A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths

Easter Day (The Resurrection of The Lord, Pascha, Easter Sunday). The most important festival of the Christian year, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus 3 days after his 33 BCE Jerusalem death by crucifixion on Good Friday. A Solemnity with special religious services in Western Churches and normally with family gatherings, chocolate Easter eggs to symbolise the gift of new life and Easter bunnies. Easter morning 10 am Mass was celebrated in St Peter’s Basilica, followed at midday by the Pope’s traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing to the city of Rome and to the world, broadcast on BBC One at 11 am. A Choral Eucharist with the Archbishop of Canterbury was heard as the regular BBC Radio 4 8:10 am weekly live broadcast, with a 10 am BBC One and online transmission. A 5:30 pm Sung Eucharist with ticketed public worship was also online. Handel’s Messiah at 6 pm and Easter from King’s at 7 pm were on BBC Two. Greek Orthodox 3rd Sunday of Great and Holy Lent and Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross.

Prayer O Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance, grant victory to the faithful over their adversaries and protect Your commonwealth by the power of Your Cross. Today the sting has been taken from death and the victory taken from Hades. Alleluia

Qing Ming Day (Qingmingjie, 清明,Festival of Pure Brightness, Tomb Sweeping Day). Chinese Taoist start of Spring and 1st occasion in the year when graves are visited, with many families normally tidying and sweeping them. Eggs are eaten and there is feasting by the ancestors’ graves, with offerings of food to their spirits. Candles are lit and incense, paper images of items such as money are burned, fire-crackers are set off on leaving and kites are flown. A time for the sowing and planting of crops in the solar rather than lunar year, when boys used to wear willow wreathes on their heads to summon rain for the growing season.

Varshitapa Arambha. Annual Jain ritual beginning on the 8th day of the dark lunar fortnight (Krishna Paksha) of the waning moon during the month of Chaitra, the 1st of the year. The start of an auspicious period observed with equal joy and fervour.