Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Lord Has Risen.
How Do We Celebrate?

Bunnies are cute. I'd like to have one as a pet. Intricately painted eggs are cool. Unique egg art like that of Frank Grom, which I featured last year, is awesome as well.

But today the entire Christian world is celebrating its most important feast. If you are Christian, let us put away the Easter Bunny and his Easter Egg because they really have nothing to do with the resurrection of Christ.

As a matter of fact, the modern English term "Easter" developed from the Old English word "Eostre" the name of the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. In Germany her name is Ostara, in Babylon her name is Ishtar. She is the goddess of fertility worshiped in spring when all life is being renewed. As for the egg and the rabbit, both are symbolic in European and Middle Eastern pagan spring festivals.

So instead of saying "Happy Easter", say "Happy Resurrection Day" especially here in this country where Christianity is the dominant religion and where there is no winter, spring or fall.

Anyway, how did the name of a pagan spring goddess become associated with a Christian principal fest? I've read an article by David C. Pack about the true origin of Easter and how the Resurrection Day was made to be celebrated on Sunday. What I find interesting is that in 325 AD there was a dispute between the Eastern church (Jewish Christians) and the Western church (Gentile Christians) with regards to the day the Resurrection is celebrated. It is known as the "Quatrodeciman Controversy". I've learned that the early Eastern church, instead of celebrating the Resurrection on Sunday, observed an annual commemoration of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ during the Jewish Passover (14th day of the moon in the evening), substituting the sacrificial lamb with bread and wine - the body and blood of Christ, the New Paschal Lamb.

Eventually, by political influences, Western church practices are followed. So instead of a Christian Passover, Easter is celebrated annually.

But I still don't quite understand why the word "Easter" was used on the Sunday when the entire Christendom celebrate the Resurrection. =/ I'm a bit lost here. A lost sheep? I guess what's important is that we not only remember the purpose of Christ's sacrifice but also remember his teachings and apply them.

Happy Resurrection Day everyone!

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