Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

A Meaningful Easter

Posted by nhilton on March 8, 2007

The Las Vegas desert is beginning to bloom like a rose. Spring has sprung with all the symbolic evidence of re-birth—-at least in my neck of the woods desert. My daughter is about to turn 8 and experience her own re-birth in just a week. This is all a prelude to our observance of Easter on April 8th. Celebrating Easter has troubled me for at least 21 years. I’d really like to “get it right” this year. I want to feel Easter. What might this require?

Certainly my preparation for teaching the upcoming Gospel Doctrine Lesson #23, which includes the Passover meal Jesus shared with his Apostles, will help. But, in addition what can I do? Oh…& I want my multi-generational family to feel it, too. The customary Easter Egg Hunt isn’t going to satisfy much more than my sweet tooth, and in fact, it has on occasion left a sour taste in my mouth. I don’t want to deprive the young ‘uns from their frolic but I most especially don’t want to aid in the diverting of their attention from the focus of the Atonement. I’m so conflicted!!!

So, my plans?

  • We’ll probably enact Palm Sunday with one of the kids being the donkey and so forth–done that before & it was a success, especially for the younger crowds. Palm fronds are pretty common around here.
  • Next, I’m going to experience a traditional Seder meal on Passover at some synagogue somewhere. I’m weighing my options here, between a reformed Jewish congregation and a Messianic Jewish congregation. I feel a bit more comfortable with the second because of their belief in Jesus as the Savior. They’re holding their Passover meal at the Suncoast Casino/Hotel on April 3rd for the price of $40 a head for adults and $20 for kids. Oh…a little pricey for the whole gang. I’ve thought about hosting my own Seder with the aid of books but feel a little inadequate or even unauthorized in doing this without any previous Seder experience. At least I have a beautiful copper Passover Plate my brother-in-law brought back from Israel. It took me a while to figure out which way to hang it, so it reads “GOD” or not? Certainly it doesn’t say “GOD” in English! (Kidding here, but this is about how dumb I feel about this whole thing.)
  • Lastly, I think I’ll take in the early morning sunrise service at the local cemetery. With church at 9 a.m. & the Easter Bunny expected before that…I’ll be hoppin’! (I feel stupid even mentioning here that the Easter Bunny visits my house. Yes…pagan AND proud.

Help me out here—how can I get Easter right this time around? Can we get it right TOGETHER? Or is this a solo venture? Am I the only disfunctional Mormon when it comes to this holiday?

10 Responses to “A Meaningful Easter”

  1. Robert C. said

    Check out this suggestion that Julie Smith posted at T&S last year. Personally, I have very strong associations of Easter with great chorale music (esp. since attending some breath-taking Easter Sunday concerts). My favorites are Bach’s “St. Matthew’s Passion,” Rachmaninov’s “Vespers,” and Brahms’ “A German Requiem”—Easter themes can be found in each of these, but it’s the music more than the words (and I much prefer the original languages for each of these, even when I don’t understand them). And, since this post is probably pushing the scope of the blog :-), I would suggest studying the underlying Biblical texts while listening to some of these great chorale numbers (but if your kids don’t have patience for something like this, I repeat my recommendation of Julie’s suggestions!).

  2. Kevin Barney said

    I agree with #1. Also, why not attend another church in the high church tradition during the week? IMO they generally do Easter way better than we do.

  3. nhilton said

    How do you read the Passion Week texts of scripture with your family, or just yourself, in a cohesive way, similar to the “Christmas Story?” Does this help stay within the scope of the blog, Robert? :)

  4. nhilton said

    Robert, I’ve done something very similar to Julie’s suggestion via T&S & it was great for primary age children. However, it was still too contrived to be personally fulfilling to me or the teens. It was also very labor intensive in preparation.

    At Christmastime we read the Nephite Christmas story, rather than the Luke version. What Easter texts feed you spiritually?

  5. nhilton said

    Has anyone attended or hosted a Seder with light to shine on that experience from an LDS perspective?

  6. allene said

    My Catholic friends give up a sin during Lent–like not saying unkind things about people.

  7. nhilton said

    Ya, what is Lent? I see people walking around with a black smudge on their foreheads. What is that about?

  8. nhilton said

    Now that I know more about Lent, that seems to be a good idea. Maybe I’ll incorporate it into my own personal Easter observation. But I still don’t know what that smudge mark on the forehead is all about. Honestly, the first person I saw with it on their head I almost took aside and told them they had some dirt on their face. Then I saw a whole group of smudged heads. I realized I was in a seafood restaraunt & it was Lent. I’d like more insight on this custom if anyone has something to offer.

  9. Ann said

    The smudge on the forehead is for Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is a period of sacrifice and penance in preparation for the remembrance of Jesus’s sacrifice and triumph.

    On Ash Wednesday, during church services, penitents approach the priest who makes the mark of the cross on the forehead. The priest say, “Remember, man, that you are dust, and unto to dust you shall return.”

    On Ash Wednesday, observant Catholics fast and abstain from meat. Fish and crustaceans are OK, which is why crawfish are so popular on Ash Wednesday in SE Louisiana. When you break your fast, you do it with some GOOOOOOOD FOOOOOOD.

  10. nhilton said

    So if you’re in UT & would like to join LDS for a Seder, check out this article and you can still buy tickets here.

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