Praying with Icons

Windows into Heaven

 Reflections on Growing in Our Friendship with Christ

by Bishop David Motiuk, Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton


April 2024

The Easter Egg. Symbol of Death and Resurrection

            Praying with Icons. Windows into Heaven. Growing in Our Friendship with Christ.

            Easter. Death. Resurrection. Easter Eggs.

            Easter eggs, in one sense, can be likened to icons in that they are full of colour and meaning and open us up to God’s love and presence.

            Long ago, it was the custom for people to place eggs on the graves of their family members and friends. Just as a baby chick is born from the eggshell, they believed their loved ones would be born again from the shell of their bodies.  The egg became a symbol of their belief in a future life.

            Let us take a closer look at the Easter Egg, which became for Christians a symbol for Easter, the resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

The egg is a symbol of renewed life. It represents the beginning of life, the hope of new life to come. Life is already present in the egg but it must first grow and develop. With warmth and patience, in time this life will hatch and break forth from the shell.

The egg, seemingly dead and lifeless, white and colourless, represents Jesus Christ in the tomb on Holy Saturday before Easter Sunday. His tomb seemed dead and lifeless. Yet on Easter Sunday, Jesus breaks free from the shell of the tomb and emerges into the newness of life, life eternal.

The very colours of the Easter Egg help remind us of the meaning of Easter and the newness of life that Jesus offers us when we chose to follow him.

Red reminds us of the blood shed by Jesus. It is the colour of love and reminds us that Jesus died and was buried because of his love for us.

Purple is the colour of royalty, the reminder that Christ is the King and Lord of all.

Green is the sign of new life in spring, when nature is freshly growing. It is the sign of hope for the future, hope in God’s unfolding plan for us.

Yellow represents the radiance of resurrection, the bright reflection of Christ’s divinity.

Black reminds us of the blackness, of destiny without the light of faith.

Blue is the colour of courage, strength, and stability, and reminds us that Christ is our strength.

Orange is the colour of the warmth of the sun, and reminds us of God’s presence, the warmth of Jesus.

            As we celebrate Easter, let us take a moment to reflect on Jesus’ passion and death upon the cross – the great sacrifice he makes for you and me, and let us recall his glorious resurrection and the gift of the newness of life that he offers us.

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

Praying with Icons. Windows into Heaven. Growing in Our Friendship with Christ.