Sunday, April 4, 2010
A Joyful Easter-Tide
Happy Easter Blessings to you and yours.
I was thinking this morning about what family history I could share in an Easter post. I don't have any knowledge of how my ancestors celebrated Easter, but a few memories from my own life came to mind.
My grandmother who lived just a few houses away always made Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday. I wish I knew if she started the tradition and if it was one from her own childhood that she carried on.
One Saturday before Easter when I was very young, a family in the Ridge had an Easter egg hunt on their property. I remember carrying my basket and not finding many eggs.
In the weeks leading up to Easter my mother took my sister and me shopping. We both had new dresses, hats, gloves, probably shoes, and maybe a spring coat, too, if Easter was early. On Easter morning my father always gave my mother, my sister, and me corsages to wear. I did not realize how special that was, how debonair. Thinking about it, it was a surprising extravagance for my generally frugal parents.
I don't really remember Easter Day activities other than attending church. Mom probably baked a ham and perhaps we had family to dinner. I know the Easter Bunny hid baskets because I still have mine, but I don't really remember eating candy on Easter. These days my Easter thoughts turn to my Savior, Jesus Christ.
I came from a family of irregular church-goers. We were members of the Methodist Church and lived around the corner from our church in the Ridge. It seems like we went to "Sunday school" and/or "church" but not usually both on the same day. (Of course my memory could be very faulty on this.) Church was the meeting for adults in which the minister spoke a sermon. Sunday school was the time where children, teens, and adults attended classes by age-group. I think I was usually sent to Sunday school, though perhaps my mom and siblings went, too. My whole family occasionally attended church all together; other times one or the other of my parents attended with one or several of us children. Perhaps it was because my father worked turns that he was unable to attend church regularly.
The church building itself was nothing fabulous - red brick with a steeple and a bell. In the photograph of the church you can see the arched windows across the front of the church. The opposite side also had arched windows. Between those windows was the sanctuary which had a very high arched ceiling and felt cool and dark. It was silent in the sanctuary.
While the building was plain, the stained glass windows were fabulous! Each window on either side of the sanctuary showed an image from either the life of Christ or of His apostles. When sitting in a church pew, we had to look up to look at the windows. As a child not completely interested in or able to understand the sermon, the windows captured my attention. They were amazing. There was so much detail - faces with eyes and beards; toes; and fingers holding objects. When inside on a cloudless day, the sun dazzled through the colored glass. The rose window at the end of the sanctuary above the altar was my favorite window. It was striking from the inside, but the best time to see it was from the outside on a dark night. When the sanctuary lights shone through the colored glass, they caused the window to glow. It was breath-taking.
How is it I never took photogaphs of the windows of the church, either inside or out? The rose window has been gone for many years. Recently the building was sold and the steeple is being torn down. It won't be long before the rest of the windows are gone, if they aren't already. So sad.
Do you know if your ancestors celebrated Easter and if they did, how? Do you have special memories of Easter? How do you celebrate Easter now?
I wish you a blessed and joyful Easter-Tide.
Copyright © 2010 by Nancy Messier.