Monday, April 21, 2014

Communal Easter

Christ is Risen!

Folares: see my food
blog for the recipe...
Our church did something different this year and joined with another church to celebrate the Resurrection. I thought it was a strange idea at first. I'm still not really sure why it was decided to do things this way; I guess an attempt to unite in friendship and love for a special holiday.

Our two congregations are VERY similar. Almost like twins. The only difference is that they got first dibs on the bigger auditorium. Heh. Heh. So it was nice to be in a real auditorium this once instead of a teeny classroom. The funny thing is that they meet one hour before us on Sundays (and leave while we're still in session), so we don't tend to bump into each other even though our rented meeting rooms are in the same compound.

(Photo credit: Daniel Chersunov) I bet you can't find me! It's only a partial view...try looking for Andrei first. ;)

It's nice that our churches are similar because I didn't really feel like everything was shockingly different. A few of our members helped with worship and our pastor gave a mini-sermon and our Sunday school teachers taught all the kids together. The other worship and leading and preaching were done by our hosts. Oh, and I almost forgot the performance that their kids put on: Resurrection verse recitations. So ridiculously adorable.

Even though I like to observe meaningful holidays with people I'm close to, it's also nice to be in a big, excited group to celebrate something joyful. The more people that I meet who share my sentiments on such a day, the more it lifts my spirits.

(intermission here; big Easter lunch/dinner with Nina and Vladimir)

ALL the animals must EAT! 

Evening thoughts after celebrating the Resurrection

It always kind of confuses me when I see people going about their regular life on Easter Sunday. Not that I expect everyone to celebrate Easter, but in the culture I grew up in it was a family day even for non-religious people. Most people I knew at least did the whole Easter basket thing, church or not. In Russian Orthodox Christianity though there is a night vigil and then early morning service, so maybe that is the culmination and people go home and wind down after that.

I saw a lot of people going grocery shopping and walking their dogs and whatnot. And I wanted to ask them if they knew what day it was!

Then again, it's almost midnight and I'm catching up on dishes and laundry myself. (how dare you change out of your Easter outfit already, Elizabeth!) Life must go on, and our faith is merely the driving force, not an event that happens periodically. Still, I'm glad we have holidays that make us stop and contemplate.

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