Here are seven simple ideas that might just help. Like the ideas for making holy week holy, they are for you whether you are alone, part of a church community which is marking the Easter together, or among people for whom nothing is holy.
Avoid the ‘happy-trap’
This is the mistake that happiness comes to those who manage acquire all the things they think will cheer them up. The way in which consumer society has become a parody of itself is evidence enough of the power and tragedy of this trap. Munching an Easter egg is unlikely to hit the spiritual spot on its own. To avoid the happy trap you have to face outwards and upwards.
Make a joyful noise
My favourite bit of the Easter liturgy. Everyone clattering pan lids or blowing whistles or ringing bells as the Gloria starts at the dawn service. A pointless, praise-filled expression of pure joy. Like the way a drunken tramp roars with laughter on an open road it is both absurd and transcendent. Do it anywhere.
Join in public worship
Whether it is parish church, old factory, remote chapel, hilltop at dawn or great cathedral. Just be there and join in.
Pick up the phone and call someone who will be astonished and delighted that you have remembered them.
Give your inner critic a holiday
You can do with out her for a few days. Be a bit more accepting both of yourself and others. Yes, it could have been better, but it wasn’t – end of.
Thank someone sincerely
Tell them how grateful you are for what they do or who they are. Make it sincere and keep it simple. It’s about them, not you.
Make friends with the word ‘Alleluia’
It means ‘Praise the Lord’, or, of we dig more deeply, ‘All hail to the One who is’. Let it become your attitude, your response, though thick and thin. Say it through gritted teeth or in spite of tears. The Russian Kontakion for the Departed has it as our song as we weep over a grave. It is the word of Easter, the cry from the empty tomb. Alleluia!
May you discover joy this Easter, and may ‘Alleluia’ be your song.