At Easter we are surrounded by bunnies and eggs. What is the meaning of these as Easter symbols?
The egg is an ancient symbol of new birth. In many traditions, new birth requires the death or transformation of a previous state. This death we recognise on Good Friday and is represented by the cross. On Saturday we find ourselves filled with anticipation - a day of waiting and patience. And then on Sunday, we experience the wonder and new hope through the resurrection and the symbol of the hidden egg.
And where does The Easter Bunny fit? The Easter Bunny is the modern replacement of the Easter Hare. If we look at the myth and folklore of old, we can find meaning and universal truth in the symbol of the Hare. He travels alone and his virtues of self-sacrifice and courageousness, along with an active interest in the world, provide the perfect capacities to help him travel the world, bringing the message and promise (through the egg) of renewal and new life to all the corners of the earth. The bunny, in contrast, represents communal life and timidity, capacities not usually associated with the festival of Easter.
Perhaps in a effort to re-enliven and carry the true reverence and wonder of Easter, we need to resurrect and connect to the image of the Easter Hare, renaming our Bunnies, Hares!