Easter is a Verb: Redux II

It snowed this morning, great, wide, wet flakes that covered the ground like manna. Now, the sun is out and the snow is already all melted. Hopefully, they got a bunch of accumulation in the mountains as I heard the snowpack is at less than 70 percent of normal statewide, which means drought could be on the horizon.

We’re used to severe weather changes here in Colorado, especially early in springtime, when winter isn’t so happy about going into hibernation. Last month, I heard my first songbirds of the year, early in the morning near my office. I promised myself that sometime soon I’ll track down what species sings this unique song that that I love to hear in the mornings, and sometimes try to imitate.

In light of the song of this mysterious (to me) creature, I’d like to share with you my favorite refrain of the Easter season (because, remember, Easter is a season, not just a holiday):

  • Celebrant: Alleluia! Christ is risen!
  • Congregation: The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Those of you who are familiar celebrants of the church calendar know that in honor of the suffering of Christ, liturgies avoid the word “Alleluia” during Lent. It’s not until the Easter Vigil (and Easter Sunday) that “Alleluia” is once again worthy to be exclaimed — in honor of the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. According to Wikipedia, ‘Alleluia’ literally “means ‘Praise ye Yah’, a short form of ‘Praise Yahweh’ and often rendered as ‘praise the Lord’.”

This season, truly, is the time to give thanks for the “Pascha”, the feast of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and this week, especially, in concert with the many millions of followers of Jesus in the “East,” for whom Easter was yesterday, not April 1. The correct dating of Easter was a deal-breaker for past Christians, and it’s brought serious division and conflict in the Church. Those in the “West” eventually chose the Gregorian method of calculation, although there was diversity even in the West (see the Synod of Whitby), while those in the East chose the Julian method of calculation. In some years, including this year, Easter falls on different dates in the West and the East. May this difference prove today instead to be cause for extended celebration of Easter and an affirmation that all followers of Christ share in this celebratory season!

Praise the Lord for Easter and for Eastering us!

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