It's a beautiful day here. The sun is shining. The sky is that gorgeous baby blue that people try to dye the yarn for baby blankets for, but miss just slightly. here are no clouds as far as I can see. The trees are green with buds. My lilac tree has sprouted tiny purple triangles of sweet smelling beauty. My garden is planted (and, boy, does Mr. Bunny LOVE me). Tulips are in the ground... Heather surrounds the Blessed Mother statue at our Shrine in front of the house. The birds are singing, a gentle serenade on the breeze. It's Spring. A perfect day.
This year for Holy Week, we decided to watch a bit of Jesus of Nazareth each evening with the kids. They especially loved the first part, where they could easily identify "Mama Mary", "Papa Joseph", and "Baby Jesus". As Jesus grew up in the film, you could see that they struggled to put the baby into the boy and, once he was a man, the same. I wonder if it's only at the Crucifixion that it really becomes clear? It's a beautiful film, one of my favorites. I cant stomach things like The Passion, which to me, misses the entire mark, but a film like Jesus of Nazareth makes me think, each time I see it, of something new.
Peter came home early on Good Friday, so that we could make Mass together. I made black bean soup. It's a day of fast, so we eat a lenten meal after sundown. Black bean soup it is... On Good Friday and Ash Wednesday...
Holy Saturday was a change this year. I still made our vegetarian Greek dinner... (and, actually, I made a lot more than normal! Usually, I do a dish of spanokopita (spinach pie) and a salad, but in addition to those, this year I made aginares a la polita (artichokes) (which I forgot to put out, so that's coming with me to my in-laws for dinner!), domatokenedes (tomato croquettes, sort of, and they were a HIT!), fakas (lentils), gemista (stuffed peppers), and yiaourtopita (lemon yogurt pound cake, which I could have done without... didnt really like the texture). We started with the standard apps (hummus, olives, feta, etc) and, of course, wine!). Why so much food you ask?? We enjoyed the day with family visiting from out of town. Not that I need an excuse to cook, but it helps! I literally spent all day in the kitchen, but it was a lovely time. And, I even squeezed in an 8.5 mile run in the morning before breakast!
As we do our Ostara actvities like egg dying/hunting, baskets, etc. on the Equinox, this day is one that is focused on the Feast of the Resurrection. The acclamation, "Christos Anesti" (or ("Χριστός ἀνέστη!" - "Christ is Risen!" in Greek) is given, and, if you are lucky, someone will answer you with "Alethos Anesti (("Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη! " - "Truly He is Risen!"). We dress in our best and go to Mass, where the Liturgy is the that of Jesus Christ rising from the dead. In years gone by (so many in fact that I've lost count), I've cantored the Mass at Dawn, but at our new parish, I am simply another of the faithful, worshiping with my family in the pew. It's nice. (Even when Maya tells me, a minute before the opening, that she has to go to the potty and then proceeds, as we walk down the isle to the exit, to tell EVERYONE in both sign and words that we are going to the potty... nice...)
Mass was nice, the church was beautiful, and the kids did pretty well (even though Mass coincided with snack time). They were adorable, which always helps... :) Bobby was in a 3 piece suit and tie
and Maya's little dress was stunning. (Thank you, local consignment shop and friends who give us handmedowns!). We came home and had lunch and then the kids went down for their nap a little after 12:30. We're do at my in-laws' home for dinner at 4pm. I've already made my contribution (a tray of baklava and the tradition from my family of pineapple upside down cake). Once the kids are up, I'll dress them in their afternoon Easter clothes (nice stuff for visiting/dinner but not the dry-clean-only suit/dress they wore for Mass, which were hung up as soon as they got home.
A busy day, of course- is there anything but busy here???- but a really nice one, too. In every sense of the word.
So, from us to you... Christos Anesti and a beautiful Feast of the Resurrection* to you and yours!
*You'll notice I rarely use the word "Easter" unless I'm responding to someone else's "Happy Easter". The word 'easter' is a derivative of the word 'ostara', which is the celebration of an Equinox-related pre-Christian Goddess. In our home, we are of the opinion that a more accurate greeting of today would be 'Happy Pascha', which 'pascha' being derived from 'passover', and, what I prefer, ' Happy Feast of the Resurrection', which denotes what we are celebrating.