Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical
hermionesviolin

[Easter Sunday] services 1 & 2

Walking home last night, I found myself softly singing "Alleluia." It took me a little while to realize it was from "Christ is risen, earth and heaven, nevermore shall be the same..."

This felt inappropriate (though it was after ~9pm Boston time, so certainly some Easter Vigils had already passed the Gospel Acclamation), but it also didn't really stop me.

***

Reading facebook before sunrise service this morning, reading the "Christ is Risen's" and "Alleluia's," I felt like I was reading stuff I wasn't supposed to yet, because I hadn't gotten there yet.

Molly posted to facebook another Maren Tirabassi prayer:
April 8, 2012

O where-are-you God,
who won’t stay where we left you
wrapped in the ties that bind,
confuse us by looking like gardeners
and janitors, like
the undocumented and twelve-steppers,
(even like that pierced hitchhiker
on the Emmaus Tpke)
until we indiscriminately
Alleluia
at everyone. amen.
And then at Easter sunrise service, we started right up with "Alleluia" &c., as if Easter were already a given -- which made me wish I had gone to an Easter Vigil service.

On our way to breakfast after, I asked FCS-Ian if I was misremembering that we usually have some lead-up, rather than starting as if we're already at Easter. He said he didn't think I was misrememebering -- but that the service changes from year to year (in large part because of pastoral turnover).

Jeff M., in his ~homily, talked about Resurrection as a continuous thing, talked about Jesus' "Noli me tangere" to Mary Magdalene as, "Do not cling to me, for I am still rising." (Molly used that same language in her sermon at 10am service, so I don't know its actual origins.)

***

FCS' service started with the choir in the back doing an almost haunting (that seems slightly extreme, but I don't have a better word, as "unsure" or "distant" [as in "far off," not "unemotional"] aren't right either) "Alleluia."

Four clergy told the Easter Story, each representing one of the four gospels -- complete with, "no, that's not how it happened" and editorial commentary and saying in unison pieces that are common across gospels.

And then after they finished, they started Easter-fying the sanctuary. I'd seen some drapery which I knew would be taken off, but when the clergy took off their black robes, revealing white robes underneath, I was transported back to last year's service and realized, "Oh. That wasn't just something special they did last year." (I think last year people indicated to me that it was a Thing Molly had been doing for some years -- but I didn't start doing Sunday mornings there until after Easter Sunday the previous year, so I didn't have an internalized prior.)

One of the kids processed in the Paschal Candle (which Molly had processed out at the end of Maundy Thursday's Tenebrae service), and that might have been the moment when I lost it, though that also might have been earlier. (Sidebar: At Good Friday I think it was I noticed the white floral paraments peeking out from under the black and thought, "I see what you did there," but I just thought, "That means you don't have to put the white ones up when you're prepping for Easter" -- I totally gasped when the black coverings got pulled down at the beginning of service this morning.)

For a variety of reasons, I haven't really been feeling Lent this year, including even Holy Week much, but as the sanctuary blossomed, I felt so bursting full with joy it felt like I literally couldn't contain it, like it would literally bubble/burst out of me. We prepared to sing "Christ the Lord is Ris'n Today" and I couldn't sing loudly enough to express my joy.

Molly's email to the list-serv had said, "Michelle S[.] is our very-much-alive liturgist, for a Resurrection Moment in lieu of a confession, because this of all days, when Jesus has taken the sin of the world into himself, there is no need to free ourselves from the bondage of sin." Michelle talked about resurrection plants, about times of drought, and about coming through them ... and I think I might have started crying during her first drought story but she kept going, and I was so crying by the end. My voice sounded so tearful throughout the Resurrection Moment Prayer:
Jesus Christ, who killed Death forever,
Thank you for showing us that we have nothing to be afraid of, not in this life, nor in the life to come.
Thank you for saying "don't be afraid," with kindness in your voice, so that even if we are afraid, we don't have to be ashamed of it -- and so we can keep your words in our pocket for when we most need them.

Lord God of Creation,
Thank you for making this world! In case we forget to mention it from time to time, it is fabulous.
Thank you that spring follows winter
That daffodils follow dark days
That crocuses follow the cross
That as soon as something dies, something new starts trying to get born. Give us resurrection-eyes, to see all the new somethings, today and every day.
Tags: church: somerville: first church ucc, holy week: easter sunday
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