Traditions of Family and Theology: A Look at Why Easter Is So Important



Our second Easter during the Covid-19 pandemic brought back traditions from past years at home. Montrose students and faculty come together to talk about their 2021 Easter celebration

Many of us have fond memories of Easter growing up. Catherine Bettinelli ‘21 said: “My favorite Catholic holiday is the Triduum because of the traditions.” Hunting for eggs, visits from the Easter Bunny, family parties, and lots of jelly beans are just some favorite traditions on Easter Sunday. And, of course, going to Mass on Easter Sunday is the highlight. Everyone dresses up, and your church is packed to the brim.

Some kick off their Easter season during the Triduum. The Vigil Mass on Saturday evening introduces Easter by gradually lighting up the church with candlelight and transitioning from pre-Resurrection readings to the jubilant Resurrection Gospel. Gabriella Bachiochi ‘21 braved the three hour Vigil for the first time this year. “It was so beautiful,” Gabriella said. “The readings changed over the Mass from talking about the history to the end when we left rejoicing. We’re unified for that moment.”

For many, Easter Sunday means the classic family party, when family and friends gather to share food and spend time together. Elyza Tuan ‘23 remembered from her childhood: “We would just get together with friends for a brunch or dinner, with food that everyone would bring, and then the kids would all just play together. The grown ups would talk.” In Elyza’s house, one of the kids says grace before the meal, usually one of the little ones. 

And of course there are the egg hunts — baskets aflying, children a-crying (at least when it turns out there are only stickers in the eggs and no jelly beans, unfortunately — a personal experience). One student I interviewed said: “You can never be too old for Easter egg hunts.” Well put! A teacher used to hunt for real hard boiled eggs, all carefully counted so that random eggs wouldn’t end up all around the house. First, she and her siblings dyed the eggs and wrote their names in white crayon. The next day they looked for their baskets, and then for the eggs. I imagine this hunt was a tad more intense than the usual, as the consequences of losing an egg are slightly smelly! 

Easter holds many special memories, like getting a Razor scooter in your Easter basket (Elyza Tuan) or seeing nine ducks show up in your yard (Ms Lechner). Statues, not real ducks (still, very intriguing). For some, Easter is extra special because it’s the day they got baptized. For others, like my aunt, they had a child on Easter. She assured everyone at our Easter party that she was not in labor, and then, that night, gave birth to a little girl. Happy fifth birthday, Kate!

As we grow up, we start to understand Easter in a different way. It’s still a fun day of family and treats, but, more importantly, it’s the day when we celebrate Jesus Christ’s Resurrection from the dead. Elyza Tuan ‘23 said: “It’s all about God, and getting together with friends is like an added bonus.” Another student said: “When you are younger, it’s like, ooh candy and Jesus is risen. Now it’s like, wow.”

Easter is one of the most important holidays on the Christian calendar, if not the most important. Ninth grade theology teacher Ms Lechner said: “I think it’s a quote from St. Paul, ‘If Christ is not risen, vain is our faith.’ That kind of sums it up. If God didn’t rise from the dead, what are we doing here? We’re wasting our time.”

Easter only occurs because God showed His love for us on the cross. As one student said: “Especially this year, it’s just so incredible. We watched the Passion yesterday. It struck me that Jesus did this for us out of love. It’s so amazing that he would go through all that suffering. It’s just amazing.” The cross and the Resurrection manifest St. John’s famed words: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”(Jn 3:16). When you begin to understand the actual meaning behind Easter — what happened and why it’s so important — you discover a much deeper meaning to the holiday than just the eggs and the jelly beans.


Theresa Marcucci ‘23, Anna Sheehan ’21,