**WHY “EASTER” IS THE WRONG NAME** _“Chiefly are we bound to praise you for the glorious resurrection of your Son, _ _Jesus Christ our Lord, for he is the true **Paschal **Lamb” (_The Book of Common Prayer_, P. 379)._ It’s nothing personal against her, of course. And before you rush to call my Bishop to petition for my heresy trial, let me explain! I love our Feast of our Lord’s Resurrection. It is the focal point of our entire Church year, and it is truly the most joyful thing to celebrate this earth-changing event at the Great Vigil on Saturday evening, on the following Sunday morning, and indeed throughout the Great Fifty Days. But’s we have the wrong name. “Easter” is the name of an ancient Anglo-Saxon fertility goddess whose annual festival corresponded with the vernal equinox. I have no interest in preventing those who wish to be pagans from celebrating Easter with all of her fertility rites, but what we do here in the Church is something quite different. As far as I can discover, only the German and English languages use this name in reference to the Resurrection of Christ, due to the confusion of the common Anglo-Saxon people over 1500 years ago. Everywhere else in the world, this Feast is called **Pascha**, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word **Pesach**, which means **Passover**. Why does this even matter? Perhaps it’s a minor point, but doesn’t it seem odd for the Church to celebrate our most important Feast by using the wrong name and the wrong cultural reference? The Resurrection has nothing to do with eggs and bunnies and flowers and chocolate and spring. After all, the majority of Christians today live in the southern hemisphere where they are now harvesting their crops before winter arrives. But the Resurrection does has everything to do with the Passover celebration: with the Exodus from Egypt, the liberation from slavery, the blood of the Passover lamb, and the creation of a new tribe of people walking in freedom with the living God in their midst. When we separate the Resurrection from the experience of the people of Israel and embed it instead in the experience of the Anglo-Saxon tribes, we lose something deeply important and our celebration is compromised. When the sun sets on Holy Saturday, our Lenten fast ends and our celebration of **the Holy Pascha** begins, and it is glorious. We gather to light the New Fire at the start of the Great Vigil and we chant the Exsultet. We listen to the entire story of salvation history. We renew our baptismal covenant and we shout out the Alleluia as we ring our bells in praise. This liturgy is unique in the course of the entire year, just as the Resurrection of Christ is a unique historical event. At the very least, we ought to call it by it’s own proper name.