“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”
For us, within the Triduum, there is no Sacrifice of the Mass between the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday and the Easter Vigil—an interruption of the way things are done. The most important act of worship in the world is stopped, and how we go on, with prayer services and acts of devotion, only makes us feel that loss more keenly.
The desolation of the Triduum is a full immersion into the realities of a church without bells, a community without a focus of hope and outreach, until the nighttime falls on Saturday, and the Holy Fire is lit, and the triumphant Exsultet is chanted in joyful proclamation across the planet, time zone to time zone—one end of the earth to another marked by individual flames of witness, reclamation and duty, a restoration of beauty, and the Holy Water flows once more as we celebrate the final victory over death (1 Cor. 15). The Triduum comes to its fulfillment as we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, and the Triduum closes with the prayers at Vespers on Sunday evening.
Without the preparation of the first days of the Triduum, the joyful noises and conformities to mystery that overtake us at Easter could not feel so profoundly right and new. As it takes darkness in order to perceive light, we have needed to feel the depths of real grief, real loss, in order to know the resplendent joy that is, ultimately, the payoff of faith.
–Elizabeth Scalia, Halloween, All Saints, All Souls, The Autumn Triduum of Waiting (October 29, 2020) Word on Fire
“I coined the word ‘eucatastrophe’: the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears (which I argued it is the highest function of fairy-stories to produce). And I was there led to the view that it produces its peculiar effect because it is a sudden glimpse of Truth, your whole nature chained in material cause and effect, the chain of death, feels a sudden relief as if a major limb out of joint had suddenly snapped back. It perceives – if the story has literary ‘truth’ on the second plane (….) – that this is indeed how things really do work in the Great World for which our nature is made. And I concluded by saying that the Resurrection was the greatest ‘eucatastrophe’ possible in the greatest Fairy Story – and produces that essential emotion: Christian joy which produces tears because it is qualitatively so like sorrow, because it comes from those places where Joy and Sorrow are at one, reconciled, as selfishness and altruism are lost in Love.” J.R.R. Tolkien(Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 89)
The long wait is over: Easter has arrived. He is Risen! For forty days (even longer if we count back to Septuagesima) we have been in a penitential mood, making sacrifices and offering them in union with, as St. Paul says, “Christ our Pasch [who has been] sacrificed.” Now, as the Apostle tells us, “let us feast.” As an early Church father put it, “The sacrifice comes first, and then it is possible to make the transition from the old life to the new” (Ambrosiaster, Commentary on Paul’s Epistles).
Easter truly represents a “new life.” Like Christ, who died and then rose to new life, we too died during Lent in order to rise at Easter. For Lent is meaningless without Easter; in fact, it is worse than meaningless—without Easter, Lent is just masochism. But as we arrive at Easter, we know that Christ is risen indeed.-Eric Sammons, Scripture & Tradition: Easter Sunday (April 11, 2020) One Peter Five
The New Testament writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the ‘first fruits’, the ‘pioneer of life’. He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so. This is the beginning of the New Creation: a new chapter in cosmic history has opened.- C.S. Lewis
The word Easter is of English origin. In Italian, it’s Pasqua; in Spanish, Pascha; in Portugese, Páscoa; in French, Pâques; in Danish, Paaske; in Dutch, Pasen; in Swedish, Påsk; and so on. All of these derive from the Latin Pascha or Greek Paskha, both of which are words for the Jewish feast of Passover (Hebrew, Pesakh).
The reason Easter’s timing is based on the full moon after the spring equinox is because that was the timing of Passover on the Jewish calendar. The Law of Moses requires Passover to be celebrated on the fourteenth of the month of Nisan (Lev. 23:5). This is a spring month that contains the equinox, and because the Jewish months begin on the new moon, the fourteenth fell on the full moon.
–Jimmy Akin, The Easter Apologetics Trifecta (April 24, 2019) Catholic Answers
“When I know what the laws of the flesh and the physical really are, then I will know what God is. We know them as we see them, not as God sees them. For me, it is the virgin birth, the Incarnation, the resurrection which are the true laws of the flesh and the physical. Death, decay, destruction are the suspension of these laws. I am always astonished at the emphasis the Church puts on the body. It is not the soul she says that will rise but the body, glorified… The resurrection of Christ seems the high point in the law of nature.” Flannery O’Connor, . Collected Works (1988. 953. Letter to A. 6 Sept. 1955.)
“My Easter smells are the cinnamon and mixed spices in the hot cross buns, and the rosemary and mint sauce with the roast lamb. The grassy tang of rhubarb and real muddy wet grass from the egg rolling. And of course, lots and lots of milk chocolate.
When you meet someone who says Easter eggs are a pagan holdover of a pagan symbol, you can remind him that during Lent the tradition was to give up eating meat and eggs, so that eating delicious, delicious eggs again after 40 became a matter for ceremony. Our grandfathers lived in a more ceremonial hence more fun society, one more suited to human psychology, and so having the kids eat eggs again became kind of a game, a hide-and-seek, and the eggs were decorated, because in those days people loved kids.- John C. Wright
“In my defense, the Easter Bunny is the weakest link in magical lore. I mean, you have to admit that the whole thing is ridiculous. A giant rodent who sneaks into people’s homes at night to leave eggs filled with candy? How in the world is that symbolic of the Easter celebration?”
FUN FACT: The first White House Easter Egg Roll was held in 1878.
“Hedwig didn’t return until the end of the Easter holidays. Percy’s letter was enclosed in a package of Easter eggs that Mrs. Weasley had sent. Both Harry’s and Ron’s were the size of dragon eggs, and full of home-made toffee. Hermione’s, however, was smaller than a chicken’s egg. Her face fell when she saw it.
“Your mum doesn’t read Witch’s Weekly, by any chance, does she, Ron?” she asked quietly.
“Yeah,” said Ron, whose mouth was full of toffee. “Gets it for the recipes.”
Hermione looked sadly at her tiny egg.”
FUN FACT: Emma Watson who played Hermione was born on Easter Day April 30, 1990
Joining in a birdsong,
Eying an early sunrise,
Smelling yellow daffodils,
Unbolting windows and doors,
Skipping through meadows,
Reviving spent life,
Inhaling fresh air,
Sprinkling seeds along furrows,
Tracking in the mud.
Easter is the soul’s first taste of spring.”