Easter Sunday, more than just chocolate candies and Easter Bunnies
By Joe Olvera ©, 2012
Little Ricky Najera, age 4, likes Easter because of candy, colored eggs, cascarones (egg shells filled with confetti and cracked open on someone’s head), and Easter baskets containing toys, more candy, and many more goodies. “It’s just like Christmas, only the presents are smaller,” said Little Ricky, who prefers to be called Big Ricky. But, he doesn’t really know the true meaning of Easter. His three-year-old sister, Victoria, knows even less. To her, Easter means dressing up in new clothes and birthdays. Who’s birthday, Victoria? But, she only shrugs that she doesn’t know. But, oh, yes, she does know about the Easter Bunny. He’s the one who leaves her a basket filled with surprises.
Also known as “Resurrection Day,” Easter marks the end of Lent – a 40-day period of fasting and penance. While some Christians wonder what Easter Sunday has to do with the resurrection of Christ, or what eggs and a bunny have to do with the Holy Day, essentially, what happened is that the ancient Roman Catholic Church mixed the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection with those involving spring fertility rituals, in efforts to make Easter more palatable to non-Christians. Hence, the bunny, known for being extremely fertile and eggs, representing new birth.
To that effect, however, some Christians would rather that the Holy-Day be called “Resurrection Sunday,” rather than Easter Sunday. Too, calling it Resurrection Sunday would be more in keeping with Biblical dogma. But, tradition is tradition, and most Christians like the sound of Easter Sunday, a day in which families gather to attend church and to be together. By celebrating the birth of Christ and his ascendancy into heaven, true believers have faith that when they die, they too will ascend to Heaven and will spend eternity with their Jesus and their God.
Others, however, choose to celebrate Easter in different ways – such as donning their finest clothes as a way of showing off. Women, especially love to wear their flamboyant Easter hats, or bonnets, as they are serenated by their favorite song, “…In your Easter bonnet…you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.” And, so, yes, Easter parades are a tradition from El Paso to New York, but, none greater than in New York where tourists mix with natives to stroll down Fifth Avenue, which they’ve been doing since the 1880s. Equally well-dressed church-goers will stream in and out of places of worship, where attendance will be at an all-time high. Some of them, however, have not gone to Church since last Christmas.
There is a name for such people. They are called CEOs and this doesn’t mean that they are highly placed officials in their organizations. No, CEO stands for Christmas and Easter Only. Ruben Hernandez is a regular church goer who must get up early to go to Easter Mass this Sunday, if only to find a parking space and a seat inside the church. “I love going to Mass and I make it a point to go every Sunday and on other special occasions,” Hernandez said. “But, sometimes I feel like staying home and not attending Easter Mass because of the crowds. My church should reserve seats for those of us in regular attendance, make the twice-a-year goers stand in the rear.”
Mike Muller said he’s one of the CEOs and he only goes to church on those two Holy days because they are supremely important. “I don’t feel that I’m being selfish in only attending church twice a year,” Muller said. “It’s just my habit. I would go to church every Sunday, but it’s hard for me because of my job. But, Christmas and Easter are such special events, that I absolutely have to go.” Hernandez said, however that he has to be accepting of CEOs because at least they willing to make the sacrifice of being in church when Jesus was born and when he was re-born and ascended into heaven. “So, okay, for two days out of the year I’ll take a back seat and even park my car and walk a little farther. I still love to see my church filled to the brim. Remember, Jesus taught us to love one another, to love our neighbor. That’s what I’m doing.”