When Easter rolls around, it is a time of great joy and celebration. This holiday is a new beginning for those who participate and practice the holiday, as a season of Lent, fasting, praying and palms giving. The main focus is in honor of Christ’s rising from the dead as he conquers sin and the consequences of sin, death.
Campus Minister, Gabriella Furmato, states, “The Resurrection encourages hope for new life, not just on Easter, but also on every day, in every moment for many individuals who celebrate the holiday. In this time people try to be better Christians, and grow in their relationship with Christ.”
Though Easter is an extremely spiritual and religious-oriented holiday, there are many other orientations and associations with the holiday as well. The establishment of the “Easter Bunny” as a mascot for this holiday has also created another aspect of the day.
According to easterbunnys.net, “The Easter bunny was introduced to American folklore by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s.”
Since then, many children believe that the Easter Bunny places eggs filled with goodies that they then search for the next morning. The website also states, “The arrival of the ‘Oschter Haws’ was considered childhood’s greatest pleasure” next to a visit from Christ-Kindel on Christmas Eve.”
The children believed that if they were good the “Oschter Haws,” or the Easter Bunny, would lay a nest of colored eggs.” With an updated version of this myth, the creation of the Easter Bunny has stores everywhere filling their shelves with Easter Bunny themed treats and goodies in spirit of the holiday. Who doesn’t love a holiday dedicated to gorging yourself with Easter egg chocolates the morning of?
Overall, this holiday is a combination of religion, family and fun. With the combination of these three aspects, there are many Easter activities for individuals to partake in!
Along with many local churches and religious centers, the Monmouth Catholic Center starts off the holiday with Holy Week, the week before Easter. Sunday, April 1, was Palm Sunday, and a Mass was held at 7:00 pm. This Thursday is Holy Thursday, which means that a Mass will be held at 7:00 pm, and Friday is Good Friday, service and veneration of the Cross, will be held at noon.
Kristen Shedlock, a senior at the University, states, “I’m happy there is a Catholic Center so close in location to the University and I’m still able to engage in the same activities I would do at my church at home.”
The Monmouth Catholic Center offers many religious services in honor of holidays, and more information can be located on the website at mucatholic.org. Any thoughts, comments and questions can be emailed directly to catholic@ monmouth.edu.
As a time of family coming together, there are a lot of engaging and interactive activities everyone can be involved with. Think you’re too old for Easter Egg Hunts? Luckily, there are other activities geared for members of the family who are no longer running around trying to quest for the eggs filled with candies or little treats.
For example, just the activity of egg dying itself can be a fun, spunky way to express yourself. The website kaboose.com has numerous ways of how to “dress up” an egg in honor of the holiday. Some of the more popular egg designs are bejeweled eggs and face eggs. There are many other design examples that stray away from your typical one-toned color egg. As senior Jaimee Saracen states, “You’re never too old to decorate Easter Eggs!” With that said, get your friends or family together and do some good, old-fashion egg dying and decorating!
As Furmato stated earlier, The Resurrection encourages hope for new life, not just on Easter, but also on every day, in every moment for many individuals who celebrate the holiday. To go along with the meaning of the holiday, a great inspirational activity to increase meaning and positivity is to place your hopes, goals and accomplishments on tiny pieces of paper and then place them in different plastic eggs. Then gather family and friends around and open these eggs.
Not only is it a time to learn more about the loved ones around you but also an activity of reflection for an individual. This activity adds a little bit of tradition with a twist!
Another great activity to do with friends and family this holiday is some good old-fashioned baking! Just like any other holiday, there are a lot of holiday-oriented sweets and treats individuals can make. On the website familyfun.go.com, many delicious recipes to bake during this upcoming weekend can be found.
One particular recipe that individuals were raving about on the site due to its uniqueness and detail orientation was the cupcake basket with jellybeans.
Another valuable website that offers recipes from milkshakes to casserole recipes can be found at recipes.slides.kaboose.com.
Furmato states there is one value everyone could gain from this holiday. “Easter is not just Sunday, it is every day. Since Christ has risen from the dead we are living Easter, we are celebrating life and His life. He wishes to outpour so many graces on us if only we are open. In contemplating the mystery of Easter, we should remember that Christ loves us so much. Love brought him to the cross, to bear the burden of our sin. Now that Christ has risen from the dead, he can be with us always through his Holy Spirit that he sends to us. We are so blessed!”
This advice can be given to everone celebrating Easter, and this holiday is a time to truly appreciate the loved ones around you. Last but not least, enjoy the holiday this week and weekend!
IMAGE TAKEN from celebrations.com