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I just wanted to chime in here to address the following:

The Christian Easter consecrates suffering and death.

I was raised Catholic and stayed in that religious tradition for over 40 years. I left for a variety of anguished reasons, but it was the right decision for me. I don't consider myself a Christian at this point.

What I wanted to say is that I believe the focus - for a brief period of time during Lent (not Easter, as that celebrates the Resurrection) - is actually beneficial and what I believe is lacking in modern "prosperity gospel" Christianity. It is necessary and healthy to ponder our own mortality and the suffering of others and ourselves. Religion and philosophical traditions that do not address suffering and death are superficial at best. It's my understanding that the Samhain celebration addresses this spiritual need as well.

Thanks for listening and sorry for barging into the discussion - I'm interested in comparative religion and have lurked here for a while, and admire your pagan tradition a great deal.
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