A few weeks ago, I was asked a wonderful question about why we used eggs at Easter. We had a very good conversation. I've been thinking that there are probably a few others who might be thinking or have thought of this question. So today, I hope to answer this age old question.
symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus: though an egg appears to be like the stone of a tomb, a bird hatches from it with life; similarly, the egg, is a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave.
Eggs, in general, are a traditional symbol of fertility, and rebirth, pre-dating Christian traditions. The practice of decorating eggshell is ancient. In particular, the custom of the Easter egg originated amongst the early Christians of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at his crucifixion. The Christian Church officially adopted the custom, regarding the eggs as a symbol of the resurrection; in ad
1610, Pope Paul V
proclaimed the following prayer:
Bless, O Lord! We beseech you, this your creature of eggs, that it may become a wholesome sustenance to your faithful servants, eating it in thankfulness to you on account of the resurrection of the Lord.
It was traditional to use up all of the household’s eggs before Lent began. Eggs were originally forbidden during Lent as well as on other traditional fast days in Western Christianity. Likewise, in Eastern Christianity, both meat and dairy are prohibited during the Lenten fast, and eggs are seen as “dairy.” This established the tradition of eating Pancakes being celebrated on Shrove Tuesday. is also known as Mardi Gras, a French phrase which translates as “Fat Tuesday” to mark the last consumption of eggs and dairy before Lent begins.
Even though the Easter Sunday eggs may be long gone, I hope thinking about this symbol is a helpful exercise in faith.
I wish you a wonderful Eastertide!