Mark and I were bursting with pride as our little 2-year-old (there she is in the polka dot dress) joined her 4-year-old sister and the rest of the Immanuel Lutheran choir in singing "Hosanna, Loud Hosanna" this past Sunday. Our kids loved the service and the palms they were given. They've been playing with them and "decorating" with them all week.
Apparently there was something we didn't know about the 2,000-year-old tradition of waving palm branches in commemoration of Jesus' ride into Jerusalem, though. Thankfully, modern-day parents have figured it out: Palm Sunday is too dangerous for our fragile children in need of constant protection. Palms are being replaced with green paper in the shape of palm fronds.
You know what else is harming our children? "Aggressive parents" who forced the cancellation of a Colorado town's Easter Egg hunt. Apparently they were so out of control last year -- hopping over rope lines to secure eggs for their children -- that the town simply decided it wasn't worth the trouble.
Which reminds me of my final complaint about the current War on Easter. For liturgical Christians, Easter begins on Easter and lasts for seven full weeks. This season includes celebrations of Jesus' resurrection and ascension.
The week preceding Easter, which we're in now, is Holy Week. It includes the most solemn days of the Christian liturgical calendar, the Triduum. And prior to Holy Week is the season of Lent, a time of penitence, prayer and fasting.
Where am I going with all this? Well, our culture seems to have limited ability to understand that Easter egg hunts should not be taking place, as they increasingly do all over the country, during Lent or the Triduum. You have seven full weeks of Easter to hold as many Easter egg hunts and rolls as you want. There is no need to jump the gun and start celebrating Easter before Easter happens. Particularly considering the solemnity and fasting of the days prior to Easter.
One notable exception to this trend? You may be surprised: The White House. At least during the Obama presidency, the White House Easter Egg Roll has always taken place after the first day of Easter.