4 Tips to Help You Stay in the Easter Spirit When You Don’t Feel Like Celebrating
One of the things I’ve always loved about the Catholic Church is its ability to party.
For those outside the Church, partying is probably the last thing that comes to mind when they consider Catholicism. More likely, they think of a bunch of repressed rule-followers who wouldn’t know the celebratory spirit if it bit them in the behind. But oh if they only knew that our celebrations actually last officially for forty days.
Sometimes, after an arduous Lenten season, the ability to join with the rest of the Church in the festive spirit of Easter comes completely natural to us. And other times, maybe despite having embraced Lent, we don’t feel like celebrating, come Easter time. Or maybe on the day itself, that first Alleluia lifts our spirits, but it’s just not easy to keep that joy alive for forty days.
When other crosses in our lives are fighting with the spirit of joy that we naturally long for during the forty days of Easter, we might have to be a bit more intentional about cultivating that joy in our daily lives. So here are four ideas to help keep the spirit of Easter alive for forty days when celebrating isn’t coming naturally.
Keep Your Family and Friends Close
Sometimes I think that Easter gets passed over far too easily in our modern world, even by Catholics. Did you know that it’s actually a higher feast than Christmas? Oh yeah, Easter is actually number one of the holy days.
So why does Easter not immediately evoke thoughts of togetherness time with those we love, as Christmas does? Hopefully, you were at least able to spend some quality time with your family members or close friends on the great day of celebration itself, Easter Sunday. But if, like a lot of the world, you let the day pass you by without a ton of fanfare or quality time, it’s not too late.
Make a special effort for the rest of the Easter season to set aside time with those you love. Quality time often hits the emotional spot when we’re feeling down, and there’s no better time than Easter to reconnect and make the time that we often forget about.
Raise Your Voice in Song
Personally, I tend to bristle a bit when I hear platitudes like, “Singing is praying twice,” thrown around. Perhaps I’ve known too many music ministry people who are, uh, a little more showy about their skills than is really necessary. And yet, there is some truth in the important role song can play.
Even if you’re self-conscious about your voice, singing can still be a good way to up the rejoice-factor in your life. Sing along at Mass — even quietly can do the trick, if you don’t think your voice is good enough. But don’t stop there.
Sing along to the radio in the car. Sing in the shower if you dare. Try focusing your prayer life toward the spirit of rejoicing by starting out with one of the Easter alleluia-heavy classic hymns.
Because even if you don’t typically sing very often, you might be really surprised at its natural ability to lift your spirits.
Set Aside Time for the Things You Enjoy Most
Now I’m not advocating using Easter as an excuse to be intemperate in chocolate or alcohol consumption, or as an excuse to totally forget responsibility in favor of having fun. But try to remember that this is the season to do what you love most.
Be happy that the time set aside specifically for self-denial is over, and make time particularly to enjoy the things you love most.
Maybe this means cooking a nice meal for yourself, getting outside for a hike, or letting yourself relax for a low key evening of Netflix.
And if your life is super hectic, so much so that you don’t feel like you even can set aside time for the things you love, don’t forget Sunday. At least take a break from your daily grind on the Lord’s day and make a special effort to commemorate His Resurrection with something you really enjoy.
Ask for a Spirit of Celebration
When you’re struggling with anything in life, don’t forget your best weapon: Prayer.
If things feel bleak and celebration is as far from your heart as you can imagine, bring those feelings to God. Ask Him to help you enter in to the celebration of the season, of the greatest event in the history of the world.
Try meditating on the Resurrection. Read the accounts of it in the Gospels. Pray the glorious mysteries of the Rosary. Invite the Risen Lord into your heart in a special way, and thank Him for saving us in so spectacular a manner.
Know that Christ understands your struggles and longs for you to bring them to Him. Remember that He still has wounds even after rising. So ask Him to help you truly embrace the joy of the season even when it feels nearly impossible.
Adrienne Thorne is a Catholic wife, mother, screenwriter, and blogger, as well as author of the Catholic YA romance novel SYDNEY AND CALVIN HAVE A BABY. She blogs about TV and Movies from Catholic perspective at Thorne in the Flesh: A Faithful Catholic's Guide to Netflix, Hulu, and More.