Chapel, area churches celebrate Easter

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Mady Lauderman

Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as fun traditions like the Easter Bunny and egg hunts. 

With many churches in the Lakeland area, there will be an abundant amount of Good Friday and Easter services to attend. 

Florida Southern’s chapel team will be hosting a night service on April 21 in Annie Pfeiffer Chapel at 8 p.m. There will be music by the Chapel Worship band and free dessert provided after the service. However, there will be no student speaker or message this year. 

“Easter is a victory,” Bryant Manning, Florida Southern’s associate chaplin and worship team leader said. “We celebrate Easter because the things that weigh us down no longer have a hold on us.”

Some, such as Manning, celebrate Easter in it’s religious context, while others celebrate with Easter egg hunts and candies associated with the holiday. The date of Easter changes every year, but it’s the method of determining the date that is much different from other holidays such as Thanksgiving. According to gotquestions.org, Easter Sunday is held on the first Sunday, after the first full moon, and after the vernal equinox. Easter can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25. 

Most individuals understand Easter to be the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the oldest and most important holiday for the church, as it is the basis of the Christian faith. 

Due to the commercialization of this holiday, many religious figures prefer to refer to Easter as Resurrection Sunday. Though the easter bunny and colored eggs are prominent traditions of the holiday, there is a lack of evidence as to how these traditions became associated with Easter. According to history.com, although the exact origins of this bunny tradition are unclear, some sources say the Easter bunny came to be in America in the 1700s. German immigrants brought their tradition of an egg laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oster Haws.” The children would make nests for it to lay colored eggs, thus the Easter tradition was born.

Easter is preceded by a 40-day period of Lent, that is devoted to prayer and fasting and intended to mimic the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness. For more information regarding the Lent season, see a recent Southern article regarding Mardi Gras.

Easter is also preceded by Good Friday, which occurs the Friday immediately before Easter Sunday. Good Friday, or Holy Friday, falls on April 19 this year. This tradition commemorates Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. 

Florida Southern freshman, Aubrey Cleckner, celebrates this weekend with a more traditional Seder meal. 

“It’s a traditional Passover meal that Jesus has with his disciples before he went to be crucified,” Cleckner said. 

Her tradition includes food such as unleavened bread, a traditional scripture reading and attending a church service with her family accompanied with taking a family photo. 

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