Why do we give special eggs at Easter time? It is a question that I often ask children (and indeed adults) when talking about Easter. Not many people know the answer. It is widely thought that eggs are a sign of new life. ‘Ah’, I always retort, ‘but why? And why is an egg appropriate in a Christian context as a sign of new life?’ The answer of course is that an egg is born twice – it is laid by a chicken or other bird (and born once) and then after a period of time a baby chick hatches (and is born twice). This is symbolic of Jesus who was born as a child in Bethlehem and ‘born again’ from the dead when he arose on Easter Day. Tradition also has it that Easter Eggs are not only given in person, but that Easter Egg hunts are held. Again, there are two reasons for this, firstly, where chickens are ‘free range’and are able to wander over fields or perhaps around a garden, they often lay eggs in spots where those collected them have to search for them. Secondly, we search for Easter Eggs because they are a sign of the Resurrection, and signs of resurrection are all around us and within us if only we are able to see them and acknowledge them as such. Think perhaps of an occasion in your own life where all seemed sad and desperate only for something quite unexpected to arise as a result! Some would maintain that these were experiences of resurrection and a foretaste of future resurrections!
On the day when we celebrate the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, it is fitting that we too will hold an Easter Egg hunt for children. This will take place after the Solemn Eucharist on Easter Day. When the service ends and the procession has withdrawn, children will be able to search in parts of the cathedral to see if they can find an Easter Egg or two. May they remind us of the Resurrection and lead us also to recognise and appreciate those small resurrections that occur in our own lives. Finders keepers Kids!