In our “A Scout is Reverent” series, Scouting Wire takes a look at how Scouting families across the country observe a variety of religious holidays of their own faith and support fellow unit members in theirs. Join us as Steven Scheid, Director of the Center for Scouting Ministries, General Commission on United Methodist Men, shares a unique perspective on the importance of Easter!
For those who may not know what Easter is, can you please tell us a little about this holiday?
Easter is possibly the most special day in the year to Christians. The entire week leading up to Easter is a journey through the events before Jesus was crucified. We take time to remember the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday the week before. Youth, including a lot of Scouts, are invited to wave palm branches to herald the coming of the king. Thursday is known as Maundy Thursday. We remember the trial of Jesus. Friday, known as Good Friday, we remember the crucifixion. This week helps Christians reflect on the coming resurrection and their lives. Easter Sunday is the day Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. It represents the culmination of His earthly ministry by the conquering of death. On the first Easter Sunday, the resurrected Jesus appeared first to Mary outside the tomb. Sunday became the day of worship for most Christians based on this pivotal event. The high point of the day is the attending of church services or mass. Many churches will hold an early service right at sunrise. This service is called the Sunrise Service.
Do you know Scouts who have Scouting traditions connected to this holiday, and, if so, can you please tell us about that?
Easter is celebrated today with a variety of traditions. Many of these traditions have been adopted over time as various world cultures came into the Christian faith. The dying or decorating of Easter Eggs is a very popular tradition. Many Scout Troops will help to hide Easter Eggs for the big Easter Egg Hunt in their communities.
For Scout units that may have a member of Christian faith, what are some considerations and ways these Scout units can show support for their fellow Scouts who observe this holiday?
If your Pack, Troop, or Crew has Christians represented, Easter weekend is not an ideal time to schedule a camping trip – even though the weather may be perfect to be outside. Scouts could ask a local Christian church if the unit can help with or participate in the Easter Egg Hunt. There is frequently a need for people who can keep up with excited little ones. There may be other ways for interested Scouts to help serve, like setting up chairs outside for a Sunrise Service, or bringing flowers for a “living cross.”
Special thanks to Steven Scheid, Director of the Center for Scouting Ministries, General Commission on United Methodist Men, for sharing this with Scouting Wire.