WHAT IS IT?
We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. The most important moment in the Christian calendar, and the first liturgical celebration enacted. The Christian calendar radiates from this centre, and every Sunday from the Resurrection onwards is celebrated as a “Little Easter”. Easter Sunday concludes the three-day long liturgy of the Easter Triduum.
WHY DO WE CELEBRATE IT?
We rejoice that Jesus has conquered death, and reality has been irrevocably transformed into a post-resurrection reality. Life will never be the same again, and we are now an Easter people who share in the new life Jesus gives.
Easter is calculated with reference to the Hebrew Passover, since that is when Jesus was crucified. The Passover itself is a moving date based on the lunar calendar; the date of Easter thus varies each year.
WHAT DO WE DO?
We greet one another with the acclamation “Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, alleluia!”. We keep an Easter Vigil the night before, reflecting on God’s saving work in Christ.
White is used as a symbol of joy
We begin the day with a sunrise service
Baptisms are often conducted
HEBREW AND PAGAN SOURCES
Christians often present new meanings to cultural practices, Easter is a word that comes from the pagan spring festival Oestre. Pasch, a term referring to both the Hebrew Passover festival (Pesach) and Passover lamb took on Christian nuances to refer to the Resurrection and the true Passover Lamb.
Lathrop, Gordon. Holy Things: A Liturgical Theology. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1999.
United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Book of Worship. Nashville, TN: The United Methodist Publishing House, 1992.
Truscott, Jeffrey A. Worship: A Practical Guide. Singapore: Armour Publishing, 2011.