Easter Sunday is the culmination of Lent and of Holy Week, the week beginning with Palm Sunday. Holy Week contains three of the most important days in the Christian calendar — Maundy or Holy Thursday remembering the Last Supper or Christ’s last Passover feast with his disciples; Good Friday, commemorating Christ’s crucifixion, passion and death; and Easter, celebrating his resurrection.
In Idyllwild, most local churches feature Easter services and some have services on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Check church websites (see ad, page 19) for calendars of services and times during the week.
A highlight for many is the annual Easter Sunrise Service at Inspiration Point, beginning at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, April 5.
Non-denominational in nature, with all welcome to attend, the service this year is led by the Rev. Richard Olson, pastor of the Community Presbyterian Church. Attendees are reminded to bring a chair and blanket, as no seating is provided and it can still be chilly on early April mornings.
Queen of Angels Catholic Church hosts several events around the holiday, starting with the Lord's Super service on Holy Thursday, April 2 at 7 p.m. There will be a Good Friday Passion of the Lord service on Friday at 3 p.m. There will be an Easter Vigil in the Holy Night on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and two Easter Mass services on Sunday at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Easter is inextricably linked with Jewish Passover, both in calendar and tradition.
The new Jewish synagogue in Idyllwild, Temple Har Shalom, will observe Passover with a Seder dinner at 5:30 Friday, April 10, at Meadow Lodge, Idyllwild Pines.
Also by tradition, the Easter season is linked with rebirth in Nature, the Vernal Equinox, the carpeting of Hill daffodils, the budding of trees, the flowering of Hill lilacs in their many varietals and the celebration of days growing brighter — all affirming the continuity of life. Parents and children color eggs, symbolizing optimism and new birth.
The Community Easter Egg Hunt begins 10 a.m. Saturday at the Idyllwild Community Park at the corner of Highway 243 and Ridgeview Drive.
All ages are invited to participate. An Easter Bonnet contest and a visit from the Easter Bunny are part of the festivities.
The American Legion Post 800, as it does each year, is holding its Easter Egg Hunt from 1 to 3 p.m. on the post grounds at 54360 Marian View Dr.
Easter and Passover also are linked with food — the Paschal lamb, the lamb as a Passover sacrifice and Christ as the symbolic lamb, sacrificed for the sake of others.
On Easter Sunday, lamb has long been the traditional centerpiece of the Easter feast.
Of Idyllwild restaurants preparing special meals for Easter, Mariah Tartaglia at La Bella Montagna is most closely keeping the old world Italian Easter tradition.
On Good Friday, lobster ravioli or olive oil-poached salmon, honoring the once Catholic-church-mandated “no meat” Fridays, is served, and on Easter Saturday and Sunday, cream of artichoke hearts soup, rack of lamb and white chocolate panna cotta for dessert.
Jo’An’s begins Easter Sunday with breakfast — eggs benedict and lox and bagel specials, accompanied by “bottomless” mimosas, and during dinner, prime rib with twice-baked potatoes and ham with scalloped potatoes.
Reservations are suggested for all local restaurants at Easter. La Casita will be closed Easter Sunday.