he got into the tomb to begin with. But it would seem kind of...incomplete, I guess is the word I'm looking for.

And what sort of imagery and poetics are you going to have for Easter? A bunch of people hanging around an empty cave and looking shocked? I guess you could bring in the later appearances before the Apostles, but those happened some time after Easter Sunday, didn't they?

[ 17. April 2017, 18:47: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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decampagne
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Not sure I quite agree, writing from the perspective of a small market town in England.

That all the big shops and supermarkets are closed (the only day apart from Christmas Day that that is so) is one thing. While in other secular matters, our town council use Easter weekend to decorate the market square and surrounding streets with flags of the UK and of the historic region - which stay up until the autumn. So the changing of the seasons (even of the liturgical seasons!) is reflected.

And for more explictly religious matters - well, I love to go to Tenebrae (not available in this town, but in the nearest city), and the Tridium, but there are some visible signs. Palm Sunday processions are fairly common in this region, often with donkeys. And the opening, fire-lighting, part of the Easter Vigil and Sunday Services at least takes part out of doors (our parish churchyard being in a prominent location in the town centre), so gains some attention from passers-by.

While in the seaside town in another part of England where I used to live, each Good Friday, a service of stations of the cross was acted out, with a substantial number of (both Anglo and Roman Catholic) worshippers, in the cliff gardens there, also a prominent location in the town.

And there are other non-religious festivities that take place locally (a country festival and horse racing competition) each year on Easter Monday - so the season is marked, a bit more , too.

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
I am sure that many of you will disagree or feel that I am missing the point of Easter by desiring an irrelevant public festiveness.

This, precisely. You might as well ask why we don't declare a national day of mourning when the Jews observe Tisha B'Av.
Well, when I went to public school in NY state and CT we had days off for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but not for any of the days around Easter (as far as I can remember). Since Church attendance is not mandatory (it is strongly encouraged for all days of the Triduum, of course, for RCs) on any weekday of Holy Week (as opposed to Easter Sunday itself) for RC's or any Protestants that I know of, this makes sense. As for Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians, I do not know what days church attendance is mandatory or not, but in the districts that I lived in there were not very large numbers of members of those denominations.

I said in my OP that I wasn't looking for government recognition. I was looking for public celebration and a general sense of joy among people who observe Easter, especially those who do not have young children. Even as a little child I didn't think of Easter as anything very special. The candy was nice, but in the US at least Halloween is THE candy holiday, followed by Valentine's Day, and Easter comes a distant third, no matter how full of Easter candy the stores may be starting Feb. 15.

I meant to add, but it was too late to edit:

Even if Easter was THE candy day like it is in some other countries, even for kids candy, eggs, and bunnies can only spark so much interest, especially if parents do not seem that interested in the holiday themselves. Christians who attend an Easter service, whether or not it is in a church building, have the added benefit of the religious significance of the holiday, but it seems like a giant contradiction to me for the greatest and most joyous Christian celebration of the year to be one that only exists in churches, homes, candy stores, costumed-Easter Bunny photo booths, and egg hunts.

Finally, why is it that Easter songs are generally never heard outside of church or classical music performances? (Granted, a lot of contemporary praise and worship music heard all year on Christian radio could be thought of as "Easter songs" - but I am talking specifically about songs, modern or traditional, that are about the day of Resurrection insomuch as it is an annual, rather than weekly (or daily) observance.

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They're too much about Jesus. And that personality is just too confrontative for a lot of people to want to deal with.

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Stonespring wrote:

quote:
However, the joy of Easter Sunday does not seem like anything that seems inappropriate for big and bright public celebration.
Yeah, but it's a little bit difficult to commemorate the Resurrection without the buildup of Holy Week. I mean, I suppose you could just do a reverse Jesus Christ Superstar, and celebrate the Empty Tomb without talking about how he got into the tomb to begin with. But it would seem kind of...incomplete, I guess is the word I'm looking for.

And what sort of imagery and poetics are you going to have for Easter? A bunch of people hanging around an empty cave and looking shocked? I guess you could bring in the later appearances before the Apostles, but those happened some time after Easter Sunday, didn't they?

The sadness of Good Friday is precisely why Easter Sunday is supposed to be joyful. If any beloved member of the family or famous hero rose from the dead, especially after dying tragically, people who believed that the resurrection was real (and who, unlike the shocked first disciples, knew full well that the resurrection celebration is coming around again every year) would not find it inappropriate to have a massive public party just because it is about a person who used to be dead.

Also, the birth of a savior at Christmas is only meaningful because there is something He was/is supposed to save Israel/all people from, right? And the slaughter of the Holy Innocents, while nowhere near as relevant to Christmas as Good Friday is to Easter (and also happening after rather than before) still leaves a bad taste in my mouth every year as I spend days getting through the food hangover of my Christmas feast. So Christmas isn't without its awkwardness either. Most Christians don't observe the Feast of the Holy Innocents, but anyone who knows the vague outline of the Christmas story knows that the Holy Family was in mortal danger for some reason or other after Jesus' birth, and that the Wise Men felt some reason or other to not go back to Herod after paying homage to the Christ Child.

[ 17. April 2017, 19:03: Message edited by: stonespring ]

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
I wouldn't be surprised if the lack of a fixed date is an issue. Americans (outside of New Orleans or other areas where Carnival is a thing) aren't used to moveable feasts. It's hard for people to get behind a holiday if they have no idea when it is going to occur in any given year. (Don't take this as my endorsement of fixing a date, an idea that I oppose.)

I also don't think that it fills a seasonal need the way that Christmas does. People want to celebrate the end of the year and the novelty of Winter before it turns into an ugly slog, and Christmas fits the bill nicely. On the other hand, between national events like Mother's Day and regional celebrations that involve putting on your pastels and enjoying the outdoors (Kentucky Derby, The Masters, St. Patrick's Day, Baseball Opening Day, etc.) Spring is well fixed for seasonal celebrations.

Thanksgiving is on a different day every year, as is Mother's Day (and Father's Day, although I admit that is a considerably smaller celebration), but in the US these seem to be public celebrations on a much bigger scale (especially Thanksgiving, compared to Easter. I know that Easter is generally not celebrated by people who are not at least culturally Christian, but given how that still makes up a large majority of Americans, the point still stands. Yes, it is easier to figure out when Thanksgiving or Mother's Day will be compared with Easter, but it still involves a bit of thought every year compared with easy to remember days like Dec. 25, Dec. 31/Jan 1, and July 4.
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Moo

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When I was in school in northern Virginia in the 1940s, we always had Good Friday and Easter Monday off.

Moo

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gog
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
This point is not original to me, but...

What would be the Easter season's equivalent of mangers, shepherds, wise men, and guiding stars? Flogging, nailing, piercing, and dicing centurions?

You can bet that any subsequent "War On Easter" would be resolved pretty quickly in favour of the secularists, since almost NOBODY would want an ongoing snuff-film blighting the public square.

These things happen around the streets of major towns and cities in the UK during Holy Week; and even get televised. A couple of examples:
Passion in Port Talbot
Manchester Passion

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
Thanksgiving is on a different day every year, as is Mother's Day (and Father's Day, although I admit that is a considerably smaller celebration), but in the US these seem to be public celebrations on a much bigger scale (especially Thanksgiving, compared to Easter.

Not really the same thing. Those holidays may not fall on the same date every year, but they are always the 4th Thursday in November, the 2nd Sunday in May and the 3rd Sunday in June, respectively. There's basically a 7–day window for each, and no one really needs to ask "when is Thanksgiving this year?"

Easter, on the other hand, can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25—that is if you're limiting the window to Western Christianity. If Orthodoxy is taken into account, the window stretches into May, highlighting the reality that Christians can't even agree among themselves when Easter falls.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by gog:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
This point is not original to me, but...

What would be the Easter season's equivalent of mangers, shepherds, wise men, and guiding stars? Flogging, nailing, piercing, and dicing centurions?

You can bet that any subsequent "War On Easter" would be resolved pretty quickly in favour of the secularists, since almost NOBODY would want an ongoing snuff-film blighting the public square.

These things happen around the streets of major towns and cities in the UK during Holy Week; and even get televised. A couple of examples:
Passion in Port Talbot
Manchester Passion

Well, by the "public square", I didn't mean literally just the central areas of a town. I meant the whole culture, including, TV, muzak, school pageants, etc.

My hometown also has a few Passions, including one organized by churches in the inner-city area. But I don't think I've ever encountrered shopping-malls playing upbeat ditties about the Flagellation Of Christ while customers scurry about buying chocolate bunnies and cream-filled eggs.

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Stetson
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Stonespring wrote:

quote:
Also, the birth of a savior at Christmas is only meaningful because there is something He was/is supposed to save Israel/all people from, right?
Yeah, but that bad thing that he saved everyone from is not as front-and-centre in the Christian narrative as the Passion is in the Easter narrative.

There's a place in my hometown called Sir Winston Churchill Square. Now, if a child asked me who Churchill was, I could probably give him a fairly satisfactory explanation without having to traumatize him with details(or even a mere mention) of the Nazi death camps that Sir Winston helped to liberate. An "Oskar Schindler Square" wouldn't be so easily bowdlerized.

(Not that I think anyone should avoid telling kids about the Holocaust, it just an example to illustrate how the same evil can be present, but with differing degrees of prominence, in two different settings.)

[ 17. April 2017, 23:21: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Rosa Winkel

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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
Celebrating the birth of a baby is easy. We do it all the time. We even celebrate the birth of non-human babies - pandas, giraffes, eaglets and owlets ...

Responding to Easter is a lot more complicated. When was the last time someone walked up to you and said, "I died on Friday to save your sorry ass and I'm baaaaack!"?

This is what I think. In terms of visual images, something Christmas has that ties in with people's lives, even within Christianity there can be a lack of a clear visual picture of the Resurrection. No cute babies in a manger, no shephards, no angels. Though the Incarnation was not natural, people get babies. The Resurrection though......only if one goes for the fallacy of thinking of Easter as really being a pagan thing about the rebirth of nature can we have any kind of clue about it. The Resurrection is a much bigger scandal.

Here in Poland though, Easter is very much celebrated, through Easter baskets and the blessing of them. I have the impression that that, which only happens on Holy Saturday, is the most important part of the festivities. But still, that Holy Friday is not a public holiday here, Easter is bigger here.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Provincially both Good Friday and Easter Monday are holidays, with provincial employees having negotiated to put the Monday adjacent to Canada Day. The temp being typically 30°C warmer than today's -8.

Meanwhile, our church board gives us a half day holiday on Good Friday-- a day when certainly it's "all hands on deck" in the church office preparing for that evening's service and Sunday's big event-- but (being American) we're back at work. Would make much more sense to have Monday off.

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
In terms of visual images, something Christmas has that ties in with people's lives, even within Christianity there can be a lack of a clear visual picture of the Resurrection. No cute babies in a manger, no shephards, no angels. Though the Incarnation was not natural, people get babies. The Resurrection though......only if one goes for the fallacy of thinking of Easter as really being a pagan thing about the rebirth of nature can we have any kind of clue about it. The Resurrection is a much bigger scandal.

One could say that Christmas is the only way the world can actually handle Jesus, as a cute, innocent baby who doesn't really talk, and threatens no one. A possible critique of the secular version of Christmas is that it really, really doesn't preach anything that Jesus actually taught. Other than the 1914 Christmas truce, which didn't actually stop the Allies and the Axis powers from killing each other, they just paused for December 25th, a rather weak version of "love thy enemy.'

Whereas Easter, you really have to think about why exactly Jesus was killed for you to make sense of it all.

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Latchkey Kid
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Provincially both Good Friday and Easter Monday are holidays, with provincial employees having negotiated to put the Monday adjacent to Canada Day. The temp being typically 30°C warmer than today's -8.

I never understood why Easter Monday is a holiday. I remember reading a children's book about Easter in Canada when I was an elementary student, and the only reason given for the stat holiday was that in the UK, Easter Monday was the day to watch horse racing.

Christ is risen, time to bet on the right horse
[Razz]

Having holidays appears to be sacred in Australia. The Queen's birthday is a holiday to which I have not heard republicans object, though in the UK we did not have a holiday then. If a holiday occurs on a Sunday then the following Monday is a holiday. That is what I assumed requires Easter Sunday to be followed by a Monday holiday.

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Pangolin Guerre
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Not to be pedantic (which means that I'm about to be pedantic), those who opposed the Allies in WWI were not the Axis, but the Central Powers.

As to the public expression of Easter, in Toronto there's a rather elaborate Good Friday procession through Little Italy that goes on for a few hours, complete with swaying marching bands playing dirges, centurions whipping Christ, various confraternities with their banners, men in Italian military (or quasi-military) and police uniforms complete with black feathered helmets, women carrying a giant Rosary whilst reciting it, various life-sized or larger figures being carried (even Padre Pio!). It 's principally Italians and Portuguese organisations participating in the procession, but it attracts huge numbers of spectators (someone can correct me , but I think in excess of 100,000 over the route, weather permitting), and, obviously, not everyone is RC (I, for example). Depending on one's frame of mind, reactions range from amusement, bemusement, to being profoundly moved. I quite like it, not least because it's resolutely resistant to commercialisation or politicisation.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
Celebrating the birth of a baby is easy. We do it all the time. We even celebrate the birth of non-human babies - pandas, giraffes, eaglets and owlets ...

Responding to Easter is a lot more complicated. When was the last time someone walked up to you and said, "I died on Friday to save your sorry ass and I'm baaaaack!"?

On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Christ came and stood among them and said ....

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Gramps49
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As a child I remember that our Spring Vacations happened on Holy Week, but I think that as the United States has become more religiously diverse, it is much harder to recognize the customs of one religion over another now. There are now 435 distinct religious traditions in the US. If we recognized all the religious holidays we would never get anything done.

Christmas is now the last of the holdouts, but it also comes at a time when a number of other major religions have winter holidays so it is somewhat easy to fudge. Besides, since it is at the end of the year, commercial interests want to be able to finish the year off showing a profit.

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
Celebrating the birth of a baby is easy. We do it all the time. We even celebrate the birth of non-human babies - pandas, giraffes, eaglets and owlets ...

Responding to Easter is a lot more complicated. When was the last time someone walked up to you and said, "I died on Friday to save your sorry ass and I'm baaaaack!"?

On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Christ came and stood among them and said ....
I've read the occassional Easter piece in the religious press explaining why the Jews were NOT to blame for the killing of Jesus.

All well and good, but the fact that the issue even comes up to begin with kind of exemplifies why these days the more biblical aspects of Easter kind of get stashed up in the attic like a crazy old aunt.

[ 18. April 2017, 07:11: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Anselmina
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The big difference I see, in the UK, since I was a kid, is that now the schoolkids get a fortnight off for the holidays, whereas in my day it was only Easter Monday and Tuesday (not even Good Friday). I heard some parents on a radio programme recently saying they thought Easter holidays were too long? I thought it might've been considered a good idea, to even the holidays out a bit; provide more choices for going on holiday etc?

Those were the days where, at least in Northern Ireland, you had two full months off school, over summer.

I believe in the Republic of Ireland - possibly in the North, too? - the sale of alcohol is still banned on Good Friday.

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simontoad
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Secular Easter in Australia is MASSIVE. We have three public holidays - Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday, so people take the opportunity to head off somewhere for a short break. It basically winds up the Melbourne party season which starts in September with the Melbourne Cup.

There is a nod to the religious aspect, especially in years like this, where Orthodox and Western easters coincide. They usually have footage of the Stations of the Cross walk in town, and of Priests doing their thing. This year for the first time they played footy on Good Friday and the media tried for some controversy, but all the happy clappys basically said that it was a free country, bless 'em.

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
IMHO celebrating it rather commits you to believing it--as in, "Great! You're happy I'm alive again. Now let's have a chat about what that means to the way you're living your life, shall we?"

I did a crappy job of expressing myself here. I did not mean to imagine Jesus trying to enforce some code of behavior, ethics, "sin" or what-have-you. Rather I meant something along the line of "Come, follow me."

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
The big difference I see, in the UK, since I was a kid, is that now the schoolkids get a fortnight off for the holidays, whereas in my day it was only Easter Monday and Tuesday (not even Good Friday). I heard some parents on a radio programme recently saying they thought Easter holidays were too long? I thought it might've been considered a good idea, to even the holidays out a bit; provide more choices for going on holiday etc?

Those were the days where, at least in Northern Ireland, you had two full months off school, over summer.

I believe in the Republic of Ireland - possibly in the North, too? - the sale of alcohol is still banned on Good Friday.

Goodness, where were you? In 40 hyears of teaching and 18 years as a school student I never experienced that. We used to get 3 weeks holiday at Easter. In all but 1 year, the whole of Holy Week was included.

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Anselmina
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Leo, you have me doubting myself now! Maybe I'm just remembering the actual bank holidays because that was when the whole family was free to do something together?! Now that I think about it, it does seem very unlikely!

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L'organist
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A child of the parsonage, I'm an organist, and before that I sang in choirs from the age of 6 so to me Easter has never felt like a 'holiday'.

True, the workload now is less than it was with no service on the Monday of holy week and only 2 on Easter Day, but it still means that I don't really get to relax until c8pm on Easter evening.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Provincially both Good Friday and Easter Monday are holidays, with provincial employees having negotiated to put the Monday adjacent to Canada Day. The temp being typically 30°C warmer than today's -8.

I never understood why Easter Monday is a holiday.
Every day in the Easter Octave is a holy day. Even Cranmer had propers (Collect, Epistle and Gospel) for Easter Monday and Tuesday so they had their own celebration of the Holy Communion.

When I was last there, Mirfield had a high mass on both days.

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