The Great Fifty Days of Easter began with a really great Easter Sunday! It was a chilly but sunny morning, and the intrepid Hospitality Committee served about 110 souls a hearty breakfast in a very festive Large Hall. The church was full; the Senior Choir, Junior Choir, and organ sounded wonderful; greeters and ushers extended a kind welcome to regulars, visitors, and a few friends who are now farther afield (welcome back Debbie Lowe, Brian and Sara Kelley, and Susan and Jim Hyde!). For the first time in a number of years, we had an egg hunt after the service, which was a lot of fun for the younger set. (Thanks for suggesting it, Leigh Anne Riedman!) You will see several different sets of “thank you’s” below, as it takes a village of Grace folks to put on Easter, as was certainly evident Saturday morning! To those thanks, I want to add my own to the parish staff, for all their hard work planning, rehearsing, setting up, fixing, and leaflet-ing over the last month.
Easter is really fifty days—so we have a good amount of time to rejoice in our risen Savior, and ponder anew how to honor Christ with our lives, individually and together. In our worship, we don’t scrimp on Alleluias; the joyful Gloria (“Glory to God in the highest”) comes back and the Kyrie (“Lord have mercy”) is put away; our hymns remember the Resurrection story and look to the future with hope for eternal life; and we take the season off from a formal Confession, to remind us that we are a forgiven people. The color of vestments and on the altar is white, the liturgical color of celebration.
In our prayer, we will remember regions in the global Anglican Communion that are experiencing violence and civil strife, in response to our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s call for a season of prayer throughout Eastertide for these regions:
• Central America
• Democratic Republic of the Congo
• Middle East
• South Sudan
More information is available here.
Let us bear one another’s burdens in prayer and action even as we rejoice in Easter hope.