8 Practical Ways to Celebrate Easter

In a little more than one week, believers around the world will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Congregations will meet before sunrise to focus on the truth that Jesus is alive. Families will dress in their finest clothes for this special day. Folks who typically don’t attend church will do so this week. As you celebrate Easter this year, think about these practical ways to celebrate the holiday:

  1. Focus on new beginnings. We make new commitments at the start of a new year, but let’s be honest: for many of us, we’ve already given up on those commitments by the time Easter comes around. If ever there were a time to start over, though, it’s Easter. The resurrection is God’s reminder that hope still exists. If you’re already behind in your Bible reading for this year, start again. If you’ve failed in your commitment to pray regularly with your spouse, re-start this week. Walk away from that sin that is controlling you. Start afresh, renewed by God’s resurrection power.
  2. Start Easter family traditions. Many families have Easter lunch together, but I’m thinking of more than that. Read the Easter story on Sunday morning, just as you do the Christmas story. Use old photographs to remember loved ones, and talk about the importance of resurrection hope. Bake Easter cookies for your neighbors. Serve a meal at a homeless shelter. Make holiday memories that your children will want to duplicate in their own families.
  3. Send Easter cards or an Easter letter. We expect cards or family letters at Christmas, but not at Easter. This year, send a resurrection card to everyone on your Christmas card list. If you send an Easter family letter, focus more on Jesus than on your family. Talk about his love, his grace, his forgiveness, and his victory over death. Be sure to write about the hope you have in Christ.
  4. Reach out to others who buried a loved one in the past year. Churches usually do well in ministering to grieving families at the time of a death, but that ministry is not always lasting. Eventually, the loving crowds return to busy lives. The holidays are often especially difficult as families find themselves alone. This Easter, call one of those families and pray with them. What better time than Easter is there to celebrate life and look forward to resurrection?
  5. Learn about and pray for a people group who know nothing about Jesus’ resurrection. Missionaries tell us that 2.8 billion people have little access to the gospel. They do not know the name of Jesus, much less the story of his conquering death. Learn about one of these people groups at www.joshuaproject.net, teach your children about them, and then pray they will hear the Easter story.
  6. Tell somebody what Jesus means in your life. As Christians, we know we need to be telling the gospel story. Why not tell others during the Easter season? Maybe you can approach someone this way: “I know a lot of folks think about going to church on Easter. May I have five minutes to tell you why this holiday is so important to me?” You might find somebody who has been waiting for some good news!
  7. Write a thank you note to someone who models overcoming faith. Maybe it’s that friend who experienced disaster, but who trusted God through the pain. Perhaps it’s a missionary who has been faithful even when his life was at risk. It might be your church pastor or a Bible study teacher. It may even be your parent or one of your children. Easter is about celebrating victory – so honor God by celebrating what He’s done through someone else’s life.
  8. Don’t give up. I don’t know what you’re facing. You might be discouraged and hurting. The mountain you’re trying to climb is steep, or the valley you find yourself in is deep. Prayer seems useless. Trusting God is tough because the obstacles are so big. Whatever you’re facing, though, is not bigger than the God who defeated death. Don’t give up – the God of resurrection is alive.

In what other practical ways do you or your church celebrate Easter?

6 Comments

  • Mark says:

    Go to church on Good Friday and say the once a year prayers and pay attention to what’s actually in them.

  • Paul says:

    Firstly, thanks for this great blog, which I follow. Lots of useful and thought-provoking stuff here!

    This is the way my Church celebrates it 🙂

    We celebrate the Paschal Mystery: Palm Sunday, then especially the Triduum.

    – Christ’s institution of the Holy Eucharist on Maundy Thursday
    – Good Friday
    – Holy Saturday, and then…

    – the Resurrection at the Vigil:
    Paschal Candle is lit, light spread by candles from the one flame, which is Christ, announcement of the Resurrection through the singing of the Exultet. The reintroduction of singing wonderful and joyful hymns after a Lent without much singing, the Gloria is reintroduced and all bells are rung through its singing. Listen to nine readings, mostly from the OT, outlining the key moments and wonders of the History of Salvation. Those joining the Church after a long period of catechesis are baptised, and welcomed.
    – Easter Day

    The Exultet
    Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven,
    exult, let Angel ministers of God exult,
    let the trumpet of salvation
    sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph!

    Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her,
    ablaze with light from her eternal King,
    let all corners of the earth be glad,
    knowing an end to gloom and darkness.

    Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice,
    arrayed with the lightning of his glory,
    let this holy building shake with joy,
    filled with the mighty voices of the peoples.

    Therefore, dearest friends,
    standing in the awesome glory of this holy light,
    invoke with me, I ask you,
    the mercy of God almighty,
    that he, who has been pleased to number me,
    though unworthy, among the Levites,
    may pour into me his light unshadowed,
    that I may sing this candle’s perfect praises.

    It is truly right and just, with ardent love of mind and heart
    and with devoted service of our voice,
    to acclaim our God invisible, the almighty Father,
    and Jesus Christ, our Lord, his Son, his Only Begotten.
    Who for our sake paid Adam’s debt to the eternal Father,
    and, pouring out his own dear Blood,
    wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness.

    These, then, are the feasts of Passover,
    in which is slain the Lamb, the one true Lamb,
    whose Blood anoints the doorposts of believers.

    This is the night,
    when once you led our forebears, Israel’s children,
    from slavery in Egypt
    and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.

    This is the night
    that with a pillar of fire
    banished the darkness of sin.

    This is the night
    that even now, throughout the world,
    sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices
    and from the gloom of sin,
    leading them to grace
    and joining them to his holy ones.

    This is the night,
    when Christ broke the prison-bars of death
    and rose victorious from the underworld.

    Our birth would have been no gain,
    had we not been redeemed.

    O wonder of your humble care for us!
    O love, O charity beyond all telling,
    to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!
    O truly necessary sin of Adam,
    destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!
    O happy fault
    that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!

    O truly blessed night,
    worthy alone to know the time and hour
    when Christ rose from the underworld!

    This is the night
    of which it is written:
    The night shall be as bright as day,
    dazzling is the night for me,
    and full of gladness.

    The sanctifying power of this night
    dispels wickedness, washes faults away,
    restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners,
    drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty.
    On this, your night of grace, O holy Father,
    accept this candle, a solemn offering,
    the work of bees and of your servants’ hands,
    an evening sacrifice of praise,
    this gift from your most holy Church.
    But now we know the praises of this pillar,
    which glowing fire ignites for God’s honor,
    a fire into many flames divided,
    yet never dimmed by sharing of its light,
    for it is fed by melting wax,
    drawn out by mother bees
    to build a torch so precious.

    O truly blessed night,
    when things of heaven are wed to those of earth,
    and divine to the human.

    Therefore, O Lord,
    we pray you that this candle,
    hallowed to the honor of your name,
    may persevere undimmed,
    to overcome the darkness of this night.

    Receive it as a pleasing fragrance,
    and let it mingle with the lights of heaven.

    May this flame be found still burning
    by the Morning Star:
    the one Morning Star who never sets,
    Christ your Son,
    who, coming back from death’s domain,
    has shed his peaceful light on humanity,
    and lives and reigns for ever and ever.

    R. Amen.

Leave a Reply