So What Is Easter?

“Many people are somewhat familiar with Passover, mostly due to watching movies like “The Ten Commandments” and “Prince of Egypt.” However, the holiday is very significant to the Jewish people, and was just as significant to early Christians.

Before the 4th Century, Christians celebrated their own version of Passover known as Pascha, during the Spring. It is believed that Jewish Christians celebrated both Pascha and Pesach, the traditional Jewish Passover. However, Gentile believers were not required to participate in the Jewish practices. After the 4th Century, though, the Pascha festival began to overshadow the traditional Passover celebration with more and more emphasis being placed on Holy Week and Good Friday.”

“The purpose of Lent is to search the soul and repent. It began in the 4th century as a time to prepare for Easter. Lent is 40-days long and is characterized by penance via prayer and fasting. In the Western church Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 6 1/2 weeks, because Sundays are excluded. However, in the Eastern church Lent lasts 7 weeks, because Saturday is also excluded. In the early church the fast was strict, so believers ate only one full meal per day, and meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products were forbidden foods. However, the modern church puts a greater emphasis on charity prayer while most fast meat on Fridays.”

So confusing. At least to me. And I noticed almost everyone on Facebook gave up something for lent. I grew up in a Catholic family and Easter was, well, bunnies, colorful eggs, candy, surprises under my bed in the morning, and lot’s of Italian food. I never understood the meaning–but I loved the fun.

The only part I remember being “religious” was the traditional watching of “The Ten Commandments.” I still like to watch it. Although the movie seems to go on for hours, you should take the time to curl up on the couch with family, and view this rendition of the meaning of Easter.

It’s the best part of the entire holiday. The Greatest Story Ever Told.

Cindy Scinto

Cindy Scinto, Editor,


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