Thursday, March 28, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday - Easter and spring fever



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Easter weekend. Wow. I moved to Springfield last year on April 1st - the weekend right before Easter. I can't believe it has been a year already! Last year a friend came up from Joplin and stayed with me Easter weekend. We spent pretty much an entire day shopping...then came back to my apartment that didn't have furniture yet and sat in the floor and watched YouTube videos...and went to church Sunday morning at North Point. I remember they did an amazing skit. My friend's first impression was that it was kind-of scandalous because of the outfits they wore (basically brightly colored, form-fitting body suits), but when she realized I had been deeply touched by it she said, "Maybe I shouldn't be so quick to judge. If it ministered to you, then maybe it ministered to other people, too." Yep - I have some awesome friends! It is also an awesome video (though it was better live). Check it out! (You only get a glimpse of the aforementioned outfits in this video.) Hmmm...maybe I'll go there again for Easter this year. I was thinking about visiting a Catholic church for the occasion.... We'll see. 

 
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Ever wondered, "Why Does Easter's Date Change?" Well, so have I. The subtitle of this article is "If it's Christian and controversial, it always comes back to Constantine." The emperor decided Easter was more important than the Jewish celebration of Passover, so they should no longer be celebrated on the same day. The Council of Nicea convened in AD 325.
The council decided that Easter would be celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon following the Vernal Equinox, according to the Julian calendar. If the full moon were to fall on a Sunday, Easter would be celebrated on the following Sunday in order to avoid coincidence with Passover. But issues arose with this arrangement due to the difference between the lunar and the solar calendar, and the fact that Eastern Churches refused to bend to the council’s way. 
It was not until the reform of the Julian calendar in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII that a more universal system was developed. The Gregorian calendar clearly defined the ecclesiastical year, and set Easter on the first Sunday following the Vernal Equinox, which is fixed on March 21st. The adoption of the Gregorian calendar by Great Britain and Ireland in 1752 solidified the universality of the system. 
According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, the actual Vernal Equinox is “determined by the motion of the Sun as seen from the Earth” and so cannot be fixed to a specific date. Because of the difference in determination of the Vernal Equinox between the Gregorian calendar and the Julian calendar, Easter is usually celebrated on a different Sunday by Western Churches than by Eastern Churches. The last year these dates coincided was 2004. Although some attempts to fix a specific date for Easter have gained a lot of support, to this day all have failed.
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Today was gorgeous - sunny and in the upper 60s - so I enjoyed it by driving around town with the windows down and radio up, one of my favorite ways to enjoy a beautiful day! A couple of interesting things I saw around town: a guy riding his horse down the sidewalk, and a teenage girl swinging on a tree-swing in her front yard :). Cool. And I accidentally stumbled upon another unexpected scene today - I went to hear a speaker for a Holy Week chapel at my school, and got to hear a guest collegiate classical choir too! I love happy accidents, and they are even better when they involve the Fine Arts! 
 
--- 4 ---
A to Z starts Monday!! I'm excited. I've pre-written several of my posts...but not A, of course. Hopefully some inspiration that happens to start with the letter A will strike me over the weekend. My theme is theological, so maybe I should read some Augustine...or maybe I'll research a little about the history of Art in the Church...
or ponder whether it really was an Apple that Adam and Eve Ate.... Anyway, I'm sure I'll stumble across something. Unless I become too apathetic to achieve acuity in any attempt at academic activity...in which case I'll just have to act adversely to any advance arrangement and abruptly assemble an appropriate article at the advent of A to Z. That would be simply atrocious.   
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Hey - you guys know the other holiday that's right around the corner, right? Yep. April 15th. Just sayin'. 
--- 6 ---
Part of an Easter liturgy: 

We serve a risen Saviour yet live as if in chains. Forgive us, Lord that we are so hesitant to live the resurrection life. Forgive us that we fail to show through word and action the truth that you loved us into your kingdom through the glorious mystery of the Cross. Forgive us that there is still fear in our lives that prevents us from achieving our full potential. Draw us close. Open our eyes to the glory of the risen Christ, our hearts to the wonder of the Cross and our hands to the service of your kingdom where you have placed us. That your name might be glorified through our lives.
AMEN

God of resurrection
of life and death
rebirth
All: Renew our hearts and minds
God of promise
of all beginnings
and all endings
All: Renew our hearts and minds
God of hope
of new growth
and harvest
All: Renew our hearts and minds

Read more at: http://www.faithandworship.com/liturgy_Easter_Sunday.htm#ixzz2OtkaItjO
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution.
--- 7 ---
Finally, to liven up your weekend, an old-school Southern Gospel Easter song (Enjoy the 80s hair!):  


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary! (Note: Conversion Diary will not do Quick Takes today in honor of Good Friday.)

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