• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe and explain the religious and non-religious customs associated with Easter.

Extracts from this document...


RS GCSE Assignment Christian Festivals RS 1: Describe and explain the religious and non-religious customs associated with Easter. Easter is the most important festival for the Christian church. It is significant as the time when Jesus dies and rose to life again. There are also many non-religious customs associated with Easter. Even before the advent of Christianity this time of year was a pagan celebration of new life, winter giving way to spring. In this essay I will therefore look at the religious and non-religious customs associated with Easter. The period leading up to Easter is lent. Lent covers a period of forty days immediately preceding Easter. It reminds Christians of the period that Jesus spent in the wilderness (Luke 4: 1-15). During this time Jesus fasted and was tempted by the devil. Christians therefore follow Jesus' example by using this time as a preparation period for Easter. Traditionally Christians have therefore spent time fasting or abstaining from other pleasures. Members are encouraged to prepare spiritually by spending time reading the bible. ...read more.


Christian services on Palm Sunday usually end with a procession. Small palm crosses are given to the congregation to remind them of the beginning of Holy Week and what lay ahead for Jesus. During the Middle Ages Palm Sunday carnivals were led by Bishops riding on real donkeys. In later years carved wooden donkeys were used. Legend says that every donkey carries the sign of the cross. They do have a brown patch in the shape of a cross on their backs which has led to this belief. The Thursday of Holy Week is called Maundy Thursday. It commemorates the last supper which Jesus had with His disciples. Before He ate this last meal Jesus washed His disciples' feet (John 13: 2-11). This was the task of the lowest servant. By this act Jesus was showing Himself to be a servant King. Jesus was showing the disciples that they must learn to serve and give themselves in service to others. They then went on to celebrate the traditional Jewish Passover meal, but Jesus changed it by instructing His followers to break bread and drink wine in memory of His forthcoming death. ...read more.


He spoke to the woman who came to the tomb and later that evening appeared to the disciples. He even ate some food to prove He was not a ghost. This was the most significant event for the Christian church as Jesus had triumphed over sin and death. This event is called the resurrection. The significance of the resurrection show us that death is not the end and if we believe in Jesus we can have eternal life. Christians celebrate Easter with praise and thanksgiving. Easter services are usually joyful, and many services include Holy Communion to remember His death and resurrection. Churches tend to be decorated and the hymns and worship are very joyful. Eggs are given to symbolise 'new life'. It has become a custom to give cards and gifts with symbols of spring such as chicks and rabbits. Eggs can be decorated or made of chocolate. Families have special Easter meals and celebrations. The central theme for Easter is the fact that Jesus died for our sins and is alive. "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Christmas section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Christmas essays

  1. Jesus' Last Days

    They imitate the cloak and wreath of leaves worn by Caesar and the salute "Hail, King of the Jews" is taken from when they salute Caesar. All these things are to mock Jesus' Kingship of the Jews. Like all other prisoners, Jesus was made to carry the heavy cross through the streets of Jerusalem.

  2. Religious Education- Lent Coursework

    It also shows everlasting life found in Jesus. The four weeks of advent each represent one thousand years, which totals up to four thousand years from Adam and Eve to the birth of Jesus. The Colours of the candles in the wreath give certain messages; the purple mean prayer and

  1. The two Christian Festivals which I am going to discuss are Lent and Easter, ...

    the younger generation who are C of E and they believe Advent is a time for Calendars and the lead up to Christmas and nothing more, for many of the religion it depends upon the Age and of How strong their faith is.

  2. Explain why many of the religious leaders came to the conclusion that Jesus should ...

    - Not least because Jesus did not seem to be so religious, or so much in fear of God as them. He was very ordinary. Now the Pharisees outnumbered the Sadducees in terms of men, but did not have as much power on the Jewish Council - The Sanhedrin.

  1. Holy Week And Easter

    At this service, the oils that are going to be used in sacraments throughout the coming year (the oil of Catechumens, oil of Chrism and the oil used to anoint the sick) are blessed by the bishop. A public service is celebrated in the evening of Holy Thursday; this is

  2. "Attending the service of Holy Communion is the most important

    I know he died for everyone else as well. But this is very personal. It also links me with all the other Christians." This persons view is very clear; this person feels that the fact that Jesus died for Christians unties all Christians together, therefore unties her/him with all the other Christians.

  1. Discipleship Assignment

    They would also support Jesus in his mission. Jesus did not choose wealthy or respectable people because wealth would get in the way. They would be helping poor people and the poor would not feel comfortable around wealthy people. He did not choose respectable people because people like the teachers

  2. Jesus Christ was one of the world's greatest religious leaders.

    The angel Gabriel visited Mary and announced that her child would be the Son of God and the Messiah that was promised in the Hebrew Bible. This visit is known as the annunciation. Sometime before Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem to record their names in a census (count of the people).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work