The holiday of Easter is a time of renewal - both physically and spiritually. It is a time of new beginnings.
In my lifetime Easter has been an important time in Perkins and in other towns. In 1950, churches would have their best attendance on Easter Sunday morning. Some of them hoped to have 100 or more. It was a day to set new records for attendance.
The old First United Methodist Church building is now in the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza. In the front of the sanctuary in 1950, there was a cross hanging on the wall. It had printed on the horizontal part of the cross "God is Love." On the vertical part, starting from the top it read, "Christ is Risen." The words on the cross told the message of Easter.
People would wear their nicest clothes on Easter. The ladies and girls especially, had pretty outfits. Hats were common for both men and women. Men took off their hats inside the church building.
During the days before Easter churches would have special events, such as spring revivals, special music and drama, baptism of new believers, and rededications. Churches would have white lilies for Easter. Families and church groups would have Easter egg hunts for the children. The Perkins Lions Club had and still has an Easter egg hunt in the community. Eggs symbolize the resurrection and new life.
My mother used to help my sister and I color hard boiled eggs, and later my wife Mary Jane did the same for our children.
Mary Jane also used to make an angel food cake resembling an Easter bunny. She had a round cake pan to make the main body of the rabbit. She would cut the round cake and use the two halves side by side for the body.
Smaller round cake pans were used for the head and tail. She set up the bunny on a piece of cardboard covered with aluminum foil. The ears were made out of white tag board, and pink gumdrops were the eyes.
The bunny was covered with white frosting. Green coconut was sprinkled around the rabbit to look like green grass.
Then she would put some small colored candy eggs around the bunny. The children in the family (and adults) got to eat the cake at Easter dinner. One time she took the bunny to her Aunt Peggie who was in a nursing home at Guthrie. (Aunt Peggie had a sweet tooth).
Some churches prefer not to emphasize Easter Sunday. They still teach the resurrection of Christ. But they do it at different times and in different ways. We have religious freedom in our country, so each church and each family can observe Ester in a way that meets their needs.
The Church of Christ and Christian Church preachers used to tell us that we should celebrate the Resurrection of Christ every Sunday (Lord's Day), and not just once a year.
Some prefer not the use the word Easter because of the pagan origin of the word. But the word Easter essentially implies Spring and new life. However a person celebrates the resurrection, Bill and Gloria Gaither summed it up in a song - "Because he lives, I can face tomorrow... and life is worth the living just because he lives."