Monday, March 30, 2009

White Hats And Frilly Dresses

The church I pastor attracts a wide array of people from all ages and backgrounds. Among our Sunday worship services, it's not unusual to see great-grandparents, some walking with canes or being pushed in wheelchairs. It's also common to see young families arrive in their SUVs and unload diaper bags and carrying seats for their tiny ones.

Something that is unusual, though, is neckties. In fact, a man wearing a tie most frequently means a first-time guest. Slacks are common for both males and females and I don't really notice it when the heat breaks in like a tsunami, giving tacit permission to wear shorts. To church. (I'm sorry if your family member is reaching for the smelling salts.)

Dresses are still seen often. But frilly, Easter dresses? Rare. Easter hats? Endangered!

Which takes me back to the less complicated, more formal days of Easter as a kid. I remember those Easters when we all got dressed in our Easter clothes. Back then, jackets and ties were common even for young boys. Every female was in a dress, from the tiniest infant to the most senior matriarch. On Easter Sunday, those dresses were often new, normally frilly and often accompanied by a white hat and white gloves.

We packed into our little church house and excitedly watched as the ushers had to bring in extra folding chairs. Some of my favorite songs were reserved for that day and I always thrilled to the choir singing their most special of "special music."

After the pastor preached, we loaded up in the family car and headed back out to the little farm. We normally spent Easter Sunday afternoon surrounded by extended family. The food was great and plentiful, playing was fun and we stored up a lifetime's worth of memories.

There was more about Easter when I was growing up. However, I save some of it for later in the week. I know that the day we celebrate Easter is still almost two weeks away...but I'm planning something special for next week.

In the meantime, what were your family traditions for Easter Sunday? AND, my Jewish friends, what were your family traditions around Passover?

I look forward to this week.


Rachel Cotterill said...

We always had an Easter Egg hunt in the garden. I don't remember any special clothes for church but kids would often take in their favourite chocolate to show off! Easter was always a family service.

Cathy said...

We often went to our grandparents' house - 70 miles away for Easter weekend. We colored our eggs on Saturday. We never believed in the Easter bunny - we knew the eggs we found the next day were the ones we colored that day. We didn't wake up to a filled Easter basket the next day either - just used the same empty basket to find eggs that we'd used the year before and the year before that... On Sunday, we would go to church in our fancy new dresses, hats, purses and gloves (my mom made mine and my 2 sisters' dresses). We would then eat a huge meal - ham for the main dish then have an Easter egg hunt with all my cousins. The adults hid the eggs in a field and then let the kids find them. Always had a "prize egg" - usually had a dime taped to it! One year I was sick and one of my younger aunts hunted eggs for me - I got more than usual and even ended up with the prize egg! That's the Easter I remember most from my childhood.