April 25, 2011 by Nicole
Easter is finally here! It’s hard to describe the elation and happiness I always feel around this time of year. I have always thought there are two types of people in this world (which is not particularly profound, as that’s true for just about anything, isn’t it? 🙂 ): Christmas people and Easter people. Me, I am an Easter person; cute, fluffy bunnies and tasty Peeps are only a small part of why, however.
Now, I really love the Christmas season; I have so much fun going shopping for presents, decorating the house, and all of those other holiday rituals. But, I think the reason that I love Easter so much is because for me as a Catholic–as well as the Protestants who also observe Lent–is the amount of hard work and discipline it takes to actually get to Easter Sunday. Fasting everyday, saying extra prayers, abstaining from the things I gave up for 40 days really begins to take a toll; there are days where I succumbed to the temptation to cheat and look at the TV once, days where I got busy and forgot to say my extra prayers on a few occasions, and even though I wanted to volunteer at the soup kitchen, I wasn’t able to because they had enough help on the day I was able to go volunteer. Then, there’s church on Holy Thursday–or for me, my husband’s Maundy Thursday service and Tenebrae service on Good Friday, at which point I start to feel a little “churched out.”
But every year, I wake up on Saturday morning and find myself feeling a little giddy–knowing that Easter Vigil mass is finally here. Maybe I am a glutton for punishment, but I actually look forward to going to that 2.5 hour mass as much as I look forward to waking up Christmas morning. Lots of music, lots of Bible readings, people getting drenched in the Baptismal pool in the back of church–it’s so wonderful to be in the middle of all of that after working 40 days to get there. Lenten penance is over. It’s time to rejoice.
I think that while celebrating Jesus’ birth is an important part of the lives of Christians, celebrating His resurrection is even more exciting. That “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” takes on an entirely different meaning at Easter time. It’s humbling in a way that you don’t always think about at Christmas. Somehow, God’s presence is almost palpable in a way that is different throughout the rest of the year–His love is closer, more intense, and incredibly personal.
It’s time to celebrate! Praise God and pass the Peeps. 🙂