It’s that time of year again…the Triduum. It’s the time we enter in to some of the richest liturgical experiences of the year. It’s the core celebration of the central mystery of our faith – the Paschal Mystery. Or, as one of my Facebook seminarian friends called it “the intergalactic Victory lap of the Church militant, suffering, and triumphant for all time” (told you he was a seminarian).
Yes, it is all those beautiful things…but for a Catholic family with young children it’s also the time of year for the awkward discussion I most dread with my children: The Time of the Easter Bunny.
We work very hard on getting an answer the question, “What do we do at Easter?” that at least mentions Jesus, the Resurrection, tombs, salvation, etc instead of bunnies, eggs, and candy. My kids go to Catholic school. Catholic…in other words, the school is reinforcing this understanding of Easter with stations of the cross, Resurrection garden projects, and Lenten and Easter prayers. School…in other words, they have Easter parties (before Lent is over) with eggs, baskets, loads of jelly beans, and discussions among the other kids about the Easter Bunny.
Now, I want to make an important clarification. A lot of families who are anti-Easter bunny are also anti-Santa. Not so for our family! I love Santa and everything he stands for. I love helping my kids make the connection between Santa and St. Nicholas. I love the message of unadulterated generosity that Santa stands for (no elf on the shelf in my house, Santa gives presents just because he loves you and wants to give you something that will make you happy…just like God!). I love connecting the hopeful anticipation of the Advent season in our Church with the building excitement children experience as we approach Christmas. I love Christmas and I love Santa.
But the Easter bunny? I can’t find a single legitimate connection to our faith or to the liturgical calendar between Easter Sunday as a celebration of Christ’s Resurrection and the Easter Bunny. It’s more than that though – there’s something more deep seated and disturbing about my distaste for the rabbit. Read More