Easter is one of the most popular Christian festivals. It is celebrated in order to commemorate the holy resurrection of Jesus Christ. On this occasion, people of Christian community all over the world celebrate to express their joy and fervor. On Easter Sunday, the day begins with church services, prayers and hymns and wrap up with feasting and celebration. This day comes after a long phase of bereavement and mourning and that is why, this day is celebrated with extreme happiness and delight. There is also a phase in this duration when fasting is done. Read on to explore more about the Easter fast here.
In the past, fasting before Easter has been practiced as long as the 4th Century. This phase of Easter fasting is called ‘Lent’ and is generally observed for 40 days. But different Christian denominations fast in different ways and on different days. Protestants fast for about 7 weeks sp to the Easter Sunday, i.e. till the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Roman Catholics also fast in a related way; however their fast formally ends by sundown on Holy Thursday. However, in some regions people of certain legacy do not fast, as some Protestants do not practice fasting before Easter. Also, it is very clear from the religious sayings that fasting is no compulsion in Christianity.
There are several reasons to why Easter fast is done. Fasting before Easter can be interpreted in many ways. Some scholars believe it has to do with what Jesus said in Matthew. In this verse, it is said that Jesus knew his death beforehand and strongly believed that there is no need for his disciples to fast until he returns to the Father. He felt that till the time, he is on earth, his disciples should rejoice with him. This is why, when Jesus left for his heavenly abode all his disciple fasted to commemorate his death.
It is also believed that fasting before Easter is also a way to thank God and express one’s gratitude towards him. It is only because of his love, grace and forgiveness, that we are blessed with this life. So, fasting is also a way of expressing one’s love and faith in the almighty. It is a way of expressing love by overcoming the basic necessities of life and amalgamating with the almighty so that one’s sins and mistakes could be forgiven and a sense of piousness is introduced in one’s soul.
It is also believed that Easter fasting is a sign of yielding to God’s works and trusting him for a major change. In case of crisis, whatever it may be- sickness, financial needs, broken relationships, or anything which might prove haunting, fasting is simply a way of turning towards the almighty believed that he is here with us and would make us victorious over these circumstances by his grace and love. Throughout the fasting, one remembers God every moment and that is why it is also the best time to claim some promises from him for our lives.