What do you do to commemorate Christ’s resurrection?
Modern culture, at least publicly, outside of Christian churches, doesn’t celebrate Easter as much as many other holidays or commemorations. Christmas, Halloween, Independence Day, Memorial Day and Valentines Day all seem to get more attention. I suspect that this is, at least in part, because they have become more commercial, and in doing so have captured the imagination of the public. And to a degree this happens for Easter also, but for some reason the commercialization is not nearly as strong as Christmas, for example. The Easter Bunny just isn’t as popular as Santa Claus.
I’m actually glad for this to a degree. I think that celebrating the actual culminating event in the Savior’s life is a little more important and more sacred than his birth. So the fact that Easter is less commercialized than Christmas is appealing.
But, this also means that it doesn’t have as much impact. Somehow the commercial message of Christmas is occasionally tinged with the religious message—”A Charlie Brown Christmas” contains a religious message, we place a star atop our christmas trees and feature nativity scenes in our homes and in public. From what I can see, it is rare to see anything related to Christ’s atonement and resurrection in the commercialization of Easter. Again, perhaps that is better in many ways—unless it means that the meaning of the holiday is lost on many of us.
So, like Christmas, we are faced with the struggle of how to emphasize the religious purpose of the holiday. This leads me back to my original question: how do you celebrate Easter?
I must admit that our family is a little weak when it comes to Easter. We don’t have family traditions to draw on, other than the commercial ones of coloring eggs and making Easter baskets (and even with that we’re rather lame, to be honest). We do have a few films that might work well for Easter: I like Ben Hur and think that the final scene is a powerful message about redemption, so I’ll likely watch it again. I also like The Last Temptation of Christ, the controversial Scorsese film, so I’ll likely watch that also. Any number of Church films might balance out these two, but I don’t own any that are specifically about the atonement and resurrection, so I’ll have to see what I can find at the media center at Church.
I also hope to read the accounts of the passion in the Bible and Book of Mormon, similar to how we read the story of the birth of Christ at Christmas. I’m sure I can find plenty of appropriate music in our collection for the season as well as events that celebrate the religious message of the season.
So, what would you suggest? How should we celebrate Easter?