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**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.

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1 Sarah R = "Paschal = Passover. For more on Jesus, the Passover Lamb, see:https://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/BibleStudyAndTheology/jewishroots/Jesus_Passover_Lamb_Jews_For_Jesus.aspx"
2 Sarah R = "I think the church had good intentions for celebrating the resurrection on "Easter". They wanted to "redeem" the pagan holiday. And considered no one really celebrates the pagan goddess Easter anymore you could say it kind of worked. Unfortunately in the age of hallmark and commercialism our Easter celebration still went sour. But as Christians, we can look past that and focus on the meaning of Easter, just as we do at Christmas."
3 Sam Shryock = " The celebration of Easter is an example of cultural assimilation, or the combining of Jewish and ancient European pagan celebrations into new Christian ones.  Since the exact date of Jesus’ birth and death have been a matter of scholarly debate, the Christian holiday appears to have been created with the goal of converting existing religious celebrations.   The choice to use the word “Easter” which does not appear to have any Christian religious connection, only a pagan one, only supports that idea.  It should not come as a surprise that nuances of those celebrations and beliefs still exist which includes the Easter Bunny and her eggs.  I agree with Sara R though that commercialism has dominated the way we celebrate any of our holidays, whether it be Easter or Christmas.  I do not think that the influence of ancient Pagan beliefs are the threat here, but rather media and marketing.    "
4 angela h = "Yes it is odd. Many Christians celebrate with egg hunts, baskets full of goodies, and talk of bunnies and only assume it has something to do with the Risen Savior. I once was guilty of the very same thing.....until several years ago my oldest daughter asked me what eggs and bunnies had to do with Jesus.A quick glance in an encyclopedia changed all of that for us. Our family no longer participates in these pagan practices. We do celebrate the Resurrection, without which we would be "most miserable indeed".P.S. We also changed the way we celebrate Christmas and we cut halloween out all together. We do not, however, judge our brothers and sisters who still do these things. We simply do not participate and wait for them to ask why. At that time we share our reasoning and wait for the Holy Spirit to convict. After all, that is His job, not ours."
5 Shawn Bose = ""The early Jewish believers in Jesus considered him the fulfillment of the Passover lambs that were yearly sacrificed. Thus Paul, a Jewish Christian who had studied under Rabbi Gamaliel, wrote, "Messiah, our pesach, has been sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7). John in his gospel noted that Jesus died at the same time that the Passover lambs were being slaughtered in the Temple (see John 19:14) and that like the Passover lambs, none of his bones were broken (the others being crucified had their leg bones broken by the Romans—John 19:32, 33, 36). The idea behind all this was that just as the Israelites were redeemed from Egyptian slavery by an unblemished lamb, now men could be freed from slavery to sin by the Messiah, the Lamb of God"Here is the rest of the article helping to explain the Passover Celebration."
6 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "What is amazing to me is how many pagan rituals have entered the Church and how many Christians fail to see the obvious. Bunny rabbits laying eggs were symbols of the fertility goddess long before being used by Christianity to apply to Jesus. The Christmas tree, or Evergreen was used in pagan ritual by many groups and adorned with ornaments as well. December 25th, the winter solstice festival is spoken about in the Talmud about a religion (not Christianity) who for three days celebrated the birth of their god. In fact, virgin births and dying and resurrected godmen have always been part and parcel of pagan beliefs and none of the early Jewish worshipers of Jesus ever believed these stories. Once these myths about Jesus began being adapted into the early church, all the Messianic Jews left the Christian faith.In the New Testament there is even a story where James and the early Jerusalem church go to the temple to offer an atonement sacrifice after the death of Jesus. If they believed that Jesus' death was an everlasting atonement for all sin, why would they still perform animal sacrifices? The simple answer is that the Jewish messiah was never meant to die and atone for sin, this was an example of the beliefs of another religion being blended with early Christianity to form the Christian religion the world has today. None of the beliefs of Christianity are compatible with the Jewish religion it was born from. Judaism was only the vehicle used which gave credibility to the Church in order for the pagan beliefs to be more easily adopted."
7 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "See Acts 21:26 - The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.Paul converted to Christianity after the death of Jesus and never saw Jesus in the flesh. Had Paul believed that Jesus' death was a perpetual atonement/sacrifice, why would he continue to offer sacrifices in the temple for purification? from here we can see that the early Church still performed animal sacrifices after the death of Jesus for atonement and never saw his death as a perpetual sacrifice for all sin."
8 Sarah R = "The story of salvation history starts before time began. God in His great wisdom knew that when He created the world and everything in it, His people would revolt and sin and would need redemption. And He started making the plans then, plans to reconcile us back to Him. Jesus did not come as a Plan B because the first system didn't work. Rather it was the plan all along, which will reach full culmination when Jesus returns for the faithful."