Pascha, also called Easter, is the feast of the Resurrection of the Lord. Pascha is a transliteration of the Greek word, which is a transliteration of the Hebrew pesach, both words meaning Passover. So I am saying Happy Passover as well.
Pascha, for Eastern-rite Christians, is the most important day of the liturgical calendar. It is not merely a historical reenactment of the event of Christ’s Resurrection, or a day of celebration. Pascha offers a way to experience rebirth for each of us and for our world, and we are reminded anew of the Kingdom of God. Spring welcomes us, opening our hearts to new beginnings and endless possibilities.
Easter and Passover are close to the time of the spring equinox, and so I also say “Happy Spring Equinox.” Many religious holidays originated in pagan celebrations (the word pagan originally meant country dweller). Even the word Easter has roots in the pagan rites of the spring equinox called Eostre and some Easter customs—including Easter eggs—evolved from pagan traditions.
In the Eastern rite is common to take the Paschal Sermon of St. John Chrysostom (347-407), the founder and father of the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Church. He was known as the “the greatest preacher in the early church” and like St. Francis of Assisi, emphasized charitable giving and was concerned with the spiritual and temporal needs of the poor. He also spoke against abuse of wealth and personal property. One of his lines, the Paschal homily, states: “If anyone is a grateful servant, let them, rejoicing, enter into the joy of his Lord.”
May we all find God and joy in everything we are and do and may this be a new and fruitful beginning for each and everyone of us, and for our world. May we each contribute, in our own unique way, to making this world a more beautiful place for all humans, animals, and plants.