Today is the 1st Day of our new tradition: “The 12 Days of Easter.” What is that? you may ask? Lemme ‘splain.
It all started last Easter with a certain dissatisfied feeling that I couldn’t really sort out. I knew going into Easter that I didn’t like any of our current traditions. Nothing was really BAD or WRONG about them. They just didn’t seem RIGHT enough. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew what I didn’t want to do. By a stroke of luck, (and maybe a little manipulation) I got out of planning anything outside of our service at church and I got a whole year to think things over.
As Easter began to near the horizon this year, I really hit on the main thing that was bothering me. Easter doesn’t get nearly enough attention. It doesn’t get half the attention and traditions that Christmas gets. And it’s just as important! We start thinking about Christmas at least a month – or two – before it even gets here. We start planning get-togethers, pulling out decorations, selecting gifts, singing songs… It’s a smorgasbord of celebration. And what does Easter get? A weekend? If it’s lucky. Maybe only just a day. Perhaps a special Easter service somewhere on the weekend, and probably a Christianized version of an egg-hunt with good intentions and a lot of heart but still struggling to really focus everything on Christ. I wasn’t satisfied with that. I should say, I’m not satisfied with that.
Just as important as Jesus being born is the fact the he was sacrificed for our sins and that he conquered death and rose again!! (I’m tempted to say it’s more important but that may be shaky ground and I don’t want any scathing lectures.) 😛 I decided I must commit myself to give Easter equal opportunity and to make Easter as much about Jesus as I can.
And now we arrive back at the present, March 28, the first day of the twelve days of Easter. I own a Resurrection Egg set, which we have used in the past. I really like the little symbolic pieces inside and the booklet that comes with it. I just didn’t like the egg hunt part of it. The kids didn’t want to listen to what I was saying, they wanted to open the other eggs with the candy inside. So this year we are taking the pieces out of the eggs, putting them inside little hand-sewn pouches, and opening them one at a time. Each day we will open a pouch, pull out the first piece (and then second and so on) and read the corresponding passage in the booklet. We will spend 12 days going through the entire Easter story, with of course the last pouch (the empty pouch) landing on Easter morning. Throughout the 12 days we will also do various other activities. We will decorate. We will make the hollow Easter cookies. We will attend our church’s Tenebrae service. We will watch The Passion of the Christ. We will get up early on Easter and watch the sun rise and read a passage. (Okay, we will TRY to get up early and watch the sunrise. We’ll try real hard.) 🙂
Anyway, it’s basically like Advent for Easter. And it’s something that I’m feeling really good about.
So like I said at the beginning… Today is the 1st day of the 12 Days of Easter!! I’m sooo looking forward to this!