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Favorite story of the day: My colleague, at the early service, looked ahead at his pastoral prayer when saying "Let us pray," and it came out as "Let us praise."14yo later said, "'Let us praiz!' LOLCatz!"And my Easter moment, that moment when you get the catch in your throat and feel the rush of believing, came unexpectedly and belatedly, during the last hymn of the second service, when for some reason I felt touched by the final verse of "Come Ye, Faithful, Raise the Strain." We sang it from the New Century Hymnal, and here are the words:Neither might the gates of death,nor the tomb's dim portal,Nor the watchers, nor the sealhold you as a mortal;But today amid the twelveyou still stand, bestowingPeace and joy which evermorepasses human knowing.
I shared a particularly powerful Good Friday service at my church on my blog.
We had amazing music this year with an excellent 5 piece brass ensemble. Those crescendos and descants pour the music right into my soul.As I began the benediction at the first service, I caught sight of a woman in the front row wiping away tears. Knowing what was going on in her family, my voice cracked with shared unshed tears.Favorite kid quote of the day: "why is the cross on the ground?"My Easter moment came as Easter was about to end. 11 PM in the ICU as I stood with a daughter watching over her mother. The promises of God and the hope of the resurrection were what I had to offer.
As I shared in the Saturday preaching party yesterday, our Easter Sunday took a strange turn when our 5 y.o. son fell while running through the church library after worship. He broke his arm - an open fracture (i.e., bone punctured the skin). We spent the day in our Easter clothes first at Urgent Care then at the ER, and then finally he got surgery in the early evening. He and I spent the night in the hospital while he got IV antibiotics; we hope to be going home later this morning.Not what we'd planned for Easter! But I am so so grateful for the medical care we got. We live 3 miles from University of Michigan hospital, which also has a children's hospital. The pediatric orthopedic surgeon was so wonderful. We'll see her again on Thursday for a cast.We'll celebrate Easter as a family once we're home later today. I'm glad that Easter is a season and not just a day! :)
Songbird - love that hymn! Looking forward to reading others. I had an Unexpected Easter
Oh, Earthchick..glad all is well. We too will be having Easter at home today, thankful that it is a seaon!
Praying for you all, Earthchick! Our Easter Vigil was lovely but marred for me by our soprano section (including me!) falling apart in 2 places on Lodovici Viodana's "Sing, Ye Righteous." It got back together but it was VERY distressing. The next morning our fab director said, "You know what I realized last night? We make this offering because God loves us, and whatever WE think of that offering, it is a treasure. Because God loves us." Best part of Easter for me was seeing Super Curate celebrate the Eucharist at 8:30 service. :)One of our longtime saints died early Sunday morning. A sad and joyous note. He is in no more pain. Funeral mass Thursday.
Oh Earthchick! So sorry!Our services went well. We had two, a first time for us. The first was nice for me because the music director planned the liturgy with the praise group, so all I did was preach and preside at the table. That was great!Preaching went well, which felt great.It was a beautiful day, and I guess my own Easter moment was in the car as I drove to church alone. It had been raining here when I woke up at 4:30, but when I was driving at 7:30 the sky was CLEAR where we were, but the light grey clouds were on the eastern horizon just below the BLINDING sun. It was pretty cool. I could barely see the block in front of me.
What went well at our Easter service: The fact that our place was packed despite our pastor being absent; believe it or not, the morning announcements, which I think were testament to visitors that our church does good things in our community and beyond -- made me feel good; the singing, despite a couple of hymns that may have been unfamiliar/challenging for infrequent churchgoers. What didn't go well: A lay sermon that was too long, too focused on Good Friday rather than Easter morning and that contained some absolutely cringeworthy material. (Mary Magdalene was a whore? Jesus is now a soul, not a body?) Many OMG moments, not in a good way.I had a couple of Easter moments. One was seeing a couple who've been estranged for several months together and enjoying one another's company at church. Another was enjoying our privilege as a household in taking a woman in a crisis situation whom our church has been helping out to Easter brunch and sightseeing in a more scenic part of our state...she enjoyed herself very much, and for us it wasn't about "charity" but about sharing a place we love with someone else.
Had one of those moments when the call to worship included a line about God wiping away our tears- it's been a tough start to the year for our family- and I realized how many tears I'd shed lately. I've posted some other thoughts about being a seminarian and worshiper on Easter over at my blog, too. here
Oh, Earthchick, so sorry about the fall and the injury!I couldn't be more pleased about the way Holy Week and Easter went. I had a very ambitious schedule of services, which this parish was not accustomed to, but they were all well-attended, especially the Great Vigil Saturday night--we had 70 people there which feels huge to me! What's more that didn't decimate Sunday's attendance--we had a respectable crowd at both services. I stayed up WAAAY too late Saturday night finishing Sunday's sermon, and by the end of the second service yesterday I was a bit punchy. I came home and took a three hour nap. I also decreed the parish office closed today and tomorrow so the staff can have a well-deserved breather,and I can have an extra day off. Really, the whole thing was an affirmation for me that what I'm trying to do here can work. A great Easter message. SB, I love that hymn, too.
Oh, LC, so sorry to hear of the agonizing preaching malpractice. Hope you can educate the person and/or alert the pastor....I had some major Easter moments which I will blog and link later. A small and unexpectedly joyous one came this morning though. I had bought a couple of bilingual kid's books at Paulist Press before leaving California cause I knew they'd be hard to find here, and forgotten about them. So my daughter Ladybug got a Eucharist one and an Easter one in her basket, and I worried that the latter would be too young for her. But it had some bible verses cited and this sparked her interest to come and ask me if we could find Psalm 24. I showed it to her and then realized that she meant Luke 24:9, so showed her how to find books, chapters and verses in her bible, then suggested that we read the whole chapter of resurrection stories. She read it out loud to me and giggled several times, especially when Cleopas and Mary on the road to Emmaus think Jesus is the dumbest, most current-events-ignorant pilgrim in the history of Passover!....So good to have the fresh perspective on a text we usually hear as solemn...And a golden opportunity to help her transition from storybooks and children's sermons to ownership of the unmediated sacred text--cause she is now quite excited about adding a daily chapter to our bedtime reading. Halleluia!
So many wonderful stories! Thanks revgals. Sorry to hear about child, earthchick. Lutheranchick, see if you can find a copy of that sermon and send it to the deacon's committee in your synod. It is time for some continuing ed for your deacon!This is has been my last Easter in active ministry and my last Holy Week-Easter as a "Luth-episk" In someways it was bittersweet and nostalgic. Because my choir did not do their usual Easter play on Palm Sunday weekend, we had the best Holy week liturgy since I have been there. The music was fairly lively but the choir wasn't tired out from the play.But the highlight came with the children's time on Easter morning. I asked my kids what a miracle was. Several kids tried to answer when a 7 yo piped up with. A miracle is "something only God can do." And that became the real theme for my sermon. EVen the weather was cooperative yesterday. It was the only Easter in upstate NY that I can remember I could wear a spring suit!In a matter of weeks we will be moving to TX and I will be wearing spring suits in Feb.
Earthchick, not the way one wants to end Easter Day,but I'm glad the medical care was nearby when you needed it.Muthah, prayers for you in this time of transition.Easter moments: the birth of a 4th generation baby into our congregation just after midnight; I had buried her great-grandma on Easter Eve the year before, so the timing was particularly meaningful.During communion, the choir singing "Halle, halle, halle" which is one of my absolute favorite anthems; I want that one at my funeral!A precious and funny moment with my 15 y.o. son in the back of the church just before one of the services began; he was acolyting and I was celebrant. With a teen, those moments are especially to be treasured.And that earthquake...even quite a bit north in L.A., we felt it rolling through.
Oh, Betsy, I used to dance down the aisle with the Gospel book to "Halle, Halle, Halle" at my last parish! I missed it this year!
I spent way too long this morning giving my blog some new life. Stop by and tell me what you think!
It's hard to describe Easter this year. For me, also, it was the last one for me in active ministry (I retire fully at the end of June; I've been working half-time since October, but that's another tale.) Planning meaningful worship services and visuals for the worship center have been highlights of my ministry. People expressed their appreciation of those yesterday, which felt great, but made me realize just how much I'm going to miss doing it in the future.One high point I posted yesterday, when a father said, "who needs the Jonas Brothers? We have a great choir!" (choir had just done "In Christ Alone" arranged by Angerman)Music has always been the point where faith touches my heart and soul, and that was another high point for me yesterday. During the hymns I flashed back to my childhood church, where my faith was nurtured and my "education" in sacred music began.I also loved the beautiful weather in upstate NY (Albany area) - all too well I remember standing in snow for sunrise services in central Vermont, and some less-than-glorious weather here!
Heavy hearts at our service due to loss of dear, sweet T.But during children's message, I had to plastic Easter Eggs(one with candy, one empty). I used it as the illustration of usually wanting to find something there, but our Easter joy and the good thing about 1st Easter was empty tomb.We have a 5 yr old who is mildly autistic. He used to sit in church with hands over ears and would not talk.Yesterday, i brought out the two eggs and told them that they had missed "two eggs in the egg hunt on saturday.The child said," Hey, I believe those are mine!"I asked if I coud borrow them and he said,"Sure."LOL
So, so sorry about your little one's arm, EC!Thanks for all the sharing RGBP!I am just home from dinner after the funeral this afternoon
I'm doing an internship at a rural UCC church. My low point of Holy Week? Trying to make a quiche with "Kosher for Passover cake meal" to take to a friend's Passover seder, in the midst of church-induced weariness, only to have the crust turn out crumbly and impossible. (I didn't realize the stuff was so different from regular flour!) I was standing in my kitchen whimpering and fussing like a tired toddler. (Glad no-one else saw!)Best Holy Week moments: sharing a candlelit communion service with members of two congregations around a shared table, and having so many people show up we had to add more place settings!Also: Easter sunrise service, high on a hill in rare spring warmth, watching the sun rise over a beautiful mist-covered valley...reading aloud Hopkins' "God's Grandeur" and watching, at poem's end, a young member of the church release his flock of homing pigeons to flutter, rise, wheel above our heads, and fly away into the colours of dawn.
Oh earthchick - so sorry. Praying for quick healing.Best part of Easter: Sunrise service was absolutely beautiful. A breathtaking moment when the sun peaked over the horizon across Lake Superior just as we shared communion at the Terry Fox Lookout. Beautiful.
We've been having a really rough time lately. Moving through the Triduum was the most moving emotional Easter I've had in years. It felt holy, even Sunday morning when I was just drained. We topped it off by inviting a group of students (I work in Campus Ministry) to our house for an Easter grill-out. Burgers, brats, several kinds of dessert and good company: it was a wonderful way to cap a wonderful weekend. Blessings and rest to you all this week!
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