WHAT IS EASTER SUNDAY
According to Wikipedia, resurrection Sunday Easter, also called Pascha (Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary.
HISTORY OF RESURRECTION SUNDAY
It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.
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Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as “Holy Week”, it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In Western Christianity, Eastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the fiftieth day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the fortieth day, the Feast of the Ascension.
Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar.
In most European languages the feast called Easter in English is termed by the words for passover in those languages and in the older English versions of the Bible the term Easter was the term used to translate passover. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, and decorating Easter eggs (symbols of the empty tomb).
The Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide.
Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades. There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally.
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RESURRECTION SUNDAY PRAYERS
May the celebration of resurrected life bring new hope to your being.
May the victory over earthly death turn your eyes to the promises of heaven.
May the empty tomb help you to leave your sorrows at the foot of the cross.
So that God’s hope, promises and forgiveness reign in your life forever.
Risen, alive and full of grace.
You paid such a price that we may live in freedom today.
We worship your holy name and give thanks for your redeeming grace.
May we drink in your tender love so that we can pour this love out to others.
Come reign in our hearts, minds and spirits.
We welcome you to blow through our every word, action and thought.
Come transform us on the inside so that each day we become more like our risen Lord. Amen.