Happy Easter

When people have said Happy Easter to me over the last few days, I felt that, while well meant, the wish was somehow inappropriate, because Good Friday and Holy Saturday are not happy!

But now it is appropriate to say it. Happy Easter. The Lord is risen indeed.

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Lydia McGrew writes (April 7, replying to a similar remark I made in an e-mail the other day):

To people who are liturgically aware, I will make a distinction. I wish them a blessed Holy Saturday for today and, in anticipation, a Happy Easter tomorrow. I think that’s justified, because I might not be in contact with a liturgically aware friend tomorrow, so I want to wish him the joy of that season in advance.

To the larger run of people around me who are non-liturgical Protestant or completely secular and have no understanding of Holy Saturday as a special day, I wish a Happy Easter in much the same spirit in which I would wish them a Merry Christmas in the days leading up to Christmas, even though it is technically Advent until sundown on Christmas Eve. For people at the store, say, it is good to retain a cultural sense of an upcoming Christian holy day, Easter, even at the cost of ignoring Holy Saturday. For non-liturgical people with whom one is spending more time, like the old ladies I saw at a nursing home this morning, it’s a crucial part of being friendly. They’re very aware that Easter is coming up tomorrow, and one simply has to wish them a Happy Easter.

I’ve been doing some research lately on messianic prophecy for an article I’m writing, which has given me a whole new angle on Holy Saturday. The disciples had evidence now from the details of Jesus’ crucifixion that he had fulfilled prophecy and that they should expect him to rise again (also, of course, because he had predicted his own resurrection). Yet they must have been traumatized by the horror of the crucifixion. That, after all, was meant to be its effect on on-lookers. So I think it would have been difficult for them actually to expect the resurrection on this day despite the evidence available to them.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 08, 2012 12:12 PM | Send

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