Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Reflections

What was Holy Week and Easter Day like for you? For me, it was very busy, and absolutely wonderful. On Palm Sunday we had a palm procession that began outside near the bell tower and we sang as we walked into the church. Our friend Alyssa Stevens and her mom, Laurie, came to play their violins, and along with Ron's organ playing made beautiful music for us all. 
On Maundy Thursday, St. Paul's had its first Seder dinner, followed by our traditional service with foot washing. What an amazing time we all had together. It enriched us, and the Seder was meaningful: we learned a great deal about our history, and it was lots of fun, too. 
A small group gathered on Good Friday evening to walk the Stations of the Cross. We used a wonderful book, "The Way of Sorrows" by Katerina K. Whitley, and we each came away with a feeling of having meditated deeply on Christ's journey to the cross.
On Holy Saturday, we gathered outside the church in the dark and lit a fire. With prayers, we lit the Paschal candle from the fire, lit smaller candles from the large one, and processed into the darkened church chanting, "The light of Christ, Thanks be to God." We read parts of our history from the Old Testament, the altar candles were lit and the lights came up as we proclaimed that Christ is risen! As in the Early Church, we proceeded with an adult baptism, my first time to celebrate that sacrament, then shared Eucharist together. It was a most holy night.
Easter Day brought a small group for a lay-led "Sunrise" service, followed by a crowd for the main Eucharist at 10:30 -- we had 14 visitors!  Alyssa again brought beautiful music with her exquisite playing of the violin, which greatly enhanced the service. And, of course, we topped off the day with an Easter egg hunt for the children. 
I am still glowing with all the memories. I pray your Easter experience will continue to bless you in every way.

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