Reflections: Memories Of Easter & Passover…
“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” Henry Van Dyke
Do you celebrate Easter and/or Passover? I was preparing a post on Easter when it occurred to me that this was also the week of Passover and that there are households around the world, like mine, where both are honored. Easter and Passover are closely related in that they both celebrate an important spiritual journey. During Easter, which falls on April 8th this year, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. The First Council of Nicaea established Easter as a holy day in 325 A.D. to correspond with the Vernal equinox and it is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon which happens on or after March 21, the Spring Equinox. For Passover, a Jewish holiday, we celebrate the remembrance of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Like Easter, Passover is a moveable holy celebration because there is no fixed start date. Instead, the festival is dependent on the phases of the moon. It takes place over eight days and this year it falls on April 6th to the 14th…
Growing up, Easter was central to my religious celebrations and we attended Easter Sunday services and enjoyed a special meal with the usual bunny rabbit chocolate eggs as treats. When I got married, we added Passover to our celebrations and had Seder at my in-laws. Both experiences affirmed my love and respect for all religious and spiritual paths; after all, we are on a spiritual journey to ourselves. Below, I’ll share things to know about Easter and Passover.
“Easter is the demonstration of God that life is essentially spiritual and timeless” Charles M. Crowe
While many of us are familiar with the Easter bunny, painted eggs, jelly beans and all the colorful traditions that surround this particular religious day, there are lots of important facts that can help us understand Easter. For starters:
Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after his death by crucifixion
Easter Day covers the fifty day season from Easter Sunday through Pentecost.
Easter has a special flower, the white lily, which symbolizes the resurrection.
Painted Easter eggs were originally called Pysanka, and they were painted bright colors to represent the sunlight of spring.
Easter is a moveable feast which means that it is not on a set day every year but falls between March 22nd and April 25th.
As for the Easter bunny and egg, the bunny was first mentioned by Georg Franck von Frankenau’s De Ovis Paschalibus (Easter Bunny Eggs) in the 17th Century. Stories of rabbits laying Easter eggs were shared in Pennsylvania in the 19th century and the German legend of Osterhas told of good children receiving brightly colored eggs for Easter. Even the famous Fabergé eggs were created with the spirit of Easter in mind and were commissioned by The House of Fabergé for Alexander III and Nicholas II of Russia. The first was an Easter present for Russian empress Maria Fedorovna and 65 more were made every year from 1885 to 1917. The festive air, spirited church services, brightly colored new dresses, and a seemingly endless supply of egg cremes and chocolate bunnies made Easter one of my favorites.
“Passover affirms the great truth that liberty is the inalienable right of every human being.” Morris Joseph
Passover is a favorite celebration because it brings communities and families together to share the celebration of freedom, partake of a Seder meal, and reflect on who we are and why we matter. It is an eight day celebration and this year runs from the 6ht to the 14th of April. My first Seder was a beautiful celebration of prayer, food and song. Family members took turns reading from the Haggadah and the serious tone of the readings was balanced by humor, a sip of wine and good food. The sharing of a meal and readings creates a bond between those present and a reminder that gratitude to the creator and community effort are key. Here are some important facts on Passover:
Passover holiday is called Pesach in Hebrew.
Passover Seder is a festive family meal that is shared on either the first or second night of passover
Passover references the passing over of the first-born Jewish males when the death plague hit Egypt.
The Haggadah is a Jewish text that tells the story of the Passover and portions are read during the Seder.
Passover holiday has three names: Pesach – literally meaning the Passover sacrifice; Hag Hamatzot – Feast of Unleavened Bread; and Zeman Heirutenu – the Season of Our Freedom
Traditionally, four cups of wines are consumed at the festive meal of Passover night and Matzoh, unleavened bread, is eaten for seven or all eight days of Passover.
Dayeynu is the popular, traditional Hebrew song performed during Passover.
Have a Happy Easter & Passover Season! More below. 😉
For those of us who come from multi-faith homes, the best lessons learned are not only of religious tolerance but of the recognition that we are all on a spiritual faith filled journey and all roads lead to the creator. May your Easter Day and Passover Season be filled with blessings of love, respect and grace. Have a Happy Easter & Passover!
What are your thoughts? Do you celebrate Easter and/or Passover? Do you have any stories to share? What memories of either come to mind? Do share! Thank you. 😉
*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience! 🙂
Positive Motivation Tip: Easter and Passover are times of prayer and reflection… Embrace both
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All photos White Easter lily, Resurrection of Christ, Passover Seder, Passover lamb, via Wikipedia and/or via Flickr Additional references: Easter Trivia via EdgarArkham and Passover Trivia via HappyPassover.net
- Easter and Passover Greetings from President Obama (goodolewoody.wordpress.com)
- What Are Your Passover & Easter Plans? (thekitchn.com)
- President Obama offers an Easter and Passover greeting (dailykos.com)
- Celebrate Easter & Passover with MyRecipes.com! (accordingtorachel.com)
- Mr. G’s Passover And Easter Sunday Forecast (wcbsfm.radio.com)