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Reflections: Memories Of Easter & Passover…

07/04/2012

“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

Reflections: Memories Of Easter & Passover...

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

Reflections: Memories Of Easter & Passover...

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

Reflections: Memories Of Easter & Passover...

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. 😉

“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.” Stephen R. Covey

Reflections: Memories Of Easter & Passover...

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 SederPassover lamb, via Wikipedia and/or via Flickr                                                                                                                            Additional references: Easter Trivia via EdgarArkham and Passover Trivia via HappyPassover.net

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/04/2012 11:40 pm

    “…for those who love, time is eternity.” That’s true. It’s a great word.

    Like

  2. 08/04/2012 12:19 am

    I enjoy Easter time and the festivities around it…especially the yummy Easter eggs and the little bunnies..haha! Hope you had a fab Easter! 🙂

    Like

  3. 08/04/2012 2:10 am

    Wonderful inter-faith post! Everything that increases understanding and shows us all how we are the same underneath it all is valuable as far as I can see! Enjoy both!

    Like

  4. 08/04/2012 4:52 am

    Happy Easter to you and your family!

    Like

  5. babs50nfab permalink
    08/04/2012 4:56 am

    I love this time of year for many reasons. We have a Seder at our church during Holy Week, then of course the traditional Easter celebrations on Sunday. I love both events and the spirit of community around them.
    Happy Easter Elizabeth!
    b

    Like

  6. 08/04/2012 5:37 am

    I learn everytime I read your blog…Thanks!…Have a blessed Easter!m ~mkg

    Like

  7. 08/04/2012 7:04 am

    Best succinct history of these religious holidays I’ve EVER read. For the first time since joining WordPress, I used the “forward to Facebook” to share your post with my friends there!
    have a wonderful holiday Elizabeth!

    Like

  8. 08/04/2012 8:44 am

    Wonderful post! Happy Easter to you and yours! 🙂

    Like

  9. 08/04/2012 8:59 am

    Beautiful and informative post – thanks so much.

    Like

  10. Chuck permalink
    08/04/2012 6:15 pm

    Just thought I’d drop by and leave you a note letting you know I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award on my post: http://ncmport59.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/hell-you-say-you-won-it/

    Like

  11. 08/04/2012 7:31 pm

    We usually call it Resurrection Sunday since it is the day Christ resurrected. Happy Easter and Passover to you and your family =)

    Like

  12. 08/04/2012 7:32 pm

    We usually call it Resurrection Sunday since it is the day Christ resurrected. Happy Easter and Passover to you and your family! =D

    Like

  13. 09/04/2012 2:13 am

    Wonderful post, Elizabeth. And the Henry Van Dyk post was the perfect way to kick it off. that has always been a favorite of mine, too.

    Like

  14. 09/04/2012 8:05 am

    Thanks for the interfaith post! I’m an Easter celebrater. The weekend was fun and family filled. Hope yours was too!

    Erin

    Like

  15. Bree permalink
    09/04/2012 9:41 am

    This is a beautiful introduction to the balancing of faiths that many of us expeirnece but don’t know how to express. You did a great job and the inofrmation is excellent. Have a wonderfilled Easter and Passover!
    B

    Like

  16. 09/04/2012 9:52 am

    Beautiful post as well as educative. Thanks, Elizabeth, for sharing this.

    Like

  17. 09/04/2012 10:02 am

    My husband and I are of the same faith–but even we approach our devotion a little differently. It always takes being respectful of individual relationships to God, I believe. I have a large family, however, and many traditions are represented, including several members who would really prefer to have no outward expressions of ritual. Holy Days, like Easter, can become tense in family groupings if we aren’t respectful towards those who do not choose to follow the same traditions. I think your post was a gentle reminder to that. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Debra

    Like

  18. 09/04/2012 10:04 am

    Happy Easter!! 😀 Hope you enjoyed.

    Like

  19. 09/04/2012 8:45 pm

    Both Good Friday and the Monday following Easter Sunday are public holidays here so we’re just coming off a long weekend. More people go to church on Easter Sunday and Christmas than at any other time during the year.
    Hope you had a great Easter, Elizabeth!

    Like

  20. 14/04/2012 9:25 am

    The ultimate, victorious freedom of the soul, celebrated in both Passover and Easter, are joys beyond our human capacity to fully comprehend and well worth every effort we make to celebrate. Thanks for the memories!

    Like

  21. 14/04/2012 6:13 pm

    I celebrate Easter and like both holidays, and i enjoy the easter lilly.

    Like

  22. 15/04/2012 12:28 am

    We don’t celebrate either, but we did have some chocolate! I hope your celebrations went well, Elizabeth.

    Like

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