A Joyful Noise!

U.C.M. Newsletter of Joy, Humor, Laughter, and Inspiration

Editor: Rev. Doti Boon

Paul Nash, Landscape of the Vernal Equinox

Image via Wikipedia

safedoti@aol.com

Vol. 10 pg 16 (04-21-11) Earth Day/Easter Celebrations

UCM Annual Meeting/Conference/Holistic Fair

May 13th, May 14th and 15th at CCL

Call UCM or CCL for a program of events.

(UCM: 408-370-6519 or CCL: 408-392-9090)

AFFIRMATION

I am filled with joy and happiness at this time of year.

 

Earth Day – April 22nd

          I wish to thank the Reverends Corry Gott and Janet Childs for their wonderful Earth Day presentation last Sunday. Their dedication to helping Mother Earth is truly awesome.

For over 40 years, Earth Day – April 22nd – has inspired and/mobilized individuals and organizations worldwide to demonstrate their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability.

Let us Pray

Oh God of whirling galaxies, rain forests and rivers, tides and

thunderstorms, we’ve been too busy to notice how our choices

affect our world. At last we’re paying attention: 

You gave us a gift but we were careless and now it’s broken.

We gather today, repentant, hopeful, and determined

to restore, cleanse, and bring new life to earth, wind, and

creature. Let us share Your imagination; let us be Your

fingers as we tend this gift, which holds and carries us all.

Rev. Lynn James

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Growing up I knew Easter was the time that Jesus was resurrected; when the stone was removed from his tomb and a fantastic time to hunt hidden decorated eggs. It wasn’t until I became an inquiring college student that I found out about the Vernal Equinox, Springtime, the Goddess Eostre, and Passover and how all of these events came together.

Equinox means “equal night.” On the vernal (spring) and autumnal (fall) equinoxes, day and night are the same length. Both hemispheres have similar seasons (fall in one hemisphere and spring in the other).

Spring Equinox is associated with, or known around the world as: Eostre, Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Festival of Trees, Lady Day, NawRuz (Baha’i New Years), No Ostara, Ostra, Rites of Spring, and Vernal Equinox.

Image via Wikipedia

This holiday is celebrated every spring all over the world going back many centuries. Easter is a celebration of the fertility of the earth, renewed each springtime. The egg, the chick, the rabbit, the flowers are all fertility symbols.

Eostre is the goddess of dawn and new beginnings; from which Easter took its name. The goddess that has been sleeping all winter reawakens with the warming ground of spring. The egg represented the rebirth of the earth. The long, hard winter is over; the earth burst forth and is reborn just as the egg miraculously burst forth with life.

The original Easter bunny was associated with the vernal equinox festival that predated Easter. The Saxons celebrated their goddess of spring and fertility, who was, not coincidentally, named Eastre or Eostar or Eostre. Eostre’s sacred animal was the hare – not surprising since the rabbit is one of the most common symbols of fertility and rebirth.

The colored eggs carried by today’s Easter bunnies have another, even more ancient origin. Eggs have long been associated with fertility and springtime festivals – for so long, in fact, that the precise roots of the association are unknown. Ancient Romans and Greeks utilized eggs in festivals celebrating resurrected gods.

The egg also featured prominently in the Jewish rituals of Passover – and still today the roasted egg has prominence on the Seder table as an essential symbol of springtime and rebirth. We are all aware of the beautiful painting – The Last Supper, with Jesus of Nazareth surrounded by his disciples. We know what foods were placed on the table – because this was a Seder table and the same foods are still eaten today during Passover.

Today American children squeal with delight when they see the bunny-whether headlining in their neighborhood Easter egg hunt or greeting visitors at the local mall.

With all of the talk of the Goddess Eostre, eggs, bunnies and Spring, it is sometimes easy to forget that this coming Sunday is the day set aside to honor the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the crowning principle and basis of Christianity and as such should be acknowledged. Join us as we celebrate Easter/Eostre this Sunday the 24th of April, 2011.

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