accompanies any and every festival in my world.
Thank God I no longer have to stage church observances at the same time. For too many years family got sandwiched between the 8 and sometimes 9 worship services that filled up the space from Palm/Passion Sunday through Easter Day. And nothing ever went smoothly in Holy Week - accidents, illness and death were constant companions; so much so that I privately renamed the days "Hell Week". Now there's an experience begging for theological reflection - but not today. Phew!
How did I manage both my family celebrations, with all the trimmings - dying eggs, hiding eggs, hunting for eggs, and of course the big feast - and the Church? Well I know I had more energy 15 to 20 years ago than I do now, but I also know who got the shortest end of the stick - Me - and the Church got the most.
Well that was then. Now I only stage the family festival. What freedom! What joy! Way fewer rules equals way more room for love. My family will gather on Saturday not Easter Day, because that's the best time for us all to get together. I will find some time at some point to meet up with God in the garden (not mine because there's still way too much snow on the ground; a greenhouse perhaps?) and talk about gratitude.
There are still some rules though, traditions which must be followed, but they are neither empty nor onerous. Easter eggs - dyed but not hidden (no horrors to be found in July tucked down behind a bookshelf) - Paska (bread) - a Ukrainian Easter bread (not sure exactly how this made it into the family tradition, but it began with my mother). Then there's the supper - No feast, No festival! Ham, glazed with sweetened mustard and decorated with pineapple slices and maraschino cherries, and scalloped potatoes, dark brown around the edges, are the essentials, while the veg and dessert are variable. This year wilted arugula with roasted spring veggies (Longo's Experience Magazine: Spring 2013) will provide the colour commentary for the ham and potatoes, and for dessert, two pies: apple and lemon meringue. Of course there will be wine. I think a Riesling (Steelpost) from Thirty Bench Wines and for a bit of spice a Gewurtztraminer from Flat Rock Cellars, will go down well.
I gotta get to work; the lull is over.
Take some time to share a festive meal with loved ones this weekend.