50 > 40

Ham

50 slices of ham > 40 slices of ham.

Jesus Christ is Risen today, Alleluia! Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Easter is awesome, and easily my favorite time of year for my faith.  Spring has usually sprung, flowers are starting to bloom, and I feel new too.  After a long, and this year it felt extra long, Lent, we cap off our 40 days of sacrifice with the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil on Saturday – best liturgies of the year) and then Easter Mass.  Can’t get any better than that.

Here is the great thing about being Catholic – 50 is greater than 40.  Lent lasts 40 days. It feels like forever because we can’t drink diet coke or put sugar in our coffee or eat meat or whatever we offered up. But then we get to Easter, and instead of just one day to party; we get 50 full days to party.  Easter lasts from Easter Sunday through Pentecost a full 50 days away.  So as you read this, it is Easter! (Unless you are reading this in like August, then you missed it.)

Everyone has little traditions they do in their house to celebrate Easter.  At my house, we are pretty traditional.  We dye eggs. We roast a ham (like forever till it smells and tastes like bacon).  We eat a lot of unnecessary candy.  We pass out from a sugar comma.  Good times.  Read More

I Hate the Easter Bunny…

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.

He's a male bunny who lays eggs...clearly there's something genetically wrong here.

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