How many celebrate Easter?

Or do you forgo the traditional Christian celebration of Easter? and go with the “traditionally Quakers don't not celebrate any religious holidays because all days are ‘holy days’ ..

I know I believe that there is not a 
biblical basis for Easter and it stemmed from paganism.. No peeps and colored eggs for me.

( I should clarify indeed there was a resurrection, I just mean the traditional Easter eggs and rabbits thing) :)

How do you see Easter?

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Well, there certainly is a Biblical basis for the resurrection, and it certainly merits celebration. If I'm a Quaker anymore, I'm a charismatic, liturgical Quaker.

So this Holy Week, at the church (non-pastoral) I attend, there was a lot going on. On Thursday, I went to a Maunday Thursday Tenebrae service (service of shadows). On Friday, I went to a Good Friday Silent Retreat at the silent retreat center managed by the church. On Saturday, I attended the Easter Vigil, which involved walking in silence in the 200 acres the church manages with occasional stops for telling a story or singing, ending around a fire with scripture reading, followed by breaking the silence for passing the peace and having apple juice and hot cross buns. This morning, the church held its Easter service in the conference center it manages, which has this beautiful triangular room with mostly glass looking out at nature, instead of the farmhouse living room it usually meets in. It was all wonderful.

Wow Bill sounds like you had a great Easter weekend. 

Thanks for sharing. 



Bill Samuel said:

Well, there certainly is a Biblical basis for the resurrection, and it certainly merits celebration. If I'm a Quaker anymore, I'm a charismatic, liturgical Quaker.

So this Holy Week, at the church (non-pastoral) I attend, there was a lot going on. On Thursday, I went to a Maunday Thursday Tenebrae service (service of shadows). On Friday, I went to a Good Friday Silent Retreat at the silent retreat center managed by the church. On Saturday, I attended the Easter Vigil, which involved walking in silence in the 200 acres the church manages with occasional stops for telling a story or singing, ending around a fire with scripture reading, followed by breaking the silence for passing the peace and having apple juice and hot cross buns. This morning, the church held its Easter service in the conference center it manages, which has this beautiful triangular room with mostly glass looking out at nature, instead of the farmhouse living room it usually meets in. It was all wonderful.

Glad to read your post, Stacey.  I didn't realize that other Quakers also feel led to not celebrate holidays.  When my co-workers ask what will my family be doing for the upcoming holiday, I say that we actually do not celebrate holidays, birthdays, or anniversaries because every day is a holy day.  I try to say it in as non-threatening of a tone so people won't apologize for asking or feel the need to explain their concerns. Normally, people say that they know Quakers and those families celebrate.  I try not to make it end up weird but still explain that all Quakers have their own Way forward on most matters.

With your question, I see that at least maybe one other Quaker might have the same leading.  

I want to experience every moment as it is holy but not every one of my days make it to that experience.  I hope my kids see that I want to celebrate each day with them because they're wonderful.  I've almost died so I guess every moment after has been a gift.  I've had many people straight-forwardly express their concerns that I'm denying my kids a lot of experiences. My kids--for some time--did really wish they could do holidays because of the stories they heard from their friends.  They also asked if their dad had to stay brown since most people's dad was white so I figured they were working through the many complexities of being different and being the same.

I am blessed with kids who have listened to my take on holidays and about why I'm not led to hold one day higher than another; that's really generous. Both boys now have such a diversity of friends (many who also do not celebrate Christian holidays) that no one does anything the same.  There's much more room to be an individual.  We do celebrate.  We randomly celebrate and have awesome days together.  I'm a great cook so I bake or cook whenever I have the chance and the mood comes together.  We spend time together.  We just do not do it according to a calendar.

In the end, my goal is to treat and experience every blessed moment as a tremendous gift.  I'm very easily distracted so it truly is a matter of practice to work to acknowledge as much as I want to experience in each moment.  I think the kids at least see that I don't promote that I've mastered it but I do want it to be how we spend our days.

I struggled this year about it because I wanted very much to go to a local Methodist church that has WONDERFUL music.... I have also in the past been drawn toward a Catholic Good Friday service.  Not the rest about Catholicism but they do incredible things with Good Friday unlike anything I've seen in protestant churches:  they are very good about the spirituality of suffering.  It was transcendant. 

But this year I felt like God helped me uncover that I really wanted to go to the Methodist church because I was afraid that my Quakers wouldn't be able to give me the feeling of Easter Joy that I longed to experience, and was associating with the wonderful music of the Methodists.

So I went to meeting, and sat there extra long... focused on this issue.   I found ultimately that I had a lot of work to do within myself so that I could be at a point to experience that "Easter Joy" sensation there in the silence, and every day of my life.  I felt clearer at the end of meeting that it was my job to sit there and seek that within, instead of just look to satisfy it externally with the Methodists.

I don't  celebrate Easter - especially not with bunnies and such. I try to live in the reality of the resurrected Christ daily, and don't feel a particular need to do something differently just because it is the first Sunday after the beginning of Passover.

I do give gifts at Christmas and birthdays, because I think that gift-giving is important and is a spur to generosity and other-centeredness. I'm not a naturally generous person, and I would hate to use our  testimony against observing days and times to become downright cheap!

We don't do the wreath thing (pagan) and I'm trying to convince my Catholic husband to give up the tree (pagan). But I don't want to let that become a source of conflict in our house, a mistake that I made earlier in our marriage. Instead, I try to remember what Paul said about submission to one another in Christian love.

"Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds.  Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God.  We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God." Romans 14:5-10 (NRSV)

When I left the Catholic Church I found most of my Christian brothers and sisters celebrated Easter as Resurrection Sunday and I loved the experience of celebrating Resurrection Sunday.  While my wife and I listen to Christian themed music daily it is a great experience to share such music with a thousand others who believe Jesus conquered death.  Resurrection Sunday is the one day you can be certain of doing so at least here on Long island as we have some great non-denominational churches built on the last revival in our area 40 years to 50 years ago.  We don't have room for more than a hundred at our meeting House and since music is not a major staple of our worship as it is in some other churches we don't have the talent that our neighbors have.  Fortunately we are all one body and when the Quaker ears want to hear, and the Quaker tongue wants to shout Halleluia He is Risen, our Quaker feet take this Quaker body to wherever the Spirit leads us to be one with our brothers and sisters in the Lord and join them in their celebration of an event that has allowed us to know His presence 24/7/365.25. 

I do as I feel in the moment if I am motivated by love of God, others, and myself. 

If my family is having a celebration of any holiday and it is an opportunity to spend loving time with them, I happily participate.  And if holding an Easter Egg Hunt will get my grandchildren to my house for some Pappy fun (Pappy is what they call me), then I gladly hold and arrange the hunt.  But I don't ever feel a religious obligation to celebrate any holiday because every day should be viewed as holy.

After living 64 years, I have finally realized that everything should be seen through eyes of "love for one another".  All of the petty rules that do not promote love, should be left in the trash heap of human attempts to feel "righteous" by depriving ourselves of the joy of living.  Jesus drank wine and dined with tax collectors and sinners because it was the loving (and fun?) thing to do.  He reprimanded the Pharisees for being obsessed with rules at the expense of just "loving one another".

If I could convey anything to younger Quakers, it would be to remember that "God is Love.  Period."

AMEN!
 
Howard Brod said:

I do as I feel in the moment if I am motivated by love of God, others, and myself. 

If my family is having a celebration of any holiday and it is an opportunity to spend loving time with them, I happily participate.  And if holding an Easter Egg Hunt will get my grandchildren to my house for some Pappy fun (Pappy is what they call me), then I gladly hold and arrange the hunt.  But I don't ever feel a religious obligation to celebrate any holiday because every day should be viewed as holy.

After living 64 years, I have finally realized that everything should be seen through eyes of "love for one another".  All of the petty rules that do not promote love, should be left in the trash heap of human attempts to feel "righteous" by depriving ourselves of the joy of living.  Jesus drank wine and dined with tax collectors and sinners because it was the loving (and fun?) thing to do.  He reprimanded the Pharisees for being obsessed with rules at the expense of just "loving one another".

If I could convey anything to younger Quakers, it would be to remember that "God is Love.  Period."

Yes, THANK YOU, Howard.  

I had wanted to post that at the time but it was only a "thank you" and it didn't sound worth much...but it was meant!   ...after so enjoying the profound thoughts/spirit you shared. 

You are indeed such a mystic-person and I appreciate you sharing your Light with us...seeing to the heart of the matter.    It brings to mind how "techniques" are for the rest of us...but for the true artist techniques are no longer important and there's no thought about "staying inside the box" or worries about one "stepping outside the box"... etc.  It's just something more akin to being a Creative Force, perhaps just what God intends for us.

Mystics instinctively may know the heart of the matter; but just as everyone else, they have the same degree of trouble living in that Light and Love - which they profess to know about.

This earthbound journey is challenging for all of us alike.

Thank you Olivia for your encouragement and kind words.

Your words:   "Mystics instinctively may know the heart of the matter; but just as everyone else, they have the same degree of trouble living in that Light and Love - which they profess to know about."

what??  ha   So when you said "I do as I feel in the moment if I am motivated by love of God, others, and myself" you were still likely falling short of the Glory of God?

Yes, good point:  You are a scoundrel to the people in your life just like the rest of us.  But some days an angel too...  and thank you for letting that shine through, when it does.  Sometimes just having people around who can evoke it is a LOT.  Helps us out!

Yes! I can certainly be a "scoundrel".  Just ask my wife!

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