So why ‘Part 3’…? Well, I guess this is an extension of two blog posts I wrote back in 2008. So if you’re interested, you can read Part 1 and/or Part 2 here. Essentially, the blog posts focused on how Easter as a religious or spiritual festival had seemed to have completely disappeared, almost without it even being noticed.
I’m not the only one to think like this. An editorial in last week’s The Spectator noted much the same albeit from a seemingly much more ‘Christian’ point of view. For The Spectator though:
“Unlike Christmas, [Easter is] a story that doesn’t lend itself to much commercial fuss: no kings or presents. Easter is a story of sacrifice, torture, abandonment and death — and, through it all, triumph over that death. Even in the 21st century; despite all the chocolate eggs, Easter gives us pause.”
To be honest, I’m not sure that Easter gives many of us “pause”, a phrase that in itself sounds somewhat archaic.
Indeed, the way in which the entire article presents Easter is really quite out of touch in my opinion. Referencing Bach’s B-Minor Mass, Piero della Francesca and Stanley Spencer as well as using a bit of Latin every now and then, The Spectator clearly isn’t going for a populist audience. In fact it almost feels as though they haven’t looked out the window of their offices for quite a while. How on earth could they have failed to see the Easter related “commercial fuss” that is all around us…?
This was made even more real with the findings from some research that was published this week. As a final nail in the coffin – or should that be cross? – for Easter, the survey highlighted that more than two thirds of British residents now think of Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny first when asked about Easter.
Only one in eight consider the religious aspect.
Of the 2000 people surveyed, 62% said the word ‘Easter’ made them conjure up images of chocolate eggs while only 12% mentioned Jesus.
And finally, nearly 40% of us don’t know what either Good Friday or Easter Sunday commemorates or got it wrong: almost 20% mistakenly believe that Easter Sunday observes Jesus’s crucifixion.
So where next for Easter…? Well despite The Spectator’s suggestion that Easter is “a story that doesn’t lend itself to much commercial fuss”, it would seem that is EXACTLY what Easter is nowadays about. As I wrote back in 2008:
“Easter seems to exist only as another consumer festival: Cadburys Creme Eggs on sale from Boxing Day, various 2 for £5 Easter egg offers, plus some ‘buy one get one free’ packs of hot cross buns”
Which brings me back to the to the image accompanying this post.
Clearly this is the future of Easter: lest we forget that the Easter Bunny died on the chocolate cross so that we may eat as many Cadbury’s Creme Eggs and hot cross buns as we can shove down our collective gullets.