Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter!

We have our priorities straight around here: THIS is what Easter is all about. :)

No? Well how about this?

We had a lovely Easter weekend. It started on Saturday night with the Easter Vigil at our church. The Easter Vigil is probably what most of you think of as "Easter Sunday (morning)". Sometimes our church holds it at sunrise on Sunday, and sometimes at sunset on Saturday. This year it was at 7:05pm (sunset exactly!) and the service was designed to be very kid-friendly. The children of the parish were involved in the service, from Jonathan's job passing out taper candles as people arrived to the older children acting as lay readers and leading the prayers. It was well-organized and went beautifully, and the children did a marvelous job.

Easter Vigil is my favorite service of the year. After the long time of Lent, when we don't sing the Gloria, it tugs your heart to sing again, accompanied by everyone ringing bells or jingling their keys, "Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace, good will toward men. We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee!" It is a good, solid, joyous time.

There were two baptisms this year, both children of friends of mine: Jessica's daughter Bess and Ashley's new baby daughter Savannah. Bess will turn four this summer, and she was so excited about her baptism! When Fr. David asked her if she wanted to be baptized, as part of the formal liturgy, she shouted out "I do!!!" One of the things I love about our church is that whenever we have a baptism, all the children get to crowd around the font so that they can see. Fr. David always asks for their help handing him the pitcher, or the towel, or the shell, so they are involved and feel very important.

We have a great group of children at our church right now. I have noticed for some time, but was particularly struck this weekend as I watched them not only lead the service beautifully, but also help each other with such kindness. Jonathan joined them for the children's service and around the font this year. I worried a little about how he'd handle that, and if he'd get trampled in the general stampede down the aisle, but I shouldn't have. The older children take the young ones under their wings, holding hands, lifting up to help them see, directing them back to their parents pews. They are kids, and they run around and yell outside, and sometimes make noise during the service, but they are kind and gentle and it gladdens my heart to see them displaying such good character qualities.

Sunday morning we were back at church for the Easter morning mass, followed by an egg hunt for the kids. I've decided that I don't like mass "run for it!" egg hunts - even though this one was reasonably well-organized. Jonathan just wasn't sure exactly how it worked or what he was supposed to do, so everyone else got to the eggs before he did. Even though I was trying to help him, we pretty much just followed everyone else around and spotted eggs only to watch another child pick it up. Luckily a few other adults were paying attention, and one of them had some extra eggs that he "hid" after most of the stampede was over, allowing the kids at the back of the herd to have the fun of finding them at their own pace! I appreciated that. Still, it made me appreciate the way my parents did eggs hunts for us even more - they assigned each child a color, and we could only "find" eggs in that color. I don't think there is a good way to do mass egg hunts with lots of children, but this method will probably work well for our family.

Sunday evening we had Easter dinner with Gabe's mom and sister. I had hoped for a bigger gathering, but this is what worked out and we had a good time. Gabe had requested a "feast!" for Easter dinner, and I think the result was quite nice!

This is the pretty table before we loaded it down with food:

We had ham in a honey glaze,


deviled eggs,

green salad, fruit salad,

rolls, and sparkling cider. And for dessert: Irish Brownies

and Lemon Chiffon Pie.

It was nice to have our gathering at my house this year, because it meant that both boys got naps on time and went to bed on time, rather than missing both (which often happens when we drive somewhere!) Besides, I really enjoy cooking and entertaining!

There were lots of enjoyable and memorable parts of this weekend, but the one that takes the cake happened during dinner. Jonathan held out his cup (previously filled with apple cider) and asked,
Daddy, can I have some more beer?
To which Abbey asked (while the rest of us choked on our own "beer")
How does he even know what that is?
Good times. :)


Dy said...

What a beautiful congregation you have! Isn't that such a comfort and an encouragement? I'm glad you had a blessed Easter. And I just *love* little guys in their Easter outfits! So dapper and handsome! :-)


Amber said...

What a day! That sounds wonderful though. What a neat way to do the Easter Vigil too. It was odd not going to the Easter Vigil this year - it made the Easter service seem off somehow. I really hope to be able to go next year.

The kids and I enjoyed all your pictures!

BTW, I started having B-H contractions really early this time too. Ugh! And I don't really have much to offer on the sewing machine front - I commented back on my blog, but sewing machines are not something I know much of anything about.

Happy Easter to you and your family!