by Fr. Kevin Joshua B. Cosme
We are now in the season of Easter. Say it with me now, “Alleluia!” For we are the Easter people, and Alleluia is our song.
After 40+ days of penance and preparation during Lent, we now have 50 days of joy because Christ is risen from the dead.
When I was child we welcomed Easter Sunday with Easter egg hunting. It’s a fun activity for sure, but is it a Christian practice?
Well, in pre-Christian times, people considered the egg as a symbol of the spring season and of new life. It’s not hard to see why when you see a living creature emerge from a seemingly dead object. It didn’t take long for the early Christians to associate the egg with Easter, symbolizing Jesus’ tomb that was cracked open, giving birth, as it were, to the risen Christ.
In medieval times, when the Lenten fast was a lot stricter, even eggs were forbidden from the table. But towards the end of Lent, eggs could be boiled and preserved, and then eaten on Easter. The eggs were even painted all sorts of colors, like red to symbolize Christ’s blood.
Today, there’s even an official Church blessing for Easter eggs!
The practice eventually arose of having children hunt for Easter eggs, but where this came from is disputed.
Still, like Christmas, what started off as a Christian thing eventually became commercialized. So why not put the Easter back in the Easter egg hunt, and teach our kids to see it as it was meant to be: our search for the risen Christ.