Thursday, April 1, 2021

Indeed, He is Risen! Now what do we do…?

Written by  Holy Family Staff

I love hearing about all the different family traditions that surround all the great feast days! This year especially, I feel we need to share the encouragement and witness of joy in our own lives with each other. As we cannot gather in ways that we once did, it is good for the soul to remember we are not celebrating in isolation, but still as one community in the Lord! In a spirit of sharing joy, I asked the staff here at the Cathedral of the Holy Family how they celebrate the Easter Feast and what inspires them to do so. Feel free to Share your families Easter traditions, new and old, on our facebook page:  

Christ is Risen! He has Risen Indeed!

How do you celebrate Easter / the Easter Season?

Fr. Gerard (Pastor - Rector)

The celebration of Easter for me begins with the Lenten fasts as we learn about the hunger and thirst of Our God’s love for us. The readings during Lent speak to me of hearing the voice of the Father and remembering in the liturgy that through the gift of Jesus I share in being called a child of God. Easter then is a celebration of the feast of faith. Being renewed in my baptismal graces I hear anew from the Acts of the Apostles the wonderful works the Father does in his people, the Church and in me. It is an occasion of remembering my encounter with the Risen Lord who meets me along the way.

It is a joy to celebrate Easter with God’s family as we gather together to rejoice in our faith in the Risen Lord, and give witness to one another that each one of us has encountered him in our own story. Then it is good to go home, to be with family. It reminds me of when I was living at home, many would come home for Sunday brunch or dinner, as Sunday in days of old were really family days. Easter brings me back to these fundamental building stones of life as we often begin with Sunday brunch, to eat those foods that are made special for this season, spending much of the day together in festive celebration, sharing in the evening meal.


David (Cathedral Administrator)

If you would have asked this question a mere couple of years ago, it would have been a bit more elaborate of an answer with extended family gatherings and meals at different family homes,  attending church services, and a variety of family traditions such as decorating and colouring of eggs, preparing of Easter baskets by a certain generation of family members and then the searching for the Easter candy treasures the next day by the younger generation of family members, etc.  But what a difference a year has made as these usual traditions are not in the plans once again this year as the circumstances with Covid continue, and with deaths in the family, things have changed.  This year will not include the larger extended family gatherings and meals, but will be a smaller immediate family household gathering.  The large meals will probably be substituted for something simpler.  The loudness and commotion of families gathering will be substituted for something more subdued and quieter.  The going to church will be substituted with participating the best we can with the livestreamed liturgies.  But all in all, we will still celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection this Easter; and I am pretty sure the Easter Bunny will make a delivery of some sort.   Alleluia.  Christ is Risen.  Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Linda (Financial Secretary)

If the grandchildren are visiting the Easter hunt begins at the first light of dawn. Drowsy parents and grandparents that provided the treasures enjoy the ruckus as they scurry about looking for all the hidden eggs. With the settling of a few disagreements and sorting out who should have which chocolates or gift we all get ready to attend Mass.  With Easter basket in hand filled with paska or babka, boiled eggs, sausage, butter and a few pysanki wrapped in an embroidered cloth for blessing.  Even though we do not follow the Julian calendar we still follow the tradition of having our basket blessed. 

Jim (Facilities Manager)

A big part of Easter for our family is the food. Ukrainian tradition calls for the preparation of an Easter basket containing coloured eggs, cheese, butter, salt, braided specialty breads, ham, sausage, etc., signifying the end of the Lenten fast. The basket is typically blessed at the Easter Vigil and on Easter morning, those foods become our breakfast feast, something we look forward to every year.

Andy (Faith Formation Coordinator)

Jane and I try to put a little less emphasis on Easter Sunday (because we're exhausted from the Easter Vigil) and instead stretch the celebrations out over the week. We use the excuse that it's the Octave of Easter, but really, we're just tired. Easter Sunday Dinner is Eggs Benedict. The turkey dinner usually falls somewhere else in the week. At least one day is lamb. Homemade pizza with the various leftover meats comes later in the week. Even dying eggs usually doesn't happen until at least Tuesday. We enjoy a more leisurely celebration.

Rosa (Administrative Assistant)

Christ is Risen! …And usually so has the sugar high as our Lenten fast goes crashing into the joys of Easter Sunday! At our Caswell home, Easter and the Easter season is celebrated by … well by consuming sweet treats mostly ?, loads of baking (of course), big breakfasts, and getting outside when the weather is good.  It’s quite serendipitous that while the plethora of good food is substituted for fasting, the 50-day Easter Season also marks the return of an active life style to our little city center homestead – that’s right kiddos, no more lazing on the couch all weekend!  We all begin to dream up this year’s garden, roll down the hill at Victoria Park for the 1st time since fall, get bikes oiled up and ready for summer, and generally breath a great sigh of relief as the winter cold releases its grip.  Personally, however, my favorite part of Easter is Pentecost. I usually spend the Easter season on the edge of my seat waiting for some good old tongues of fire to light up my weary bones! So, Alleluia! He did it again!  Let the fun begin!

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