Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Days That are Holy



for Susan's prompt at Mid-Week Motif : 
holy days, and what makes them holy.

Easter Sunday, 1960


My little sister has long blonde ringlets,
a pale yellow dress with crinolines,
and a pinafore.
New shoes, hers patent leather,
mine my first Princess heels.
I have a tan fuzzy sailor hat with a wide round brim,
under which my blue eyes ask:
am I good enough?
I wear immaculate white gloves, to the wrist,
my first lipstick,
and a permanent, which transforms my hair
from straight and lanky
to something bouncier,
with curls.
I feel reborn, and hopeful;
it is a time of transformation.

We gather out front to see and be seen,
then we file through the heavy doors 
into the vestry,
dip fingertips
into the holy water font,
genuflect respectfully
towards the tabernacle,
and climb the creaking stairs to the choir loft.

The sun is shining through the stained glass
and it feels like
Resurrection morning.
All my life, it has been cloudy on Good Friday
and sunny on Easter morning.

The priest and altar boys file out,
incense in the censer 
swinging on chains,
and all is hushed reverence,
rustling, pages turning,
muffled coughs.
The Apostles Creed rings out,
and all are on bended knee
as the Agnus Dei sounds.

And then, from the choir loft,
magnificently,
our hearts swelling,
voices blending and soaring,
bass, alto, soprano,
the Hallelujah Chorus rings out,
above the bowed heads of the faithful,
hearts rise,
angels bend near to hear
the joy of Easter
rising
in all hearts.


That Easter, we were housed in the small old Church like the one in the picture above. A bigger, newer church was built soon after. But I preferred the old one, which felt holy with all of the years of prayers, of praise and supplication,  that had been uttered there.

Blessings to all who celebrate, whatever your beliefs, the great wonder of this time of renewal.


23 comments:

  1. Sherry, I understand how the old church would feel more holy. I think I would feel the same way too. Something about history and tradition. And yes, isn't there something glorious about those Easter hymns being sung? A person can't help but be moved.

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  2. smiles...sounds a lot like my easters growing up...everyone would get a new outfit for easter...the downside is we had to wear a tie...ha...there is def a different spirit on easter as well...so happy no matter what...

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  3. i agree with Mary and Brian. Easter does bring a freshness about it. i grew up in this Catholic tradition. i remember in Mexico Easter was a total day celebration with parades with large live size symbols being carried on shoulders, music and dancing. oh and great mexican dishes. smell the waft. now i will accept any day when people come together for whatever the reason. one's religious or spiritual beliefs must be allowed their freshness.

    gracias mi amiga

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    1. Could use a poem about all that over at Poets United, just saying.

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  4. "All my life, it has been cloudy on Good Friday
    and sunny on Easter morning."

    And then, you just know the stories are right! I love this poem, each moment of preparing and seeking renewal which comes with the singing up with the angels. Beautiful poem, humbling memory.

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  5. your words have truly created an atmosphere of
    deep faith and spirituality...only yesterday we celebrated our bengali new year...breath of renewal is everywhere felt...such peaceful and uplifting lines...

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  6. Thanks for sharing a special memory. You depict an Easter of a bygone era.

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  7. I can see why you have good memories of this church and the Holy week Easter celebrations there. Great and vivid memories!

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  8. A memory to treasure. Thank you for letting us in on it. There are never enough of these pure times in anybody's life.

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  9. Yesterday was our New year day ( we also worship on this day ) and I can feel the same reverence along with happiness in your lines. Such a nice image has been portrayed ! Great !

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  10. And blessings to you Sherry, for bringing a mountain of like memories for me today, with your words. It is a time of renewal and rebirth and I am pleased to be able to share it with you, my friend and fellow traveler.

    Elizabeth

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  11. Hi, I'm visiting from Poets United. Lovely. This is so vivid and reminds me of my childhood Easters.

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  12. Thanks Sherry I feel like I don't have to go to Church this Sunday, I just went :-) Nicely expressed.
    ...I will go to church though, I seldom miss a free meal :-)
    ZQ

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  13. I used to wonder what it would be like to belong to the Catholic Church. In many ways, it seemed more magnificent (even in a little church) than the plain old United Church of Canada.
    However, I dressed just as you did for Easter service. I'll never forget those white gloves to the wrist!
    Luv, K

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  14. I never knew an Easter like this as a child. Precious memories in this beautiful piece.

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  15. There are some moments in life that stick and become transformation points..it seems this moment might have been such for you? Alongside the reverence and trepidation there also seems to be comfort and belonging..and Happy Easter to you too :)

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  16. This moves me more that I can tell you, Sherry. Love this.

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  17. So uplifting, Sherry. It's true ... every Good Friday is always cloudy or rainy and Easter Sunday is sunny. I've made the same observation in my life! So symbolic of mourning before resurrection. Have a lovely Easter :)

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  18. Wishing you and your family a Blessed Easter Sherry.

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  19. Lovely and vivid memories, thanks for sharing. Hope you had a lovely day. K.

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I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!