How do YOU make Easter about Jesus? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 03-16-2011, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This year we really want to make Easter about Jesus instead of "just another holiday". So I was wondering what you all do to make Jesus prevalent in your celebration...


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#2 of 19 Old 03-16-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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Sorry I can not help you my family does not support holidays that come from the pegans.  Its more like Ishtar.  If you want to really celebrate perhaps you should consider focusing on passover.  Im not trying to be rude just sharing the facts.  Everyone has their own beliefs and we respect that :)  Good luck

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#3 of 19 Old 03-16-2011, 08:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lillianava View Post

Sorry I can not help you my family does not support holidays that come from the pegans.  Its more like Ishtar.  If you want to really celebrate perhaps you should consider focusing on passover.  Im not trying to be rude just sharing the facts.  Everyone has their own beliefs and we respect that :)  Good luck



That's easy to remedy.  Call it Pascha instead.

 

 

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The origin of the term Easter comes from the Germanic name for the month in which the Christian feast usually fell, and so, just as the American civic holiday of the Fourth of July has nothing to do with Julius Caesar for whom July was named, neither does Easter have anything to do with the pagan goddess Eostre, the namesake of the month in which Pascha fell. This potential difficulty only exists for speakers of Germanic languages, however. Most languages in the world use a cognate form of the Greek term Pascha and so are free of any pagan connotations for the name of the feast.

 

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Perhaps the best thing is to share the story and the truth and the meaning behind the why this is celebrated and why we should be thankful.  Thank you for sharing your views on Pascha I will be looking further into this.

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#6 of 19 Old 03-16-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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Perhaps the best thing is to share the story and the truth and the meaning behind the why this is celebrated and why we should be thankful.  Thank you for sharing your views on Pascha I will be looking further into this.



Exactly.  I'm not familiar with Last Trumpet Ministries...I'm sure he has good intentions, but..well, this isn't the right forum for this discussion.  smile.gif

 

 

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#7 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So no advice? haha redface.gif


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#8 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 06:35 AM
 
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I believe that there are a lot of people with different views and different lifestyles.  I personally do not wish to offend anyone.  Jesus himself celebrated the feast of unleavened bread (passover).  Yes Jesus did die and was dead for 3days and 3 nights.  When you look further into the culture days ran from sunset to sunset (evening to evening)  not sunrise to sunrise as we now count our days.  I believe that if you really want to make this special for your child these are the choices you have to make for yourself when seeking truth.  The bible teaches to celebrate passover and to not partake in the pagan holidays regardless of what our culture is like where ever we live we are to stand against anything that offends god and in my book a holiday that has adopted all the aspects of a pagan holiday is in now way honoring Jesus who taught to keep the commandments of his father.  Seek the truth and base your decision upon your beliefs not anyone else.  Im just providing my point of view since you did not have any other feedback.

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Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

So no advice? haha redface.gif



redface.gif Sorry, I've been thinking about this, but my family situation is different...

 

We've never really celebrated Easter as a family.  I was not a Christian until a little over a year ago, and DH is still not.  Ironically, we were both pagans and felt that Easter was too Christian, so we just celebrated the equinox as a neutral spring holiday.  Anyway, none of this helps you.  All I can do in my family is tell my children the truth about Jesus and what Easter means and invite them to come to church with me.  So far, no one is really interested, so I don't push it.

 

Do you go to a church?  In my ideal world, my whole family would go to as many of the Lenten and Holy Week services that my church offers that we could (and there are many).  We'd all do the fasting together and say daily prayers together, and after all of that there would be no way that Easter would be 'just another holiday'.  But in reality, I just do it all myself and answer their questions as best I can.  If you don't have a church, then I'm not sure what to suggest.  I hope others chime in for you.  

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#10 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 02:25 PM
 
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Lent, fasting and abstinence, stations of the cross, worship, prayer

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#11 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 04:35 PM
 
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Pascha is our FAVORITE holiday!!!  It is much bigger for us than Christmas.  But it iis not because we make it big.  It would be big even if we were to disappear from it.  We are simply stepping into something already huge and wonderful and totally and completely Christ centered.  So I don't know how much I can help you.

 

We start by observing Lent.  Really observing it.  We start about two weeks before the West.  Fast from all meat, dairy, eggs wine and most oil.  The first full week of lent we are in church every night.  the following weeks we go on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Wednesdays are the best because we have a pot luck after Liturgy.  This is the only time of the year my girls get to receive the Eucharist every week so it is important to us to make it to every one.  Such a blessing!

 

Our daily prayers change as well.  This constantly reminds us that we are in Lent.

 

Holy week of course is marathon of beautiful services at church, starting with palm Sunday.  There is a party on Saturday where we can hang out and make crosses and eggs for the up coming services.  Lent is officially over but Pascha has not yet begun.  We try to make it to every service and this year I am takeing off from work so as not to miss any.  There are lots of ways for them to participate.  Friday is probably the highlight.  We start in the morning with a church service.  After that we stay, have lunch and start  to decorate and clean for the evening service.  then another service.  Then we go home rest and get ready for the Good Friday service.  The little girls play an important part of the service as the myrrbearing  women.  The dress in all white and fling flowers everywhere.  LOL  This service usually goes to about nine.  Then the next day there is a service in the morning commemorating Christs decent into hell and victory over Satan.  More flinging of the flora and fauna.... During the week we dye eggs red (in honor of Mary Magdeline if you scroll down it explains about the red eggs) and make pascha bread which I am pretty sure is just one steak short from having everything we missed while fasting.  This year we will do pascha baskets as well.  All of these little traditions call to mind that Lent (death) is over and the time of the Ressurection has come.  

 

The Pascha service starts at about 11:45 Saturday night and goes for about 2 hours.  Then we head down stairs where we eat lamb and chocolate and wine and bacon....This is way more fun if you are not a vegan....just sayin.  We play the egg game with our eggs.  Each person holds their egg.  one says Christ is Risen and the other says He is Risen Indeed (and any self respecting child will be able to say this in at least 4 languages and will show off their skills) and the thump the eggs together.  If yours does not break you win and go try to crack someone elses egg.  The last person standing gets bragging rights for the rest of the year LOL.  The next morning we wake up late, have a big breakfast and head back to church.  After church we head over to someones house for dinner.  Usually a godparents house.

 

The paschal celebration goes on for 40 days until the Pentecost.

 

So as you can see the whole thing takes up a full third of our year which makes it about more than just one day. for us it helps that it is a church feast and our whole church prepares and celebrates, worldwide, together.  We do spring and bunnies and eggs and all the regular stuff (one guy in the church usually makes traditional Easter Baskets for all the kids.  In some traditions the kids will receive a special candle for the service with gifts attatched with ribbons and bows).  When I do the girls baskets I try to keep it focused on the holiday.  Stuff for getting ready for church (hair ties, new tooth brush, good smelling stuff and a nice candle for church) and other things related to their spiritual growth.  A book, an icon, and of course lots of candy and red eggs which is just fun.

 

We don't try to avoid everything secular.  It is after all a celebration.  the party of parties!  We eat, we play, we celebrate that it is finally nice outside (I live up north.  It feels like hell has been overcome once the snow melts) we do it all while saying "Christ is Risen!" and singing the paschal hymn (Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! ).  We still do egg hunts and pinatas and sidewalk chalk and fancy dresses.  But we do it all because we are so full of joy.  These little trifles are not the reason for our joy but our expression of it.

 

Pascha is a way of life for us.  When we are not in the season we are thinking about it.  Our whole year revolves around it  .Really  I think the key to making any holiday focus on Christ is making Christ the focus of your life year round.  Without the religous aspect there simply is no holiday to celebrate.  


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#12 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 05:17 PM
 
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Heh. You can tell how much us Orthodox LOVE Pascha! :) 

 

The whole pre-Lenten/Lenten season is actually referred to as a "tithe of the year" by some of the Church Fathers.

 

But for the OP, to make Easter about Jesus you have to go to church. And it's not just about Easter Sunday. It's about Holy Week, too. You can't have Easter without Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday - the whole of Holy Week.

 

As my priest has said, for someone to come to our Pascha service without having gone through the Lent with all its services and then the Holy Week services is missing the point.

 

I realize many churches don't have all the Holy Week services the Orthodox and Catholics do, but at least find a church that does Palm Sunday and Good Friday, as well as Easter. It's quite something to experience the Palm Sunday service and listen to the Gospel reading about Christ being greeted as a King when entering Jerusalem, when on Friday, the same people are crying, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Some churches also do the foot washing on Maundy Thursday and that can really illustrate the Gospel story to children.

 

The Orthodox also do Holy Saturday up big time - this day is called "the most blessed Sabbath" for on it, Christ rested bodily in the tomb from all his works - as the Lord rested from the work of creation on the seventh day. Long Liturgy (Eucharist) in the late morning, about 2.5 hours long, that has more than 10 Old Testament readings that in some way foreshadow or represent a type of Christ,

 

Our main Pascha hymn is "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs, bestowing life!"

 

I love what lilyka said about the little trifles expressing our joy.

 

My parish is in the Russian tradition, and in that tradition, you do Pascha baskets containing things you couldn't eat during the fast. There are traditional items, but it's some variety of meat, cheese, red colored eggs, a sweet bread containing eggs, butter, fruit. I just put in things I missed and like - a small summer sausage, a wedge of Brie cheese, crackers for the cheese and sausage, a bar of Hershey's milk chocolate, a Russian sweet bread called "kulich" and a Russian sweet cheese spread called cheese "Paska." I also include a bottle of Coke because I'm in choir and my throat is very dry from three hours of singing - service is 11:30 pm to 2:30 am. Our party goes until about 5 am. and then back to church at noon!

 

So, OP, go to church, not just on Easter Sunday. Have a dinner with family and friends on Easter Sunday. Give your children Easter baskets, but not so much emphasis on the candy. Color eggs. What about a book on Easter, Jesus, etc.? You can then read it later with them.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post

Pascha is our FAVORITE holiday!!!  It is much bigger for us than Christmas.  But it iis not because we make it big.  It would be big even if we were to disappear from it.  We are simply stepping into something already huge and wonderful and totally and completely Christ centered.  So I don't know how much I can help you.

 

We start by observing Lent.  Really observing it.  We start about two weeks before the West.  Fast from all meat, dairy, eggs wine and most oil.  The first full week of lent we are in church every night.  the following weeks we go on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Wednesdays are the best because we have a pot luck after Liturgy.  This is the only time of the year my girls get to receive the Eucharist every week so it is important to us to make it to every one.  Such a blessing!

 

Our daily prayers change as well.  This constantly reminds us that we are in Lent.

 

Holy week of course is marathon of beautiful services at church, starting with palm Sunday.  There is a party on Saturday where we can hang out and make crosses and eggs for the up coming services.  Lent is officially over but Pascha has not yet begun.  We try to make it to every service and this year I am takeing off from work so as not to miss any.  There are lots of ways for them to participate.  Friday is probably the highlight.  We start in the morning with a church service.  After that we stay, have lunch and start  to decorate and clean for the evening service.  then another service.  Then we go home rest and get ready for the Good Friday service.  The little girls play an important part of the service as the myrrbearing  women.  The dress in all white and fling flowers everywhere.  LOL  This service usually goes to about nine.  Then the next day there is a service in the morning commemorating Christs decent into hell and victory over Satan.  More flinging of the flora and fauna.... During the week we dye eggs red (in honor of Mary Magdeline if you scroll down it explains about the red eggs) and make pascha bread which I am pretty sure is just one steak short from having everything we missed while fasting.  This year we will do pascha baskets as well.  All of these little traditions call to mind that Lent (death) is over and the time of the Ressurection has come.  

 

The Pascha service starts at about 11:45 Saturday night and goes for about 2 hours.  Then we head down stairs where we eat lamb and chocolate and wine and bacon....This is way more fun if you are not a vegan....just sayin.  We play the egg game with our eggs.  Each person holds their egg.  one says Christ is Risen and the other says He is Risen Indeed (and any self respecting child will be able to say this in at least 4 languages and will show off their skills) and the thump the eggs together.  If yours does not break you win and go try to crack someone elses egg.  The last person standing gets bragging rights for the rest of the year LOL.  The next morning we wake up late, have a big breakfast and head back to church.  After church we head over to someones house for dinner.  Usually a godparents house.

 

The paschal celebration goes on for 40 days until the Pentecost.

 

So as you can see the whole thing takes up a full third of our year which makes it about more than just one day. for us it helps that it is a church feast and our whole church prepares and celebrates, worldwide, together.  We do spring and bunnies and eggs and all the regular stuff (one guy in the church usually makes traditional Easter Baskets for all the kids.  In some traditions the kids will receive a special candle for the service with gifts attatched with ribbons and bows).  When I do the girls baskets I try to keep it focused on the holiday.  Stuff for getting ready for church (hair ties, new tooth brush, good smelling stuff and a nice candle for church) and other things related to their spiritual growth.  A book, an icon, and of course lots of candy and red eggs which is just fun.

 

We don't try to avoid everything secular.  It is after all a celebration.  the party of parties!  We eat, we play, we celebrate that it is finally nice outside (I live up north.  It feels like hell has been overcome once the snow melts) we do it all while saying "Christ is Risen!" and singing the paschal hymn (Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! ).  We still do egg hunts and pinatas and sidewalk chalk and fancy dresses.  But we do it all because we are so full of joy.  These little trifles are not the reason for our joy but our expression of it.

 

Pascha is a way of life for us.  When we are not in the season we are thinking about it.  Our whole year revolves around it  .Really  I think the key to making any holiday focus on Christ is making Christ the focus of your life year round.  Without the religous aspect there simply is no holiday to celebrate.  



 

 


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#13 of 19 Old 03-18-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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In my family, growing up, we celebrated the death and resurrection of Christ. It was important because in our faith tradition, this was God's ultimate gift, the gift of his son, our savior. Jesus was sent to us, to take away our sins. He died to take away our sins. (Again, this is what we were taught, not what we currently practice in our home.) It was a very important holy day. We spend Weds in bible study. We had our first communion on Maunday Thursday. We celebrated the breaking of bread and giving of wine, the communion was very important.

 

As a pagan, I would like to point out that yes, Easter was taken from Ostara. Some years, the Christian Easter falls around the same time as Ostara, but this year, it doesn't. It depends on what you believe, how you will celebrate the season of Lent.

 

 


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#14 of 19 Old 03-18-2011, 03:03 PM
 
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This discussion reminds me of something I recently read that really resonated with me as a former pagan and my experience of coming to Christianity.

 

Quote:
At this point it must be mentioned that although God's self-revelation in history through the chosen people of Israel--the revelation which culminates in the coming of Christ the Messiah--is of primary importance, it is also the doctrine of the Christian Church that all genuine strivings of men after the truth are fulfilled in Christ. Every genuine insight into the meaning of life finds its perfection in the Christian Gospel. Thus, the holy fathers of the Church taught that the yearnings of pagan religions and the wisdom of many philosophers are also capable of serving to prepare men for the doctrines of Jesus and are indeed valid and genuine ways to the one Truth of God.
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#15 of 19 Old 03-18-2011, 10:14 PM
 
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We do not belong to a denomination that has specific rules for Lent, but we are all encouraged to make a change in our lives that helps us focus on Jesus.  I am fasting from white starches this year - sugar, rice, wheat and potatoes.  My DH has given up all beverages except water (a *really* big deal for his caffiene-addicted self).  Last year we gave up meat. 

 

I am also adding additional devotional time to my day.  I am working through a book titled Contemplating the Cross which has 40 days of devotions.  

 

Our church does not have any additional services other than Good Friday, but we continue to attend every week.  DH is going to be a part of the Good Friday and Easter Sunday services in the choir and they are putting on a play this year. 


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#16 of 19 Old 03-19-2011, 04:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just_lily View Post

We do not belong to a denomination that has specific rules for Lent, but we are all encouraged to make a change in our lives that helps us focus on Jesus.  I am fasting from white starches this year - sugar, rice, wheat and potatoes.  My DH has given up all beverages except water (a *really* big deal for his caffiene-addicted self).  Last year we gave up meat. 

 

 


This is me too. For several years I gave up purchasing books for Lent (a big deal for me) and donated the money I saved to charity. It is fairly low key in my church, no big parties or anything. I attend church services on the key days and we don't make a big deal out of chocolate or gifts etc. One egg-type gift for each person on Sunday morning. Oh, and hot cross buns on Friday afternoon.


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#17 of 19 Old 03-21-2011, 09:32 PM
 
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We observe Lent but also include the Easter bunny  sulkoff.gif

 

 

but the bunny delivers the eggs during church.  Their baskets always contain religious items along with the candy.  We also talk a lot about Christ's ressurection leading up to Easter and make it a celebration.  I think the solemn Good Friday service makes the celebration even more apparent.   This year a local church is also doing a lesson on the seder meal by a local Rabbi, so we will attend that also. 

 

 

Here are some (not as deep as some other suggestions) but good nonetheless for children.

 

 

Empty tomb easter cookies   http://westerntractmission.org/KK/craft/EasterTombCookies.shtml 

 

 

The veggie tale movies about Easter for little ones

 

nightly Bible readings (if not already done)  leading up to the resurrection

 

I have to say that I feel Jesus is always very prevalent in our lives on a daily basis so Easter is just an amped up day of proclaiming Jesus's resurrection.  jumpers.gif


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#18 of 19 Old 03-22-2011, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I love Veggie Tales!


 Young born-again mama and loving wife peace.gif to DH jammin.gif and SAHP to two crazy girls dust.gifwehomebirth.jpgfly-by-nursing2.gifslinggirl.giffamilybed1.gif and believe gd.giflactivist.gif  signcirc1.gif !

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#19 of 19 Old 03-24-2011, 03:01 PM
 
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In case nobody mentioned them, there are the Resurrection Eggs.

http://www.christianbook.com/resurrection-eggs-updated-edition/9781602003927/pd/003927?kw=resurection%20eggs&event=PPCSRC&p=1018818&cm_mmc=Google-_-Seasonal-_-easter-eggs-_-resurection%20eggs&gclid=CLHtuL6Z6KcCFUa8KgodqDUcdA


The Veggie Tales movie "Rack, Shack, and Benny" isn't about Easter, but does have the fabulous Bunny song. smile.gif
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS0T57GOwPo

The Veggie Tale folks have a new DVD out about Easter called "An Easter Carol." I haven't seen it, but it's only $4.99 at CBD (Limited Time price) http://www.christianbook.com/an-easter-carol-veggietales/pd/102494?item_code=WW&netp_id=330761&event=ESRCN&view=details

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