We say, piously, that the season of Lent prepares us for the season of Easter. Yeah – right! (wry smile – sarcastic tone)
Parishes and Christian communities and groups gathered religiously during Lent for deep reflection, extra services, study groups,… Individuals gave up things, gave more away, took up extra disciplines, read more,… And all for what? Well: “to prepare for the Season of Easter” would be the practiced reply.
Well here we are only in the second week of the Season of Easter – in fact only the 13th day of Easter and I’m willing to bet an Easter egg or two that for most the enthusiasm for this season is already waning. It was much easier being penitential and reflective and all-round “preparing” than it is celebrating what we have been preparing for!
I bet (more Easter eggs) that you will be hard pressed to find services this coming Sunday (only the 15th day of Easter) still booming as their opening greeting:
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
And if your church does – how resounding is the congregational response? Those with daily services often find such enthusiasm even harder to maintain. I notice it in visits to this site. During Lent there were regularly two to three thousand or more individuals visiting this site daily. During Easter that drops to about a thousand a day. As humans, as Christians, are we better at preparing for something than actually celebrating what we prepare for?
There is a celebration connected to Lent that maintains huge energy over days – it is carnival – it is the party preparing for Lent! Preparing for the preparation for Easter! Preparing to give things up appears to have some energy in it. But maybe we could harness that energy into the Easter Season? Let’s move our carnival-type parties into Easter.
If you are a member of Facebook you may like to join the “event” (and encourage your Facebook friends to join) Easter is 50 days, you can also send people using “Church stuff” an Easter is 50 days badge. If you run a website or blog you can use the Easter is 50 days badge from the liturgy home page.