Monday, March 23, 2009

Easter is sneaking up on me

Luke Chapter 22: 19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

I am a ‘holiday’ person, love to decorate, cook something special and different, buy presents, wrap, and look forward to an event to celebrate. I buy into the whole holiday theme no matter what the holiday is because I think it makes for a happy memory and creates a better family environment. But holiday time can be empty and futile unless I keep the religious significance intact. I love Easter’s theme, bunnys, pastel eggs, flowers, spring, freshness, light, church, Easter bonnets and dresses and shoes. But all of these lovely ideas are not the real reason we celebrate Easter.

“Easter is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar. On this Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. For Catholics, Easter Sunday comes at the end of 40 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving known as Lent. Through spiritual struggle and self-denial, we have prepared ourselves to die spiritually with Christ on Good Friday, the day of his Crucifixion, so that we can rise again with him in new life on Easter.”

I am not of the Catholic faith, but I completely respect and admire their practice of honoring lent. It really brings your heart and mind around to what is important at Easter and that is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Christ The Lord Is Risen Today Hymn

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail, the resurrection day, Alleluia!

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains that He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia

Words: Charles Wes­ley, 1739. Stanzas 8-10, au­thor un­known, 14th Cen­tu­ry; trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish in Lyra Da­vid­i­ca. This ex­ub­er­ant song is one of the most pop­u­lar East­er hymns in the Eng­lish lang­uage.

Music: Easter Hymn, com­pos­er un­known, in Lyra Da­vid­i­ca (Lon­don: 1708) (MI­DI, score).

Wesley’s words were writ­ten for use at the first wor­ship ser­vice at the Wes­ley­an Chap­el in Lon­don. The cha­pel, on the site of a for­mer iron found­ry, be­came known as the Found­ry Meet­ing House, and this hymn was in­clud­ed in the Found­ry Col­lect­ion.


Gayle said...

I've also admired the Catholics observance of Lent. I think that our family would benefit in many ways by participating in Lent.

Thanks for posting.

Carol Vega said... you guys admire me (I'm Catholic):-) One reason for my conversion to Catholism was their stress on the resurrection.

Lent is such a major preparation. Every Friday is the 'Station of the Crosses', where we remember Christ's journey from His torture and persecution to His Resurrection.

And we do not necessarily 'give up' things for Lent. Rather we are encouraged to 'add on'. If we lack in bible reading - a Lentan 'promise' could be to read a verse a day. If we lack in family time - we can make a 'promise' (on Ash Wednesday) to read a bible verse daily as a family.

Then Holy Week is very introspective. From Palm Sunday through Good Friday...prayer is the key. We have services on Thursday to remember the Last Supper, and of course on Friday (at 3PM) is the crucifixion. Saturday evening is the 'official' Easter service, with candles, and those joining the church join at this service. This service is usually at least 3 hours long, with bible readings of the Holy Week.

Easter is Catholic's 'top' holiday, with Christmas a close second.

I am so glad that we look into each others denominations...instead of instantly chatising for inappropriate interpetations. We are all Christians, first and foremost. Divided we fall, together we will win.

Merry's Musings said...

Hi Gayle! I agree, I think I would benefit as well. Still looking into it all.
Carol!!WE ADMIRE YOU!! and not only because you're Catholic. You are one heck of a gal.I love how you don't give things up for Lent, you add them on. Such a positive practice. Kind of like the 10 commandments become the 10 promises once you know the Lord, you have the power not to steal, lie, kill, adult, etc. That's awesome.Your Easter service sounds so wonderfull, truly blessed. Me too Carol, forgive me if I don't speak in tongues or if I don't make the sign of the cross, we are all in God's family and have much to share with each other.Blessings!!xoxo

Ellen said...

Awesome post! Enjoyed the compliments for the Catholics, we don't get many of those! I agree with Carol, a lot of Catholics try to add something for lent rather than take away. As I get older I find such comfort in my faith and without the promise of the resurrection, what would be the purpose of life?

Merry's Musings said...

Ellen, I do so agree, not much purpose with out a strong belief in a living God. Love you lots.


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