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Easter: The holiest of all Christian festivals

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The season of Lent is a time of preparation for the Holy week. It is also considered a time for sacrifice, prayer and almsgiving. For many of us, it is a time to give up something we love the most. While many of us look forward to the long Easter weekend, ‘Good Friday’, as we all know, was previously called ‘Black Friday’. The original name also went by many other names such as ‘Holy Friday’, ‘Silent Friday’ and ‘Great Friday’. But why is ‘Good Friday’ named so? The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that the origin of the term ‘Good’ is not very clear. Some say it is from ‘God’s Friday’, while others say it is from the German word ‘Gute Freitag’. However, the explanation still remains unclear. But according to Baltimore Catechism, Good Friday is good because the death of Jesus Christ, as terrible as it was, led to His resurrection on Easter Sunday, which brought new life to those who believe. To those who believe in Christianity, ‘Good Friday’ is the day that commemorates the death of Jesus Christ. It is an important day for Christians all over the world.

Good Friday is followed by Holy Saturday. Easter Sunday is a day of celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is one of the oldest and the holiest of all Christian festivals. The name ‘Easter’ owes its origin from ‘Eastre’, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring that symbolizes hare and egg. No one is fully sure of how Easter came to be called by that name. However, a 7th century English scholar by the name of Bede did claim that Easter is derived from the name of the Anglo-Saxon goddess ‘Eostre’ who is the goddess of spring and fertility. Easter is a festival that is celebrated with great joy by the Catholic/Christian community all over the world as it marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Catholics/Christians believe that on Easter Sunday Jesus Christ rose from the grave in which He was buried and entered into heaven along with the good thief who was also crucified along with Jesus.

Easter celebrations begin during the Easter vigil service on Holy Saturday. On Easter Sunday, people from all over the world exchange Easter eggs. Easter is a movable feast. It is celebrated either in March or April. This year, Easter falls on March 27. After Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross, His body was taken down and buried in a cave tomb. The tomb was guarded by Roman soldiers and a very big stone which no one could lift, was put over the entrance so that no one could enter in and steal the body. On the following Sunday, which is called Easter Sunday, Mary Magdalene, a disciple of Jesus Christ, followed later by some more disciples, visited the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away, and that the body of Jesus Christ had gone missing. Jesus himself was seen that day by Mary Magdalene and the other disciples and for forty days continuously by many other people as well. If you fail to observe Easter, then you would not be considered as a Christian.

 

Jubel D’Cruz

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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