FFE Magazine

Easter for non-Catholics

A Filipino Catholic’s Easter and Holy Week celebrations are marked by traditions that re-tell and re-enact Christ’s suffering and resurrection like the pabasa, Senakulo, visita iglesia, Salubong and many more.

 

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The icons of Christ and Mary are brought together to commemorate the meeting at the empty tomb

 

But how do non-Catholic faiths observe the occasion? Do they also have specific rituals to follow?

 

Here’s a quick fact on how Easter Sunday is observed by non-Catholics:

 

Islam

No Easter celebrations

Although followers of Islam believe in Jesus and consider him a very important prophet, they do not see him as the Saviour. Because of this, they do not observe Easter Sunday. In fact, the Koran says that Jesus was not crucified on the cross but that ‘it was made to look like that.’

 

Judaism

No Easter celebrations

Jewish communities do not celebrate Easter; rather, they celebrate the Jewish festival Passover, which almost coincides with Easter and Holy Week in April. Holy Week celebrations are actually marked by tension between Christians and Jews. This is because Jews are traditionally believed by the former to be responsible for Jesus’ death.

 

Cycle of rebirth depicted by Tibetan Buddhists

 

Buddhism

No Easter celebrations

Buddhists do not celebrate Easter Sunday. However, the concept of rebirth as represented by Christ’s resurrection is a vital part of the Buddhist tradition. The difference is that in the Buddhist cycle of rebirth, Christ is not holy and that he was simply a part of the natural cycle of life.

 

Hinduism

Tolerant of Easter celebrations

Easter is not celebrated by Hindus, but they are very tolerant of how the occasion is observed by Christians. Moreover, Hindus are not barred from celebrating with Christians and may participate in Easter Sunday celebrations but without breaking their own religious laws.

 

Lutheran

Celebrates Easter

The Lutheran church celebrates Easter Sunday and hold services to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus. They worship by sticking closely to the Bible’s text through scriptural readings and singing. Like Catholics, Lutherans also follow rituals like fasting and may adopt personal sacrifices on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Black Saturday.

 

Anglican / Episcopalian

Celebrates Easter

The Anglican and Episcopalian churches observe Holy Week, which includes giving services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday and Easter Day. On Easter Sunday, the churches are well-lit and some members of the church are encouraged to bring bells ring them joyously to celebrate the return of Christ.

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Iglesia ni Cristo (INC)

No Easter celebrations

The INC believes that Easter comes from pagan origins and so it does not observe Easter Sunday and most Holy Week events. What the congregation rather does is perform worship services on Thursday and Sunday as they usually do as well as regular prayer meetings.

 

Jehovah’s Witnesses

No Easter celebrations

Members of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not observe Easter and many other Christian holidays like Christmas. However, they do commemorate Christ’s death through the last supper, called the ‘Lord’s Evening Meal,’ because it is ‘the only anniversary [in the Bible] that Jesus commanded his followers to celebrate.’ Lord’s Evening Meal or ‘Memorial of Christ’s Death’ is timed following the Jewish calendar and falls on the date of the Jewish Passover.

 

Seventh-day Adventists

No Easter celebrations

The Protestant group Seventh-day Adventists believe that Easter Sunday is not a holy day although they do believe that Easter is historically significant. Rather than celebrate on Sunday, they conduct their usual Sabbath service on Saturday, which they believe is the original seventh day according to the Judeo-Christian tradition.

 

 

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