Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Weekend - Thankful for God's Promises through Christ's Resurrection

This year, God's promises realized in Jesus' sacrifice & resurrection, were highlighted even more for me.
The services of Maundy-Thursday, the overnight prayer vigil at the Altar of Repose, the Good Friday service, and Stations of the Cross, the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday were a bittersweet time, as my family mourned the death of Dad, yet as we were reminded of the promise that we WILL see Dad again, in heaven.

My sister, Chellie and I, along with a friend Mary, from Church, had been decorating the Altar of Repose in the Chapel with the Easter flowers, on Wed., when we received the news that Dad had died.  We had just finished arranging the flowers, so to come back to the Chapel in the early morning hours of Good Friday, was, for me, a kind of memorial set up not only to honor Jesus, but a reminder of my Dad too.

As I sat and prayed, listened to the soft sounds of nature, the music playing, and smelled the sweet frangrance of the flowers, I  could truly feel God's peace fill me.   I had brought along my laptop to do Dad's funeral bulletin.  I think it was a good place to be, doing Dad's funeral service bulletin, looking up the scripture passages the family had picked out, and feeling God's presence.
I stayed over two hours and it seemed like it was only about 30 minutes, and, surprisingly, I wasn't even tired, even though it was 3:00 a.m.!

On Good Friday, we had a noon service, and the veneration of the cross.
This scripture passage stood out for me ...
1 Peter 2:24  "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."

After the service, we moved the flowers from the Chapel, to the Church altar, getting ready for the coming Easter Services on Saturday and Sunday.
It was nice having quite a few people help with the decorating and other arrangements to do.

Later that night, I participated in the Stations of the Cross Service, which was one of my Dad's favorite services.  Every Lent, Dad faithfully was part of that service each Friday evening.  It was sad to not have him there with us for it.

Fr. John and Deacon Bill lighting the
Paschal Candle from the "new fire".
On Holy Saturday, we had the Great Vigil of Easter, starting with lighting the "new fire", and from that lighting the paschal candle, and then there is a procession into the darkened church, where individual candles held by others are all lit, as well as candle sconces.  The Easter Vigil service has such powerful symbolism, and the readings all proclaim promises of God to His people.
The Altar at the Easter Vigil

Sunday morning - Easter - was also a blessing to me.  I know that Dad was sure having the very BEST Easter EVER!!  And for that, though we miss him so much, I am very thankful.

Deacon Bill (my BIL), Fr. John,
and Henry, acolyte.

So, our singing, our "Alleluia's", our prayers, our worship, and our thanksgivings this morning were even more for me than any other previous year... ALLELUIA! CHRIST IS RISEN!  THE LORD IS RISEN INDEED!  ALLELUIA!!

Kasey K Photo taking some
pictures following the service.

Music Ministry at Christ Church
Dan, Elizabeth, Susanne & Ron.

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