UPDATED: 19 April 2015
This post is sticky – look below for new entries
This year more than ever, I feel an urgency to continue to celebrate Easter throughout the entire 50 day Easter Season (traditionally known as “Eastertide” in Anglican circles). Perhaps it is the bleakness of the world, and the awareness of evil (such as recent terrorist killings of Christians in Kenya and Libya…) that makes me want to cling to the joy of the Lord’s resurrection and meditate on the glorious truth of His victory in a more focused way this year. Continuing to reflect on His resurrection power also helps remind me that His power is at work in my heart to conquer sin. Finally, I find myself wanting to continue to strengthen some of the spiritual disciplines started in Lent in terms of time spent in Scripture, taking advantage of this 50 day season to walk with Jesus and fellowship with Him, allowing Him to expound the Scriptures and stir up my heart so it burns with more a passion for Him. With these goals in mind, I offer the following list of some articles, reflections resources, prayers, music all focused on helping us maintain an Easter-focus during the 50 days of Eastertide.
NEW (April 19) – DON’T MISS THIS: A Compilation of 70 Favorite Easter and Eastertide Hymns. Note, there is now a separate Easter Hymns category, since we plan to post a lot more Easter hymns in coming days!
NEW UDPATE! – (April 15): I’ve just posted about a great blog and a new Eastertide devotional resource on the theme Practice Resurrection 2015. This post also includes a short list of some of the links in our Eastertide compilation (specifically links to reflections on practicing resurrection / celebrating Eastertide).
Let me link the blog and devotional separately:
First, some of my favorite resources, links and entries from years’ past:
- A table with daily Easter Season Scripture readings for 2015 (Book of Common Prayer Daily Office)
- An Easter Devotional: Don’t let the bright light of Easter dim…– an incredible devotional by Emily Polis Gibson “Eastertide: Dayspring to Dimness” focused Gerard Manley Hopkins’ phrase “Let Him Easter in Us”
- Two archived entries from Splendor in the Ordinary blog: Becoming Easter People, and Practice Resurrection.
- Recommended Websites for Easter Devotional Reading (from 2014, I hope to update it for 2015)
Keep reading below – there are nearly 50 additional links!
- A Compilation of Easter Poems [Compiled in 2014, I hope to add some new poems soon…]
- A Compilation of Easter prayers [Compiled in 2014, I hope to add new prayers soon…]
- TitusOneNine: Kendall Harmon’s Easter category – especially throughout the Easter Octave, Kendall posts a lot of reflections, quotes, music, and poems. He also posts a daily prayer.
- Emily Polis Gibson’s Easter category at Barnstorming, you may also want to look at her posts with the resurrection tag
- Biola’s Lent Project site – daily devotionals continue through Sunday April 12
- Church of England Common Worship site (Collects & Post-Communion prayers Lent – Pentecost scroll down for Easter season prayers). The Church of England also has an Easter worship resources booklet (a 78 page PDF file)
- Christian Resources Institute: Easter Season overview
- Let Us Keep the Feast: Holy Week and Easter edition – a short booklet with good resources for celebrating Eastertide as a family. See also Jessica Snell’s blog “Homemaking through the Church Year” – especially her Church Year Resources section
- Easter around the blogosphere: Celebrating the Easter Season and Being Transformed [from 2009, but still worth reading!]
- And don’t forget all the Easter music we’re posting here. Listening to / singing an Easter song a day is a pretty easy way to stay Easter-focused throughout Eastertide…, it’s certainly one of the things I find most helpful. I very much hope to continue posting several Easter songs per week throughout Eastertide.
OK, now for some of the new links and resources I’ve been finding to help us celebrate the full 50 days of Eastertide. (These are in somewhat random order, my apologies).
BRAND NEW: Our compilation of all the Easter-themed quotes we’ve posted since 2009
ACNA Priest Porter Taylor has an excellent overview “What is Eastertide?”. Don’t let the title or the beginning of the article fool you. This is not just a historical overview of the tradition of Eastertide, but also focuses on application. What does it mean to feast on Jesus in this 50 day season?
Presbyterian pastor Mark D. Roberts: Introduction to Eastertide, the Season of Easter. It includes an excellent of Scriptures one could meditate on each week of Eastertide:
The season of Easter gives us a chance to reflect more broadly and deeply on the multifaceted meaning of the resurrection of Jesus. What might this involve? Let me suggest a few ideas:
• You could meditate upon what the resurrection says about the character of Jesus Christ as the Righteous One of God (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:25-28).
• You might ponder the fact that death has been swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-56).
• You could reflect upon the fact that the very power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to you today (Ephesians 1:15-23).
• You might think of how the resurrection of Jesus is a precursor to your own resurrection (1 Corinthians 15).
• You could consider how the resurrection gives us “new birth into a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3).
And so on. And so on. Eastertide allows us to think deeply and to pray broadly about what the resurrection of Jesus means, both to us and to our world.
See also his Handel’s Messiah: An unexpected Easter Masterpiece
BRAND NEW music album from the Benedictines of Mary: Easter at Ephesus. I own their Advent & Lent albums. I’m excited to discover this new release and will be buying it over the weekend… Here’s how the album is described at the AquinasandMore site:
No. 1 bestselling Billboard Classical artist for two years, the Benedictines of Mary join forces again with 11-time Grammy Award-winning producer Christopher Alder for their newest release of glorious Easter hymns. This album features an array of beautiful chants and exhilarating hymns for Eastertide with the lovely voices of the nuns that have inspired audiences throughout the world. The 25+ track selection spans the season of Easter through Pentecost.
A Slice of Infinity: Everyday Easter, A reflection by Margaret Manning Shul at Ravi Zacharias’ ministries. Again, a challenge on how do we practically apply the truth of the resurrection to our daily lives:
The celebration of Easter is insignificant if the celebrations do not point to the continuing reality of the Risen Lord. Indeed, in many church traditions, the season of Eastertide which lasts until Pentecost asks this very question of those who lead congregations into continual contemplation of the resurrection until the day of Pentecost: how do we perceive the continuing presence of the risen Lord in our reality?
Traces of Faith blog: Happy Eastertide – a good short compilation of links and resources about Eastertide, including several links that were new to me, including a link NT Wright’s reflection Eastertide: How Christians should celebrate [THIS IS MUST READING!!… excerpts from this are going to appear here as stand alone entries soon, I’m sure!!]
The Gospel Project: A Resurrected People – a short reflection by Trevin Wax
The church is the body of Christ, raised from the dead and made alive with Him. We are His, and we are raised. The life that spills out from our worship and wonder is resurrection life. There is no other kind. Easter lives. There’s an empty tomb in Jerusalem and resurrected hearts all over the world.
Ann Voskamp: The Truth You’ve Got to Know After Easter an excellent reflection on being a Resurrection People:
Because we know that whatever stone that’s been trapping, whatever boulder that’s been blocking, whatever rock that’s been locking — we know our God heaves stones because He loves and we know our God tears off grave clothes because He resurrects and we know our God upends to right.
We are the Resurrection People who know that hope can rise from the dead places
and that impossible stones can be rolled back to light
and right now all the sad things are becoming undone.
No matter how the world turns, there’s no turning that stone back now.
We’re the Resurrection People and we won’t live like that stone’s been rolled back. We won’t live like it isn’t the truth: The sad things are all becoming undone now. There’s no turning that stone back now. There’s no turning back now.
From Christianity Today: Keep the Easter Spirit Alive – an exhortation to find tangible ways to celebrate the 50 days of Easter
During Lent, believers around the world spent 40 days lamenting and repenting of the sin and brokenness for which Jesus had to die. How much more should we give to celebrating his victorious resurrection three days later! While most of us know Easter as a daylong celebration, the church liturgy dedicates 50 days to the season of Easter, sometimes called Eastertide. […] Here’s to 50 days of rejoicing in God’s now-and-not-yet kingdom. Keep out the good china. Buy fresh flowers for the house, or even your office. Put raspberries on your cereal. Host weekly dinner parties. Dress up each Sunday of Eastertide, or pin a flower to each week’s outfit. Burn your nicest candle. Add champagne to your orange juice on the weekends. Have a weekly family dance party. He is risen. May our celebrations affirm that he is risen indeed.
I highly recommend the short daily devotionals at Vicars Versicles. Anglican priest James A Gibson in South Carolina posts daily entries with short reflections on the daily lectionary, and one or two music selections as well. It’s a great resource, and since he follows the lectionary, his reflections are always tied in to the liturgical calendar.
Excellent reflection by Fr. Charles Erlandson on 1 Thes 4 – what Easter means for us everyday as Christians
But the doctrine of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ doesn’t do us any good if it is not in some way intimately related to us. That’s all good for Jesus, but what in the world does it have to do with me? Therefore, Paul says in verse 14: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” This is our hope: that just as Jesus was resurrected from the dead by the power of God, so will those who are in Him.
How can this be? Remember that Christ dwells in you and you in Him? Remember how He says to you: “This is My Body which is given for you” and “This is My Blood which is shed for you”? Remember that your life is hidden in Christ and you are seated with Him in the heavenly places? Remember how when you were baptized, you were united to Jesus Christ in His death and His resurrection? If all of these things are true, then what is true for Christ will also be true for Christians.
(There is a also a specific application at the end of the devotional). You can find all of Fr. Erlandson’s daily devotionals here.
Christine Sine (Godspace): Rocks on the Brain
The empty tomb is not the important event of Easter, the living presence of God in the resurrected Jesus is. It wasn’t the empty tomb that transformed the disciples and the women who followed him, it was Jesus appearing to them, eating with them, interpreting the scriptures for them. They met the risen Christ in the 50 days after Easter, and it changed their lives so that they went out not just talking about the things Jesus did, but living them.
So my challenge to all of us today is: will we hang around long enough to enter into the full joy of the risen Saviour? Now that Easter Sunday is over are we back to life as usual or are we ready to encounter Jesus over the next 50 days, which is the true season of Easter, and have our lives radically changed and redirected as a result?
And yet MORE EXCELLENT links… time forces me to just list these for now rather than including quotes and excerpts:
- An EXCELLENT Bible Study by Nancy Leigh DeMoss on the Resurrection of Jesus – part of the Revive Our Hearts radio program’s series on the Incomparable Christ. See also The Ministry of the Forty Days and The Ascension of Christ I’m planning on listening to a lot of the entries in this entire series…
- Not specifically “Eastertide” focused, but I found this devotional / Bible study from Desiring God very interesting & helpful: What About All the Other Easter Resurrections?
- Ravi Zacharias: Easter the Turning Point of Time
- Teresa Roberts Johnson’s Easter themed poems at Angliverse
- If you want to drink deeply of the Scriptures during Eastertide, John Piper’s daily devotionals are a FANTASTIC resource, as are his “labs” from the “Look at the Book” series where he shows you HOW to deeply study and reflect on the Scriptures.
- John Birch’s collection of Easter Prayers at Faith and Worship
- Easter Resource Guide from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship – a great list of resources for Eastertide worship.
- Trevin Wax’s Easter music playlist
- I Want to live in Eastertide, by Sharon Autenrieth
- Thinking Faith (the blog by the Jesuits in Britain): Let Him Easter in Us. See also Easter Reading: The Acts of the Apostles, and The Appeareances of the Risen Lord
- Creighton.Edu’s Celebrating Easter. [Roman Catholic site.] Prayers and meditations for each day of the Easter Octave. There’s enough here to use throughout Eastertide.
- Stations of the Resurrection. If you Google this, you can find some interesting resources. Here are a few links to sites and booklets with information and devotionals. via lucis (an overview of 14 stations); a devotional booklet from stgregoryspreston.org.uk [pdf]; a devotional booklet from Centurion West Presbyterian Church [pdf]; devotional from the Foward Movement [pdf]; (Note: I’ve only skimmed these various devotionals quickly)
- The Cradle of Prayer: The Cradle of Prayer offers recordings for morning and evening prayers and free daily downloads, read directly from the pages of 1928 Book of Common Prayer. May these readings and songs refresh your mind, heart, and soul as we walk in the path of our Lord together.
- Pray As You Go: This is a prayer resource based on Ignatian Spirituality – an aid for contemplative prayer.
Pray as you go is a daily prayer session, designed for use on portable MP3 players, to help you pray whenever you find time, but particularly whilst travelling to and from work, study, etc. A new prayer session is produced every day of the working week and one session for the weekend. It is not a ‘Thought for the Day’, a sermon or a bible-study, but rather a framework for your own prayer. Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection.
One of their special Easter resources is The Risen Jesus Imaginative Contemplation.
Finally: Don’t forget all of our Easter resources and subcategories here at Lent & Beyond. Here’s our Easter Category.
As always, we invite our readers to share links and resources in the comments!
Note: I have personally reviewed all these links, and have only posted those materials that seem to be quite solid and orthodox. Obviously the materials posted cover a huge range of Christian practice and devotion (Anglican, Baptist, Evangelical, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Ignatian, …) Linking to a site obviously does not mean we necessarily endorse everything posted at that site, but we have tried to select resources and links that will help people grow in their worship, love and knowledge of Christ, and to know His joy this Easter season.
Should you find a broken link, or have questions, please leave a comment. Thanks.