Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110
Easter Sunday ~ Between March 22 to April 25
Easter is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar. On this Sunday,
Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. For
Catholics, Easter Sunday comes at the end of 40 days of prayer, fasting,
and almsgiving known as Lent.
Easter is a day of celebration because it represents the fulfillment of
our faith as Christians. St. Paul wrote that, unless Christ rose from
the dead, our faith is in vain (1 Corinthians 15:17). Through his death,
saved mankind from bondage to sin, and he destroyed the hold that
death has on all of us; but it is his resurrection that gives us the
promise of new life, both in this world and the next.
That is why people who are converting to Catholicism traditionally are
baptized at the Easter Vigil service, which takes place on Holy Saturday
(the day before Easter), starting sometime after sunset. They have
usually undergone a long process of study and preparation known as the
Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). Their baptism parallels
Christ's own death and resurrection, as they die to sin and rise to new
life in the Kingdom of God.
Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after
March 20th which marks the Spring Equinox. Easter Sunday can fall
anywhere from March 22 to April 25th.
The Gospel tells us "But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid;
for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he
has risen, as he said (Matthew 28:5-6b, RSV).
Every gospel provides an account of the resurrection, which makes
perfect sense, because the bodily resurrection of Jesus is and has been
the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Saint Paul makes this clear when
he reminds us that our faith is in vain without Christ's resurrection
from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:14).
The whole history of salvation is retold during the vigil, through
scripture and liturgy. There is the baptism of new converts, lighting of
the paschal candle, and the blessing of the new fire The new fire is
often processed into the Church to light the Paschal candle. Eucharist
is then celebrated, being also the first Eucharist of new converts.
There are many beautiful and fun Easter customs such as the
Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunts that have become part of the holiday's
modern celebrations. Those aspects are often celebrated by many
Christians and non-Christians alike.
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