Sunday, March 23, 2008

fertility and new life

I was pleased to find this was an easy Easter for me. Easier, that is, than the other Easters I've gone through since losing my faith. Like Christmas, there have always been the questions of how to celebrate, the discomfort of having Jesus be so prominent, the strange feeling that this should somehow be a religious holiday--never mind that I am non-religious.

I attended Episcopal church the Easter I was still a Christian, and it was immensely satisfying for me to celebrate Jesus without any interference from Mormonism. That same month, at the Unitarian Universalist church, they talked about Easter, Passover, Earth Day, and spring all in the same sermon. It was wonderful.

There are enough secular aspects of Easter, so it's easy enough to keep those. How could I tell my son that we're not having a Easter egg hunt? It would crush him. So I've always gone right along with the egg-dying, the hunt, the chocolate. (And I do love me some Cadbury mini-eggs.)

Jesus was hardly a thought in my mind today, except when Little FTA said, "I know what Easter is about. It's about Jesus dying." He'd heard that from his cousin, which is fine. I would have explained that to him anyway (though I am glad I didn't have to deal with the resurrection). I added, though, that Easter was originally a pagan holiday, before Jesus and before the Christians, celebrating the spring and life. And that's why we have chicks and eggs and bunnies--they represent life and fertility.

But he was all, Whatever, can I just have some more chocolate?


bel said...

What's funny to me reading this, is that now that I'm remembering it, I don't recall that easter eggs or easter rabbits or any of that "fun" stuff was ever connected in my mind to religion when I was a kid. I know we did all that stuff AND we went to church (and got new clothes) and in those days, there was actually something of a big deal made about Easter in church. They canceled SS classes (before the block schedule) and just had an extended Easter program.

But I never saw--or was made to see--any connection between the easter paraphernalia and anything churchy. It never made much sense to me as a kid, but what the heck--it was fun, and fun is the Prime Directive of most kids. We did it even though it's all pagan in origin, but we didn't have to be taught about the pagan stuff to like it. So, in a sense, we were doing some very, very watered down pagan remembrances, but what the heck! So I guess it's just as legitimate for a non-believer's child to do that as it is for a believer's. More so, in fact, I'd think. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hello fta,

I like your description of the UU, in a way they do not seem to take themselves to seriousely. But they do seem to care about people and are generally interstested in others.

My DW is a Cadbury girl too. I think it is good that you had the Easter egg hunt.

Devin Johnson said...

Me, still in a religious family (Im not as old as you might think), planed a religion based easter egg hunt for younger 2 siblings. Of course, tey looked at the underlined words only and just jumped from clue to clue fast as lightning (she acts like she's always wired on 20 cups). I felt so crushed. I kept reminding them to "slow down" and "take it in". In one ear and out the other. then they were too distracted by all the chocolate (me included) to look at them again. And everyone else was sleeping. You dont want to share your childrens memories Mom! (just joking, she went to work the previous night) I prefer the old fashoned easter egg hunt like you had. MMMMMMMMMMMMMM..... Chocolate.

from the ashes said...

bel- Now that I think of it, I separated the two also. There was church and Jesus, and then there was the candy and eggs. Like Christmas was split between Santa and the nativity story.

anon- Thanks for stopping by. I really do like the UU; they're good people.

devin- Sounds like you had some fun. Too bad the kids didn't appreciate your effort!

Mai said...

Last year, we got a snail mail invitation to a neighbourhood church's 'Easter Celebration.' Included were a carnival, a play, an Easter Egg hunt, a sing-a-long and one or two other activities. Jesus, however, was nowhere mentioned. That seems a little strange to me. (The play was about the Easter bunny, not Jesus.)

Another thought. In this lifetime, I have died and been revived (resurrected?) four times, about two years ago, twice in one night. If anyone cares to worship me, I'll set up an E-Bay account where you can send donations in exchange for my blessings.