- Faith & Family
On Sunday, April 8th, countless Christians honored the resurrection of Jesus Christ by celebrating Easter Sunday. Unlike Good Friday, another popular Christian commemoration which remembers the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and is a somber celebration, Easter services and events tend to be more joyous. While the day honors the triumph of Jesus, many people are personally inspired by Christ’s story.
The fact that the two events are connected makes sense to the Reverend Marvin Lue of Trinity Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church in Overtown.
“The celebration symbolizes that Christ rose from the grave and since he is my model for living, if he can rise from death situations it allows me to know that I can rise from death situations such as divorce, such as when things look as if they are at their end,” he said. “And I remember that I serve a God that is able to lift me up and empower me.”
He explained further, “It transforms my perception that I don’t need to try God last — I need to put God first and know that in due time, in due season, it will all work out.”
To commemorate the holiday, the many Trinity CME worshippers were offered the chance to experience a guest speaker at a second service after experiencing a sunrise service. In addition, the Overtown congregation broke with tradition by calling April 1st Resurrection Sunday, instead of Easter. It is a name change that more churches are increasingly choosing, according to Dr. Nathaniel Holmes, an adjunct professor of religion at Florida Memorial University.
“You also notice that some churches have moved towards a dressed down Easter Sunday — some churches don’t even do Easter egg hunts any more,” he explained.
The change “is really to promote the fact that Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus and not about the Easter bunny.”
Is worship the end goal or dressing to impress?
Some Christians are concerned that worshippers are not coming to sanctuaries solely to celebrate the resurrection, but instead coming to be seen. Holmes sees the pageantry to be an extension of the commercialization of the day.
“Easter has generally become a family day when all families get together especially in the Black community —it’s a day when you can get dressed in your fanciest clothes, which is an opportunity that Blacks traditionally have not had,” he said.
Regardless of why people walk into service, it is a minister’s job to make sure they return, according to Lue.
“That’s the challenge that we fact to make sure that on Sunday, the word is relevant and the worship experience is so real that Resurrection Sunday is not just a show it was actually a transformative service that makes them want to come back,” he said.
By Kaila Heard