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Pope lauds 2 simple Easter traditions, and asks if Easter is more important than Christmas

POPE FRANCIS GENERAL AUDIENCE
Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA | I.Media
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"Christ is risen" is the center of our faith and of our hope, it is the core

Pope Francis today turned his attention to the Holy Triduum — the three days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday — along with Easter Sunday as the “matrix” of life, just as for our Jewish brothers and sisters is the celebration of the Exodus.

He spoke about the Triduum, which begins tomorrow, during today’s general audience.

He began with a question: Which feast day is the most important of our faith: Christmas or Easter?

“Easter,” he answered, “because it is the feast of our salvation, the feast of God’s love for us, the feast and the celebration of His death and Resurrection.”

During his address, the pope also noted some simple Easter traditions, and mentioned how Easter Monday is an extra day of celebrating the “great feast”: “But this is post-liturgical: it is the family feast, it is the feast of society.”

Greetings

One Easter tradition the Holy Father noted is the greeting that can be used during this 50-day season:

“Many peoples of the world,” he said, “especially in Eastern Europe, greet each other on these Easter days not with ‘good morning’ or ‘good evening’ but with ‘Christ is risen,’ to affirm the great Easter greeting. ‘Christ is risen.’

“In these words – ‘Christ is risen’ – the Triduum culminates in emotional exultation. They contain not only an announcement of joy and hope, but also an appeal to responsibility and mission. And it does not end with the Easter cake, the eggs, the parties – even if this is nice because as it is a family celebration  – but it does not end with that. There begins the journey to the mission, to the proclamation: Christ is risen.

“And this announcement, to which the Triduum leads us by preparing us to welcome it, is the center of our faith and of our hope, it is the core, it is the announcement, it is – a difficult word, but which says everything – it is the kerygma, which continually evangelizes the Church and that it is in turn sent to evangelize.”

Able to see

The pope also mentioned a tradition for children: “In many countries – here in Italy and also in my homeland – there is the custom that when Easter day arrives, when the bells are heard, mothers and grandmothers, they take their children to wash their eyes with water, with the water of life, as a sign of being able to see the things of Jesus, new things,” he said. “In this Easter let us allow our soul to be cleansed, let us cleanse the eyes of the soul, to see beautiful things, and to do beautiful things. And this is wonderful! This is precisely the Resurrection of Jesus after His death, which was the price for saving all of us.”

The pope, in fact, recommended this tradition: “I advise you: on Easter morning, take the children to the tap and have them wash their eyes. It will be a sign of how to see the Risen Jesus.”

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Read the full text here.

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