Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Easter 2012 -- He is Risen!

Easter 2012 was celebrated more than usual. It felt great!

Some parts were spirit-filled. Some were just fun. It is good in life to have a combination of the two.

For me, Easter is not complete without spending part of the day in church. 

Palm Sunday:
Taize Service at WINK. The focus was on the Passion story, instead of Palm Sunday (the church calendar allows for either scripture to be used on Palm Sunday). I still have troubles letting go and embracing the Taize style. 

We visited Miss Patti's church in Levittown, PA where their Signing Hands Praise Choir re-enacted the Passion Story using sign language interpreted contemporary Christian music. It was very moving and spirit-filled service.

Maundy Thursday:
For the first time, I attended a Maundy Thursday service and I am so glad that I did. We walked down to the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville. The service started at 8 PM. The music included a cellist, whose melodic tones enhanced the choir's singing. As the scripture readings get closer to the crucifixion, the lights become dimmer. The service is sometimes referred to as "the service of the shadows." Hopefully we'll go again next year.

Good Friday:
Again we returned to the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville. We were blessed to hear storyteller and pastor the Rev. Joanne Epply-Schmidt perform the Passion story. Despite hearing the same parts of scripture 3 other times that week, she brought new insights to it and made it come alive.

It was hard, but we made it to the 6:15 sunrise service. The benefit to having Easter in March is that the sunrise service is later. It is a short service where the few gather in the cemetery around a fire pit and hope the neighbors don't call the fire department. The assortment of dress styles is always interesting to study. It ranges from traditional Easter attire to PJs (or so it seems). We were doing good to wear clothes and not PJs and hope it was too dark for anyone to notice.

After a nap, we went to the 11 AM service at Lawrence Road Presbyterian Church. Ashley sang with the children's choir as the new piano was debuted. It was great seeing the church packed and the flowers filling the apse filled with flowers. We changed for this service.

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