In my last blog post, I wrote about celebrating Easter after spending a very long time in Lent. I am really enjoying the time spent with family and friends and I am looking forward to seeing a friend that I have fallen out of touch with next weekend. But I do have to admit it is different and kind of weird to be sitting Church doing Lenten Liturgy while I am celebrating Easter. However, that isn’t where I want to go this time.
I want to talk about the tradition of the six Sundays in Lent being called “mini-Easters”. I had never heard of this until I came to Rension and St. Bede’s. My childhood Church doesn’t talk a lot about the traditions of Lent. We spend more of our time looking at holy week. What are mini-Easters? I remember being relieved to know that I could check facebook each Sunday the year I gave that up, but I am assuming that there is probably something more to this concept.
Shockingly, there is very little information on the internet about the traditions of “mini-Easters”. Even Wikipedia couldn’t help me out! I know that Lent is to represent the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert which began his ministry, but I didn’t understand why Sundays didn’t count. I kept looking and I found a reference to mini-Easters on the United Methodist Church website. According to the information on their website,“Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter”” and this is to represent the “joyful anticipation of the Resurrection” (http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nl/newsletter.asp?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=4841001).
Over the past couple weeks since I wrote my last blog post, I have come to the conclusion that what is occurring is real and I no longer need to be frightened that this may all disappear. However, I am also trying to go through my experiences of Lent and trying to understand what happened and where that has left me now. As I search, I realized that I had “mini-Easters” throughout this journey. Some of the most exciting mini-Easters include the birth of my niece, graduating university, and camping with good friends. They were reminders to keep my faith and to build up hope that someday something good will happen.
I think that the traditional “day off” during Lent helps to remind us that something good can and will happen, even if it is far away. Right now we 4 weeks away from Easter Sunday and for me this is when my Lenten discipline usually becomes difficult, so I need the reminder that the resurrection will come and joy will come with that.