Easter and its symbols offer time for reflection and hope

Lynn Klavetter

Lynn Klavetter

With Easter approaching, stuffed bunnies, eggs and bags of candy fill the shelves at the stores. These symbols of Easter, which to some may appear as a secular holiday tradition, have meaning related to the Easter celebration of Christ’s resurrection.

One of the most common symbols of Easter, the Easter bunny, represents fertility.

“The Easter bunny is a symbol of the people who are baptized and born again. It is symbolic of the people born into the church,” said Father Mike Griffin of Catholic Campus Parish.

Griffin said that the eggs represent little tombs. Chicks coming out of them is symbolic of Christ rising from the dead. Even eating Easter candy has symbolism.

“People eat candy at Easter because they have fasted 40 days at Lent and then the people enter into the feast of Easter. They fast and then they feast,” Griffin said.

Many more symbols exist in various events at the CCP during Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday.

“On Palm Sunday, we have the Blessing and Giving of Palms, which we use to commemorate Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, which we use today to symbolize our commitment to Christ as king,” Griffin said.

On Holy Monday, CCP will have living Stations of the Cross where students will act out the various steps of Christ in his final days.

“On Tuesday, we have the service of the Tenebrae. It is a prayer service using scripture and song to reflect on the death of Christ,” Griffin said.

On Thursday, the CCP will have an evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. “That is the celebration of the gift of the Eucharist,” Griffin said.

Griffin said that on Good Friday, the CCP has a celebration of the Lord’s passion that is held throughout the day honoring and celebrating Christ’s death.

“The two primary symbols of that day is the story of Jesus’ death in John’s gospel and veneration of the cross,” Griffin said. The veneration of the cross is symbolic of restoring a relationship with Christ.

Griffin said that waiting is the primary symbol of Holy Saturday. “The Christian faithful are invited to rest, wait and prepare themselves for Easter,” Griffin said. On Holy Saturday, the Easter Vigil takes place.

“We gather in the dark and a fire is lit. And then the large Easter candle is lit from the fire and that is the symbol that Christ is risen from the dead, light conquering darkness,” Griffin said. The lighting of the candle is followed by readings.

Griffin said that water is then sprinkled upon parishioners to renew their baptism.

“The first Easter mass begins the Easter season, which extends for the next 50 days celebrating the mystery of Christ’s resurrection,” Griffin said.