Did any of you out there celebrate Easter well?
I mean really celebrate it? The whole season? All fifty days?
Yeah, me neither.
In fact, about two weeks into the Easter season, I realized that I was doing a royally bad job at living out Easter.
After being very deliberate about entering into Lent this year, the Easter Triduum arrived and I gobbled it up. Soaked up all that good liturgy, jumped into the messy beauty of the paschal mystery, embraced its profound and mysterious meaning for my life.
And then promptly moved on.
I had a few tugs of realizing this wasn’t supposed to be the way. I made a feeble attempt to add “Alleluias” to every prayer S and I shared throughout the day. I sang him a bunch of Easter hymns. I dug up the Resurrection icon for my prayer shelf. I tried to think Easter-ish thoughts throughout the day.
But regardless of whether it was the lack of visible Easter signs and symbols around our home, or the fact that the rest of the world looked no different (as opposed to the lingering lights and festivities of Christmastide), I came to the realization that it is much harder to live out Easter than Lent.
Lent has this collective Christian focus. People get intense in conversation about what they’re “giving up” this year. Even folks who consider themselves nominal Christians use the forty days as a time to abstain from bad habits. Lingering vestiges of Christendom in our culture emerge: Friday night fish fries, fast food fish sandwiches. Even our practices as a Christian community are visible and focused: we get ashes and people ask what’s on our forehead when we get to work.
But Easter? We’re supposed to…celebrate? How, exactly? By living in hope, being Resurrection people? Sounds great, but what do we eat? Or do, to make that happen?
Ironic, since Easter is the most important feast for our faith. Everything hinges on the Resurrection. But I think the Easter season is vastly under-celebrated in most parishes and congregations. What a fantastic opportunity it would be for parish festivals or celebrations, concerts or dinners to celebrate Easter. Think of all the weddings and graduations that fall during the Easter spring each year – there are wonderful ties to be made to the liturgical season.
But instead, ministers and musicians are exhausted after Triduum. Easter candy gets eaten and pretty dresses packed away. We move on to all the spring cleaning and gardening. Most of us barely cast a glance back to see how what happened on Easter Sunday morning should be spilling over into how we live the rest of our days.
In the spirit of good intentions and procrastination, my mothering spirit decided Next Year! Next Easter we shall live it out to the fullest! I’ll dig up some great resources on celebrating Easter as a family and I’ll find some great Easter prayers and…
And yet here we are at Pentecost. And I’m not sure where all the time went.
Does anyone else feel a nagging sense of regret (and/or good old-fashioned Catholic guilt) about the lack of Easter-ing in their lives? Any suggestions for the rest of us well-meaning souls? How do you do it?