Superstitious people for centuries associated Easter with the wearing of new clothes. In times when most people were much poorer than today, they may have had only one suit of clothes to wear at all times. Easter might have been the occasion to scrape together the means to have something new to wear, or at least to refurbish the old.
Perhaps the roots of this practice are further back in time than the first Easter, as the undoubted renewal of spring in the earth gave the idea of renewal to people observing the newly green fields, the flowers and young leaf buds.
When I was young my mother dressed my sister and me in new outfits for Easter, and she herself would usually have a new dress and hat. Here are a few pictures of our tradition’s progress—also showing the status of my family.
The upheaval prompted my eldest brother to go searching for a church that he could rely upon, ending in his conversion to the Mormons. It’s true that in the years to come my mother’s church dissatisfied us all for its leaders’ insistence that nobody could “know” anything definite about God or Jesus.
I have a new dress this year to wear to church. It has become less and less important as the day’s significance to my interior feelings has grown in importance.
It is the time of renewal, the time to remember that one day a resurrection of all things will take place, a restoration to that which was in its perfect form. No longer needing the symbolism of new clothes, I myself will become reborn, perfect, through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.