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Ceilehrn&6im,g

STER*^dt
SPruNG

An anthology readings
of Unitarian[Jniversalist
Compiled
andeditedby

Carl and
SeaburgMark
Hanis
Illustrations by Thomas Dahill
v
CE,LE,BRATING
TIASTE,RANDSPRING

(.ompiledby Carl Seaburg


and Mark Harris
Original Illustrationsby Thomas Dahill

The Anne Miniver Press


Cambridge, Massachusetts:2000
Contents
Preface .....ix
C ontr i bu t o f f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xi. . .

I. The Call of Easter.. ..................I


A Short History of Easterand Spring ...................2
Vill There AlwaysBe an Easter? ..........6
CelebradngEaster:The Many \7"y" UUs Find Meaning ..... 9
II. O Day of Light and Gladness........... ..... 13
Opening r$fordsand Closing!7ords ... 14
f ll. Wake,Now, My Senses .........,27
Poetry ................ 28
IV. The Time of the Singingof Birdsis Come .............43
Responsive Readings ..........44
V. Thou Givestthe Grass ...........5l
Readings ............52
VI. The Soul Hath Lifted Momens ............9l
Prayersand Mediations........ ............. 92
Vll. FieldsareSmilingin the Sun ......... ...... I l5
EasterI-etters ... I 16
Vlll. In Greeningl^andsBeginsthe Song ..... l2l
East'er
Eggs........ ............... 122
IX. [.o, the Earth AwakesAg"i. . 125
SpecialServices ................126
X. Now Once Again the HeavenTurns .... 143
Story ................ 144
Sermons ...........147
XI. SpringHas Now Unwrappedthe Flowers ............157
AdditionalResources ....... 158

Achnowhdgement ......... ....... 163


Bibliograplry............ .............165
Indac ofAutbors ... 167
Preface
I lrc tr;rditionalChristian church year is divided into threeseasons:
ADVENT,
rlrc coming of Jesus;LENT the death of Jesus;and PENTECOST, the early
lrirtoryof the Christianchurch.
ln Unitarian Universdistcongregations,the first two seasons are usuallycel-
clrr;rted,the third is not. The anthology"CelebratingChristmas"provideshelp-
lrrl rnarerialfor UU congregationsto honor ADVENT. This anthology,"Cel-
clrr:rtingEasterand Spring,"providessimilarmaterialto honor LENT
'lwo other helpful anthologiesin this seriesare"GreatOccasions"which con-
t;rirrsmaterialfor celebratingthe important passages of an individual'slife: birth,
.orning of age,marriage,and death;and "The Communion Book" which pro-
vitle.ssome66 communion servicesusedin UU congregationsto honor the ties
rlrarbind us together.
'l'he materialsin this collection are all from Unitarian Universalistsources.
Wc are greatlyindebtedto dl who havecontributed to this anthology,particu-
l.rrly thosewho sharedtheir fileswith us. Specialthanksgo to the work of Bar-
lr:rraHutchins and JacquiJames.The selectionsare broadly diverseto meet the
nr:rrrytastesand viewpointswithin the denomination.
Somehold that Easteris an uneasycelebrationfor Unitarian Universalists. W'e
rv,ruldargue che opposite.Easteris part oF our human heritage.Ve may not
I'clievein the physicalresurrectionofJesus,but we c:rnseein that celebradonthe
nrcssage of renewal.
Mostly the older pieceshavebeen madegenderinclusive.In a very few cases
rvchaveleft somehistoric itemsasoriginallywritten for their antiqueflavor.But
votrwill find that you can easilyadapt them to current languageuse.
We havetried to givepropercredit to all the authorsof the piecesincluded.In
( rrscof error,we apologizeand will makecorrectionsin future editionsif we are
so informed. The illustrationsin this book aresuitablefor useas
Sundayservice
coversso feel free ro reproducethem.

Carl Seaburg
Mark \7. Harris

This manuscriptwas nearly completedwhen Carl died in


December 199g. I
sum uP what Carl contributed to our movementashistorian,raconreur,
:a-nnot
bibliophile, and immensecontributor ro our worship life wirh
his published
anthologies,alongwith historicalwrirings and hymn **,r. Mosr
of all, carl was
a wonderful person,a sweetheartof a guy. rlfe will all misshim.

M.\$r.H.
SPONSORS ld

Sponsors
e

lVben I hauefears that I ma! ceateto be


Beforem! pen hasghanA my teemingbrain,
Beforehgh-piled books,in charactery
Hold lihe rich garnen thefull ipen7 grain

John Keats
,'\lr'rrr a yearbeforeCarl Seaburgdied, he readthis poem at a smdl dinner party
rrr l.orrdon;half way through he broke down in tearsand wasunableto finish.
I lrcscindividualsand congregationslisted below- through their financialsup-
p.n - havemadethe "full ripen'dgrain" of his and Mark Harris'sefforts- along
rvirh rhecreativework of their Unitarian Universalistcolleagues
- possible.Truly,
n() J)enneedeverceaseto be.

Nrrrrcy Light Pat Bowen


( .;rrolynand RobertBell John Gibbons
Anrr,\7illiam, Elizabeth,and Sarah FredaCarnes
'l'homas In memory ofJean Newhall Seaburg
l);rvid Light and RoseGranado and AgnesE. Peterson
Alison,Robert,Alexander,Henry The Congregationof the Unitarian
:rndlan Light UniversalistChurch of Medford,
lvlrrria,
Thomas,Sonia,Samantha Massachusetts
rnd ThomasCarl Hitde The Congregationand Cdvin O.
lrllria Grossman Dame of the Unitarian Universalisr
!il<rodyand Trudi Vidrick Communiry Church, Augusta,
litrgeneMcA[ee Maine
K;rrhyDuhon The Congregationof the First Parish
KcnnethW. Sawyer of Concord, Massachusetts
( lynthiaA. Foster The CongregationofThe First Parish
N'larthaand David Pohl Church, Unitarian Universalist,
fohn llurley Saugus,Massachusetts
f.rrretBowering The CongregationofThe First Parish
l)orothy and HerbertVetter of Watertown, Massachusetts
l'riscillaMurdock The CongregationofThe First
lllrbara and \(rilliam DeVolfe UniversalistChurch, Norway,
l.indaS. Yeaton Maine
C"pnidtt @ 2000 by Mark tUf.Haris
All tgho reserved

Printcdin thc Unircd SaresofAmerica


Publishcdby thc Annc Miniver press,
PO. Box 381364,Cambridge,IVIA02239-13(/-
Tixt designbyJoanTirde

ISBN#0_9720896-0_8
To Andrea, my continuing sourcc of new lifc

'Each day thc world is born ancd


J"-et RussellLonrcll
l. The Call of Easter

O Life that maketh all things new,


The blooming earth, our thoughts within.
Our pilgrim feet, wet with thy dew
In gladnesshither turn again.

Samuel Longfellow
CELEBRATING
EASTERAND SPzuNG

A Short History of
Easter and Spring
Carl Seaburg

n the chrisrian calendar Easter is a moveable feast. chrisrmas is always


December 25,bw Eastercan vary by more than a month. h can never be
earlier rhan March 22, nor later rhan April 25.Thedate was Frxedin
325
c.E. by the Council of Nicea and wasset as rhe Sundayafter rhe first full moon
afreror on the Springequinox.In the Chrisriancommunityir is celebrared asrhe
greatfeastof the resurrecrionofJesus.*
Spring hasa setcalendardate.Theoreticallyit beginson the Springequinox,
which is alwaysMarch 21. But the weatherdoesntpay arrenrionro our calen-
dars' so we can havesnowstorrnson the "official" date of Spring.Spring comes
when the weathergetsaround to it. And in the Southernhemisphereit co-., i.,
our Northern fall. So Spring is a moveablefeast,too.
Over the centuriesthe Christian churchhaskept adding to the Easrercelebra-
tion. The councdownto Easterin a traditionalChrisrianchurch now beginsafter
Mardi Gras ("Fat Tiresday")on what is calledAsh Vednesday,rhe beginningof
Lenr.
In EnglandShrovetideis the namefor the lasr3 or 4 daysbeforethe beginning
of Lent, including Egg saturday,euinquagesimasunday,collop Monday, and
ShroveTiresday.
This was a seasonof high carnival in many Europeancountries.In earlier
times the Lenten fast was more rigorousthan it is now, so the carnivalwas cel-
ebratedby wild revelries,games,sporrs,dances,and riorous anrics.Food thar
couldnt be eatenduring the fasrwasearenduring rhis period.
ShroveTiresday-knownasMardi Grasin rhe Unired g1x1s5-marlarhesplen-
did climax of the carnivalwith paradesand ourrageouscosrumes,revelryand
inevitablepranks and mischief,A seasonof freedom from ordinary rules was
permitted, full of noisy fun and masquerades,
practicaljokesand ridicule.
Ash \Tednesdaybeganto be celebratedfrom abour l25O c.e. Its name came
from the ceremonialuseof ashesto mark the foreheadoFbelievers
asa symbolof
THE CALL OF EASTER

that had been consecrated


1,,.rr(.n(r.'fhe ashescame from rhe burning of palms
,,,r l'.rlrrrSunday the previous year. It was an outgrowth of the custom of public

| ,, I r.rI r( c irr the early days oF the church.


I t.rrr,rr word From Old English that meant spring, marked a period of Fasting
,,r,1pt'rrirencein preparation for the celebration of Easter.It lasted forryweek-
g ,l.rrs rlrtil Easter. In England for many years, the Fourth Sunday in Lent was
l. rr,,r'n :rsMothering Sunday,when children brought small cakescalled simnel as
I llt(.\(.r.rrto their mothers. The cake is describedas looking like a pork pie, but
.r rich plum pudding.
'r.rs
l,.rlrnSunday is rhe beginning of the Easter week activities and was observed
l,r.l.r c | 000 c.e. It marked the ceremonial entry ofJesus into Jerusalemwhere he
lr.rtltorn€ to celebratethe Passover.
( .rrstomarilyit is celebratedwith palm branchesand the distribution of palm
r r.\\cS in churches.The associationof palms or wiltows with this Sunday of early
,l,rirrg is a common cusrom. In England the sallow willow with its large and
- lrr..rrnitirlcatkins oFten takes the place of the Pal-.People oFten decorate their
lr'rrscs with them or wear them as sprigs in their hats. The feeling was that it
l,r,,rrght good luck and protected the house From harm'
't'lre
Passoveris a spring fesrivalcelebratedby the Jews. Originally it is said to
l,.r't.6een a agricultural observancemarking the birth of the lambs and dadng
Ir.rn the desert period. Later it was broadened to commemorate the exodus of
rl rt'fc w s from E g yp t .

l'6c Thursday befioreEaster is known as Maundy Thursday. The name came


lr.rrr rlre Latin words, "novum mandatum," ofJesus'words to the disciplesafter
lr,. lr;rclwashed their feer. Since he has washed his disciplesfeet, this was the chief
{ (.r(.rponyro mark his last supper with them. It was not practiced in the early
, lrrrrchbut has been kept since the middle ageswith bishops and the pope wash-
rrr1,,rlre feet oF 12 poor men or beggars.Queen Elizabeth is said to have per-
t.11cd rhe ceremony while James II was the last English monarch to do so.
l,,tl.ry in most Protestant churches it is an occasion to hold a communion ser-
, r. t,. Many UU congregarionscelebratethis communion by commemorating all
rlr.sc r1€rlbers of the congregation who have died in the previous year. Some
rr.rt'trorh the "Lasr Supper" and Passover.MaundyThursday is said to get its
,.11c fiom the Latin word mandatum, meaning a command. And is in reference
r. rhc new commandment Jesusgave at the last suPPer.

l'he next day was called Good Friday, an odd name to mark the day Jesuswas
4l CELEBRATING EASTER AND SPRING

crucified,but it is thoughtto bea corruptionof "God'sFriday,"its originalname.


In somecountriesit is known as Long Friday.In Roman Catholic churchesthe
altar is drapedin black, and this custom hasbeenpicked up by someProtestant
churches.Frequentlya threehour serviceis held from noon until 3 p.m. which is
the time Jesusis thought to have died. The serviceis marked by prayersand
sermonson what are called"the sevenlastwords of Jesus."
Then EasterSundayitself arrives.The churchesarejoyfully decorated,filled
with flowersand greenery,and in somethe greatPaschdcandleis lit and burns
from thenceonward to AscensionDay.The lily hascome to be regardedas the
supremeEasterflower.
English hot crossbuns are frequentlyeatenfor breakfast.The shiny brown
tops of the buns are markedwith a frosting cross. It is customaryto wear new
clothesx1fx5gs1-at leasta new hat. But long beforeEasterpeopleput on fresh
new garmentsat the Spring Festival,it signaledjoy for the winter that waspast.
Many hmilies servecolored Eastereggsas part of the breakfasrfare.And the
youngstershavefun rying to bangtheir eggsagainsteachothersto seewhich one
willoutlast cheothers.A tradidonalEasterdinner is often lamb with mint sauce,
though now an Easterham frequendytakesthe placeof the lamb.
The day often beginsby churchesholding Eastersunriseservicesoutdoors.
This developedfrom an old belief that the sun dancedat its rising on Easter
morning for joy chatJesushad risen from the grave.You had to be up early to
witnessit.
EasterMonday used to be a day for gamesand sports and merriment in
England,but like many other old customsthis hasdied awayin the United States.
Today Easterends on Easter,but in olden times Easterfestivitiescontinued
through Hocktide, the name given to the Monday and Tuesdayafter Low Sun-
d"y.
Forry days after EastercomesAscensionSunday.Then, nine days later on
Vhitsun Eve, Easter formally endsand the third greatcycleof the church year
beginsand continuesto Advent.
In everycountry that Christianity invaded,it found that the inhabitantsal-
readywere holding fesdvalsand rituals marking the spring season.Many of the
local customsin time weregraftedon to the Christian celebration.In England,
for example,the celebrationof Fig Sundayand the rirual of blessingthe wells,are
remnantsof the older festivals.One could saythat our Easterwasmarriedto the
older Springcelebrations.Or put anotherway,that our Eastercelebrationshigh-
I. THE CALL OF EASTER

1.,,kt'tl the earlierSpring rituals'


and mark in a ceremonial
Ir was only narural that early people should notice
revive after the rest of winter-
Lrslrirr', the time of yearwhen nature seemed to
then; those responsible for
rlr,,scwho k.pt rh.ep found rhat lambs were born
Everything around them
r rr)f)Sknew that was ih. ti-. to plant and renew them.
and trees leaved out and wild
rt.rrilied to rhe renewal of life as birds returned
llorvcrsgrew again.
rituals to ensure abundant
So it was only natural, roo, that people developed
as droughts and bad harvests'
r rr)[)sand to use magic to ward offdisasters such
rites of their own personal
I rrrorporated into those celebrations were the fertiliry
symbolism to encourage the fertiliry of
livcs. Ancient people made use of sexual
out such mating rituals wher-
rhcir herds .r,d fi.idr. The early christians stamped
improvement' others of us find
.r,cr they found them. some might find this an
it rr loss.

. Scttingrhe darefor Easrerwas not without controversy.ln 664 a synod of the English
would follow the Roman or celtic
.hurch mer ar \rhirb; ; determinewhether they
after King oswy of Northumbria
rnethodfor dacingEasr.r.The Romanmethod prwailed
who he fearedmight rurn his back
tlcrerminedthat he did not want to alienareSt. P.r.r,
heaven. Easter falls differently for orthodox chris-
,,rr rhosewaiting ro enrerrhe gatesof
Lhristianiry did not the Gregorian calendarreform
rianirywhich, unlike wesrern T.:P,
Sunday following Passover'
in t 5'82.orrhodox chrisrians celebrareEasteron the
CELEBMTING AND SPRING

W'ill ThereAlways
Be an Easter?
Joan Gooduin

ill therealwaysbe an Easrer?Hundredsof yearsfrom now,


when people know more and rravel farther than we even
dream of now. . .
will there be an Easter then?

Yes,as long as there is an Earth planer


and a sun
and springtime
and people who wonder abour dearh and celebrare life . . .
for as long as thar, there will be an Easrer.

Easter got its name from the direction of the sunt rising. After the longest night
of the year, PeoPle watched the sun rise in rhe East a lirde earlier and a little
higher in the sky week by week. In some norrhern counrries, people would climb
through the late winter snow to the mountain tops, and on each crest bonfires
would blaze uP to show the sun the way. Somerimes they tied bunches of straw
to huge wheels, set the straw on fire, and rolled the flaming circles along to help
the sun return.

Even before calendars, people knew that the longer days meant melting snow
softening soil, growing time, and another harvest of food ro keep cheir families
fed . . . another year of life to live.

Once people understood how plants and animals reproduce, once they be-
qlme gardeners and tenders of flocks, aware of rhe resulm of
rheir own lovemaking,
they consciously participaced, as partners wirh rhe gods, in rhe great life process.
Planting time became a victory over death. Symbols of new life were held sacred:
the seed, the flower, the egg, the organs of human sexualiry, the newborn of all
animals, and especidly rhe ferdle rabbit.

Ancient Egyptians thought of their rich valley as a woman, rhe goddess Isis,
and of the great Nile River as the god Osiris, flooding the land each year wirh
life-giving water. Their story says that Set, a jealous brorher, killed Osiris and

hr--
I. THE CALL OF EASTER lz
,, .rut,r'cclhis remains along the river bank. Isis lovingly put Osiris together and
lrr.rrglr( him back to life. After his resurrection,he lived forever as ruler over the
.,,,rrlsol'rhe dead in rhe Elysian Fields.The story was re-enactedin spring celebra-
rr,,rrslirr centuries and must have been known by the Hebrewslaves before the
r rrrrt'ol 'Mos es .

llrrbylonianstold the story of Thmmuz, god of the harvest,who died young'


.rrr.l ol'lshtar, goddessof love, who rescuedhim from the underworld. Phoenicians
lr,r.lrr similar story about Adonis and Aphrodite.
'l'he
riruals of dearh and rebirth for these gods were observed by neighbors of
rlrc llebrews who reclaimed their Promised Land, bringing with them another
.,1rirrgtime celebration, rhe Passover.One of the great storiesof all time, mixing
r...rliryand imaginarion, told and retold in the camps of a wandering tribe, and
lirrrrllywritten down in a patchwork of many versions,PassovertellsJewishpeople
..r,crywherero rhis day rhat their god kept his covenant with his chosen people
,rrrtl overpowered rheir enemies. Becausethe Egyptian Pharaoh reFusedthe He-
l,rcw slavesreligious freedom, Moses, his brother Aaron, and their god Yahweh
l,rought one aFfliction after another to the Egyptians. Finally Yahweh passed
rhrough the land by night, bringing death to the first-born o[every Egyptian
l:rrnily. So that the Hebrews would be spared, he told them to kill a lamb and
rrr;rrktheir doorways with its blood. \Vhen Yahweh came to a door marked with
r hc blood of the lamb, he would passover that house.

Generation after generation, the Jews have celebrated this Passoveraccording


ro instructions given them by Yahweh through Moses. Ancient symbols-the
(.gg,new green leaves,the lamb-were used again, along with unleavened bread
.rnclwine, in this freedom festival each spring.

It was a Passoverseder meal that Jesus shared with his disciples on that last
l'hursday of his life. Undoubtedly many of his people hoped that he would set
rhem free from the Romans who then occupied their Promised Land. And it
rrrrrsrhave been partly fear that he might try to lead an uprising which caused the
l{omans ro seizehim and bring him to trial. The Jewish officids were more con-
, crned wirh another kind of freedom which Jesuspreached-freedom from the
old laws, freedom to live in a new Promised Land, an oPen communiry of hu-
nrannessand love which he called the Kingdom of God.

So hundreds of years after that original Passover,Jesuswas crucified. People


,rrid thar God had sacrificed his own firstborn son, and they called Jesus "the
l,rmb of God." His followers could not accept his death. Surely if he was the
Messiah, the son of god as they suspected, he could rise again and have eternal
CELEBMTING MSTER AND SPRING

life, like the old narure gods whosestoriesthey may well have remembered.
Once again the ancient story elementswere revivedas they told of
Mary and
the orherwomen going ro rhe tomb ofJesusand meeringthe angel
who said,,,He
is risen. \Vhy seekyou the living among the dead?"
And a new ritual observancebegan,followed by generationafter
generationof
christians, who re-enacrin rhe Mass, rhe crucifi*ior, ,.r,rrr..,ion of Jesus
"rrd
and partakeof his strength and spirit with the unleavened breadand rhe wine of
that lasr sedersupper.
Other greatleadershavedied in the causeof freedomand a larger
life for rheir
people . . . leaderslikc Lincoln, Gandhi, Kirg. ve know now
even withour
elaboratemyth-making, that they shall haveeternal life as long as
we keep their
memoriesgreenand their lifework growing.
\$/eknow that we are dl godlike partners
in rhe life processand that we musr
be careful in our clevernesslest we crearesome year esilenr spring.

\Ve are'thildren born of Earrhb


desiring,"
life evolvedto self-awareness,
usingdeath for new birth,
generationafter generadon,
that life may be eternd,
just as it is in the srorieswe have told from rhe beginning.
I. THE CALL OF EASTER le

Celebrating EastersThe Many$fays


Unitarian UniversalisaFind Meaning
Marh Vil Hanis

he resurrectionofJesusChrist from the deadis the central Eastermes-


sagefor Christians, but the idea of celebradnga risen savior makes
most religiousliberalsignore the conceptof resurrectionentirely. His-
r'rically, our Unitarian Universalistapproachhas been to talk about Jesusthe
lirc:rt ethical teacher.A third way to look at the idea of resurrectionneither af-
lirrns nor deniesits realiry,but asksus to celebratethe alternativewayswe experi-
cnceresurrection.A resurrectionoccursin the wakeof a startlinglife transforma-
tion. What will set us free?
Ve Unitarian Universalistscan celebrateEasterby askingwhen resurrectionis
;r realiryfor all of us. Ifwe believein a creativepowerwhich shattersthe icy tomb
of'winter with the life-givingmiracleofspring, we haveseena resurrection.Ifwe
lrclievein a creativepowerwhich movestensand then tensof thousandsofpeople
ro cry out againstthe injusticesof sociery enablingthe downfall of hatred and
prcjudice,then we havefomenteda resurrection.Ifwe believein a creativepower
lying within eachhuman breastwhich enablesus to breakthe bondsof personal
p:rinand know the hope of new tomorrows, then we haveexperienceda resurrec-
t i orr.
At EastertideUnitarian Universalistscelebratethe many resurrectionsof the
\c:rson.'We celebratethe gloriesof the earth when birds take to the wing and
( rocusesforce their way through the crust of snow to announce the arrival of
rpring. \7e celebratethe untold numbersof courageousindividualsand groups
wlro have sacrificed their lives to liberate others from oppressionand createa
rrrorejust and loving world.'We celebratethe abiliry of the human heartto over-
( otne personalragedy or disabiliry and aftirm once again the strength to love or
cxcelwhen many otherswould havegiven up dl hope. Eastercelebraces the times
,rl'witnessing,experiencing,and creatingthe resurrectionsof human life.
l;or centuriesbefore the advent of Christianiry human beingpcelebratedthe
rcbirth of the earth in spring from the cold tomb of winter. In a patternedse-
(lucnce,an unseenand unknown creativepower brought a profound changeto
J
CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRING

their naturalhabitat.Our prehistoricancesrors'utter dependenceupon a fruit6ul


and flowering earrh made the coming of this seasonof renewedgio*th an im-
portant fesdvalof life. "Here comesrhe sun," wasrhe joyouscry asa warm glow
shown brighdy upon the world.
\0flebelievethe word Easterderivesfrom an Anglo-Saxon
goddessof the dawn,
Eastre.Her principal festivalwas celebratedat rhe vernal equinox. Easrerre-
minds us of the East,wherethe sun rises,and rhepowerForongoinglife and lighr
originate.In the spring,aftermonthsof lifeiesscold,eachone of us insrincrively
feelsour spiritslift when greateramounrsof this life-givinglight comeinro our
lives.\7e watch flowersbend and stretchtowardsrhis energywhile defiing ice
and frost.All of our scientificknowledgedoesnor diminish rhe senseof mysrery
and devotionwe feeltowardsour beautifulplaner.rVirh fearsofglobal warming
and other ecologicaldisastersresultingfrom human destrucriveness, the needto
celebrateand uphold the greatinterdependence we havewirh the world and all
its creaturesbecomesmore vital to all Unitarian Universalists.'Weresurrecr
with
the earthby learningto feelat homewith our bodies,while experiencing a sense
of oneness with all of crearion.
If some Unitarian Universalisrscelebratea spring fesrival,others honor our
Judaic roots with the Passover. This celebrationrecallsrhe deliveranceof rhe
Hebrew people from rheir slaveryin Egypt. This ancienr srory proclaims
humaniry'slonging for liberry and jusricefor all. Ir hasprovena mighry inspira-
tion to countlesspeoplewho sufferedunder somekind of oppression.Our puri-
tan ancestorssawthemselves asbeing deliveredfrom religiousoppressionin En-
gland.African-Americanslavesfelt a kinship wirh Mosesand echoedhis cry ro
"Let my peoplego." Countlessgenerations havebeenwilling to risk their lives
for somekind of freedom.
In the spirit of Mosesand Aaron and Miriam, liberalscelebrare and partici-
patein efFortsto broadenthe human conceprof freedom.'Weseeit asa religious
imperativeto act on behalfof thosewho may be enslavedby rhe hatred,fear,or
bigotry of others.Freedomfrom any form of oppressionis a resurrectionto a
new life of dignicyand worth. This is the poliricalundersrandingoFrheseason,
and it is exemplifiedby any meansof working towardsachievinj grearerjusrice
in the world. From the long journey oFrheJewstowardsfreedom,io
Jesus'teed-
ing the hungry and turning over the money changers'rables,to acriveparticipa-
tion by any one of us today to stand in solidarirywith rhosewho arevicrims of
homophobic hate crimesor the like, Unitarian Universalistsmean to speakand
act on behalfof anyonewho might be victimizedby the cruel or heartlessacrions

b-
I. THE CALL OF EASTER Iu
, rl rl thers .
(.cntral to many religious liberals'understanding of the Easterseasonis a fresh
l,,rl<ar the life, death, and resurrectionofJesus.Some Unitarian Universalistsuse
rlris rirne to rekindle their awarenessof our Christian origins, but for many others
rr is rr matter ofdeep personalfaith. An understanding oFthe meaning of the story
,,1 fesus'resurrection may begin with the disciples and the powerful vision of
l.''trs that continued to live in their hearts after he died. They began to believe
y rlr:rr rhe impossible could become the possible and that personal strength and
| ('ncwal could come to them in the context of a new community. Thus, the Church
,r',rsborn.

l)art of the Christian story is the pain and fear one person must face in con-
lr.rrring death. A critical part o[the Eastermessagefor Unitarian Universalistsis
rlrc power within eachof us to facedeath, and find a life-giving power even in our
rrrosrharrowing moments of illness or despair.There is great undying potential
Irrrried beneath lifelessnessand hopelessness.In the resurrection story there is
I'orh humiliation and death, but in the end also a new life of the spirit. For us it
nrcansconfronting the deep wounds and scarswe have suffered and then allow-
irrg ourselvesto be transformed anew.

When we are enslaved by bonds of sorrow or hate or greed the experience of


r rrrrringour lives in a new direction means we can forgive ourselvesfor imperfec-
r iorrs. Vhen this fiorgivenessoccurs we are free to reach out and begin fulfilling
livcsofgenuine human sharing. It is what happensto Scroogein Charles Dickens'
.'l Ohristmas Carol. Something forces him to look at the pain and misery, and he
lrt'comeSa changed man. Greed becomes generosity, as he vows to "turn human
rrrisery into joy." \flhen any one of us survives and "comes back" from a liFe-
..h:rnging event such as an illness or accident, we often feel a tremendous senseof
lirrrritude For life. Then in responseto our appreciation for being given time to
t ontinue living and loving, we become a new person.
'fhe Easter or Spring season can provide additional meanings for Unitarian

[ ]niversdiststhrough such resurrection themes as the human hope for life after
,lt':rth, or at least a sense that life is "deathless,"and continues in new Forms.
t )r hers might seean affirmation o[ the human body with the resurrection story

1'.rtraying the importance ofithe body when Jesusemphasizestouching him when


lrc appears before the disciples during a shared meal.
'l'he central messageof the resurrection for many religious liberals though is the

Irrrrrranpotential to overcome serious personal loss or Failureand begin to live a


12l CELEBRATINC EASTER AND SPRING

more whole life. Vhen we think of our earth's abiliry to regenerare irself;, our
polidcal abiliry to join forces with others to overcome the human predilection
for violently excluding others, and finally, our personal abiliry ro recover from a
seemingly empry or forsaken life, then the meaning of the season can become
powerful for many Unitarian Universalsits. We can make rhe "resurrection" a
realiry in our lives. It is I, you, and they who are risen from rhe dead. The tradi-
rional cry of "he lives" becomes "we live."

(This is a reuiseduersionof the UUA pamphlet, CelebratingEaster:Rtfbt-


tions of a Unitarian Uniuersalist.)
lI. O Dayof Lightand
Gladness

O day of light and gladness,


o[prophesy and song,
what thoughts within us waken,
what hallowed mem'ries throng!

Frederick Lucian Hosmer


-
r4 qELEBRATINGEASTERAND SPRING

Openirg and Closing W'ords

OpeningVords: Lent
Ln, is rhe rough road to Easter,for
Jesusand for us a1, the smel of
lilac, the costof rears.
- Clarke Dewey Vells

A Lenten Diet
F"rt frorn criricism,and feaston praise;
Fastfrom self-piry,and feasron joy;
Fastfrom ill-remper,and feasron peace;
Fastfrom resentment,and feaston contentmenr;
Fastfrom jealousy,and feaston love;
Fasrfrom pride, and feasron humiliry;
Fasrfrom selfishness,and feasron service;
Fastfrom fear,and feaston faith.
- John B. Volf

OpeningW'ords: Easter

Cr.",o, of earth'smerry-go-roundof rimesand seasons


(wheelingday and nighr-
birth, growth, fulfillmenr, descenrro rest)
and of rhe seasons of rhe human hearr,
we would enrerinto awareness of rhe inward world sharedby our
deepesrselves.
Be with us aswe welcome,eachin our own way,this
high season:
Spring for awakening,
Passoverfor freedom,
against
hope-
:ffi:,:J.:ope
- Greta !(r. Crosby

br--
II. O DAY OF LIGHT AND GLADNESS Irs
$[. g"ther this morning in the faceof mystery.
We hearthe birdsong,knowing from their triumphal
entry that the time of winter is over.
We sensethe presencearound us of li[e: ongoing,energetic,
embodiedin women and men and children.
Their smiles,their cares,their concernscome beforeus now.
In the silenceof this morning let us givepraisefor li[e,
for all its changes,
Forall its unpredictablecaprices,
for its sustaininggraces.
In this silencelet us sensethe eternalpresence of liFe
in our veins,in our bodies,in the electricalflash
from eyeto eyeaspeoplemeetand touch and
healeachother.Amen.
- Mark Mosher De\(rolfe

Sing, O heavens, and be joyful, O earth;


And breakforth into singing,O mountains:
For God hath comforted the people.
- Isaiah49:13

$[. here becausewe are alive, becausewe would rather be alive


"r.
than dead.
Weare here becauseute haae receiuedlife as a gift-becarce
despiteall tbe contadictions urebelieuethe gift is good
W'ehavecomethis day to celebratelife and to saythank you for the gift
of the rain and the sun.
Wc haue cometo shareour liaes with one another, that our
sorroatsmay be lightened" our joys doubb gladdened and the
fullness of W kzoutn and prochimed in all itspain and ghry.
We are thankful for the gift of being together.'Weare thankftl for
being.'Wearethankfulfor li[e.
- Richard M. Fewkes
(adapndfrom an anonlmoussource)
s
16l CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRING

Build thee more statelymansions,O my soul,


As the swift seasonsroll!
Leavethy low-vaultedpast!
Let eachnew temple,nobler than the last,
Shut theefrom heavenwith a dome more vasr,
Till thou at length art free,
Leavingthine outgrown shellby life'sunrestingsea!
- Oliver tVendellHolmes

O C"a of Easter:we gatherrogerherthis day to celebraterhe rerurn


of spring after the long hard winter, the resurrectionof life after
death,and the revivalin our heartsof confidence,trust, and hope.
Come into our presenceduring this hour, teachingus to atrendto
that which springsafreshin our lives,that we may continually be
open to the new,the revitalizing,the transforming,which is a very
miraclein our midst.
- Dianne Arakawa

For Easter eggs and Easter flowers,


For Easter song and story,
For Easter gladness in our hearts,-
To God be praise and glory.

- Vincent Silliman

M.y this, our coming togetherfor worship and prayer on this


EasterSundaymorning, be not simply a dury but an exaltedexperi-
encewhoseinfluenceshallgo with us through the coming week.Ve
come herefor the uplifting of heartand mind which we receive.More
than dl elsemay it be a waiting in the presenceof all rhar is good in
the experiences of peopleeverywhere,that our litde livesand
common concernsmay be illumined with the glow of a living faith.
May the miracleof springtime,one of the millions rhar havedawned
over the world, keepalive in our heartsthe child-like wonder in rhe
presenceof the ancientbut evernew pageantof nature.
Alfred S. Cole
Th. ror.rl,of the righteousarein the hand of God,
And no torment shall touch them.
They are at peace,
And their hopeis fullotimmortdiry'
-visdom trz r,3,4

Tta^y we come-as peoplehavecome for thousandsof years


-to worship and sing Praises
-to celebratethe victory of hope over despair
-to be remindedo[ rhe everrenewinglite of the spirit
-and to mark the seasonof springtimecome again'
Hallelujah!Hallelujah!
Velcome to our festivalof joY!
- PollYLeland-MaYer

\$[e look nor ar things which are seen, but at the things which are
nor seen; for rhe things which are seen are temPoral, but the things
which are not seen are eternal.
'II Cor. IV: l8

$[/. *.l.ome Easrermorning asa Festival oFthe living body.

May its srory remind us neverro separateourselvesfrom our life in


the body.
May we feelrhat body and spirir areone; that fleshis good.
May we be in touch with our handsand feet;everyliving, breathing
part of ourselves.
May we love the body: asregeneraringearth,asreproducingseed,as
immortal releaseinro the grearbeyondand back;eachone of us the
word madeflesh.
Praisethe body!
- Mark \(/. Harris
CELEBRATING EASTER AND SPRING

V. are here
n linh our memory of hue past,
and our hope for deeperlove ro come,
in this prescnt bour of tbankgiaing and praise...
Lo, how fly the years!AnorherEasreris upon us.
Once again, thefloutas unfoU lihe our bestdreams.
once again the color and fragrancesurpriseus, as if for the first rime.
once again life stretchesand rcachcsbeyond it oum horizon!
Once again the day of sheerAlleluia dawns
and un are glad to be aliae to seeit.
Praise!
Mark Belledni

Co-. with me, this morning, ro the uplandsand high placesof rhe
spirit, that rogetherwe may fronr the vasthorizonsof life and dearh.
In the clearlighr of Easrerwe will gain deeperinsightsinro rhe
wonder and myste{ysurroundingus. on rhis journey we will take all
peoplewith us for we are rhe children of Mother Earrh. May all rhe
hopesand dreamsof rhe grearsoulsof the race,rhe songof rhe bird,
and the flush of Spring acrossrhe hills, bring us renewedfairh and joy.

Alfred S. Cole

Chalice Lightings: Easter

V. giu. thanks for life reborn.


\fe give thanks for joy ro overcomelossand pain.
W'egive thanks for rhe earth as it blooms its renewal.
'We
give thanks rhat all living things are revived.
As a sign of our gratitude,we light this chaliceto welcomedl new
songsof life.

- M4rk \V. Harris


LIGHT AND GLADNESS

Gt".y be to the earth and the wind.


Glory be to the sun and rain.
Glory be to animalsand children
and women and men.
Glory be to our holy flame
which callsus togetherasone.
- BetryeA. Doty

Chalice Lightings: Spring


Gathering in our church,we light this chaliceasa symbol of our
thankfulness.
The chaliceremindsus of the sun, the giver of life.
The chaliceflame risesup like the Powerof growth and renewalin
the springtime.
While lighdng the chalicewe give thanksfor the sun, which lights
and warms the earth
For the growth and renewaloFnature,arisingfrom the earth.And for
the earth itself,which is alsothe giver of life.
- David J. Miller

Opening'Words:Spring

Gathering togetherthis morning from many directions,we give


thanksfor the beauryof spring, the warmth of the sun, and the
breadth of the holy spirit that called us to worship.
- Beuye A. Dory

Enough
Birdro'g again
a blossomingtree-
Spring is enough
Resurrectionfor me.
- Dorothy ParsonsEast
rF

CELEBRATING AND SPzuNG

Spring hasbursr fonh with its wet welcome,and now wirh its
clear skies.
The seasonsof our souls respond with gladness that new Life shall
welcome us ro another year of growing.
Let us celebrare our meering here today;
Let us be lifred with rhe new season;
Let us turn from side to side wirh eyes that meet and with smiles that
proclaim our communiry
'We
pause rogerher out of rhe midst of separarelives
ro give thanks,
to be srrengthened and refreshed,
and to share our search for wisdom and for gendeness.

- BruceSouthworrh

Seasoruof tbe Stlf


V. ,r..d a celebrationrhar speaksrhe spring-inspiredword about
life and death,
About us t s ue liae and die,
Through all the cyclingseasons,
days,and years.
Weneed tbe senseof dcity to crach our ourn har[ broun
Decetnberhushs.
And pushlife out of inner rombsand outer pain.
Unbss uremoaethe seasonsof tbe self,,and Spring can come
fo, *,
The winrerwill go on and on.
And Easta uill rernain a mytb, and life uill nean comc again,
despite tbefact of Spring.

Max A. Coors

'W.
call forth this morning the spirir of spring, of crearion, of
Rejuvenation.fu the earth slowly awakesfrom its long sleepso each
of us stirs beneaththe slumberof aparhyin anricipationof the Grear
Mystery of Life.
As buds and bulbsswellwith porencyso our spirirsfeel the full
II. O DAY OF LIGHT AND GLADNESS lzr
weight of their soulful pregnancy and prepare to give birth to our
empowering potential.
rVe call forth the spirit of Spring this morning within each of us, the
spirit that moves us to transform who we are into who we can be.

We call forth the life-giving spirit to unveil our love for this creation,
to bring healing to those in pain, and to sing the song of the spirit.
- MichaelA. McGee

Gratitudc
Of,.n I havefelt that I must praisemy world
h For what my eyeshaveseenthesemany years,
And what my heart hasloved.
And often I havetried to start my lines:
"Dear earth,"I say
And then I pause
To look once more.
Soon I am bemused
And far awayin wonder.
So I neverget beyond"Dear Earth."
- Max A. K"pp

Fro- out the glory of the morning skies


The Life Giver callsto us "Arise!
Out of eterniry-behold a day!
A gift Foryou to spendsomeway.
\Xrhatwill you do with it, I say?"
From out the glory of the settingsun
The Life Giver call, "'What haveyou done
With the day that hasgone?
Nevermore will the day return,
Howeverstronglyyou may yearn."
Usewiselythen this gift to you-
Freshfrom God like heaven'sdew.
Miraclesarewaiting in it-
O[beaury you can createanew-
ilr

CELEBRATING EASTER AND SPRING

Of love reborn,of effortsrrue.


Your heavenmay be hiding in it.
Usewiselythen life'sgift ro you.

- SophiaLyon Fah

At this seasonwhen the cold winds ceaseand gentlesunshinewaken


the earth,when field and gardenare clothed in new radiance,we
would keepour mind and heart open ro the beauryof natureand the
splendourof the spirir. As winter yieldsto spring,so may rhe coldnes
of our heartsyield to the gladnessof the world, and rhe new life of
earthfind response in the renewalof our human lives.Thus shallwe
becomeworthy participantsin rhe greatlife which out of the old
eternallybrings forth the new.
- compiledb1,PererB. Godfrey

Greenup
Fror., rhis rough
bark open tender
leaves.Lively
greenleapsout
of the dull brown.
\Taiting winrerlong,
the buds havebursr.
Vhat inner
knowing calls
theseleavesand birds
returning ro sing
amongthem?
JoanGoodwin

For lo, the winter is past


The rain is over and gone
The flowersappearon the earrh
The time of the singingof birdsis come
And the voiceof the rurrledoveis heardin the land.

- Songof Solomon2: Il,l2


II. O DAY OF LIGHT AND GLADNESS 23

( ,losing Vords: Easter

hs M"t you havejoy this Easter,a,ioyborn oFlifewell lived;


May you havelove this Easter,a love strongerthan death,
ns bringinghealingand new growth to your liFe,
and light whereit feelsdark;
e And may you havepeacethis Easter,peacewhich allowsyou
ss to be open to the newnessof the season,
and givesyou reasonto sing.
- Judith G. Mannheim

y Lit. jelly beansand chocolaterabbits,may eachseason's special


delightsdways bring you sustainingjoy. Like the bunny'shidden
presentsin the springtimegrass,may surPrisesand unseengiversever
leadyou to give thanks.Like cheepingnewbornsfrom chicken'seggs
and openingcrocuses,dewy Fresh,may the miracleoFlife fill you with
aweforevermore.Amen.
- ColleenM. McDonald

Lt th. horizonof our minds


includeall people:
the greatfamity hereon earthwith us;
thosewho havegonebefore
and leFtus the heritage
of their memoryand oFtheirworks;
and thosewho liveswill be shaped
by what we do
or leaveundone.
- SamuelMcChord Crothers

W'. celebratethe resurrectionof the spirit, exemplifiedin nature


through the miracleoFspring,symbolizedin the story ofJesus,
manifestin the besto[ us. As spring laughstoday,at long last
victoriousoverwinter, soJesusmust havelaughed,when he sawthat
CELEBRATINGEASTERAND SPRING

evenin death,he was taken up in rhe mysreryof life, so may we, in


joy and laughter,embraceeachorher and embracelife, in all its
ambiguicyand downright messiness, on this Easrermorning.
CharlesS. Slap

E"r,., is an impossiblesrory written for everyonewho hasever


felt the sdng of death and wishesfor somethingmore.
Easteris a story for anyonewho loveslife so much that they
pray for more life to follow.
Easteris a srory for peoplewho can envisiona loving divinicy
that will not be conqueredby evil.
It's a story of love that neverdies;
of immoveableobjectsthat get tossedaside;
of happy endingsin a tragicworld;
of miracles;
of faith rewardedand vision restoredand hope jusdfied.
That'swhat Easteris'
- patrick o,Neill

Closing Words: Spring

Gr..., grasssustainus.
Greenearth uphold us.
Greenpeacetransformus.
In the nameof God,
Allelulia!
- Andrew Hill

M"t the spirir of life, a gift of rhe earth'srenewal,come awakeinside


us again.And may we find it holy!
-Judith Meyer
rr. o DAY OF LIGHT AND GLADNESS IZS

O God, so touch us with the soul'seternalspringtimethat no wintry


hour of life shallblight our faith or freezeour hearts.
- A. PowellDavies
p

M"t the warm sun


r Shineupon you.
May the brightnessof the greengrass
Fill you with exultation.
May the sweetperfumeof the spring flowers
Scentthe placewhereyou stand.
May the songsof the birds
Bring music to your soul.
And love
Freshand bright
Renewyour life.
- Roland E. Morin

TheDance of Ltft
TL".h us to dance,O Life,
Tillwe find ourselves
"At the still point oFthe turning world"
And know ourselvesto be one with theeand eachother,
Brothersand sistersof the One Life
That hasdied and risenagainand again
In the springtimerenewalof human consciousness.
- Richard M. Fewkes
III. \7ake,Now, My Senses

W'ake,now, my senses,and hear the earth call,


Feelthe deeppower of being in all,
Keep with the web of creation your vow,
Giving, receivingaslove showsus how.
ThomasJ. S. Mikelson
CELEBRATINGEASTERAND SPRING

Poetry: Easter

Prayerfor Easter (for A.C.S.)


Lrd God of Easrerand infrequenrSpring,
Thaw our wintry hearrs.
Announce rhe largecovenanrro deceirfullands,
Drive the sweetliquor through our parchedveins.
Stir the vacanreyeswith greenexplosions
and gold in azuresky.
Smite the pall of death that hangslike desire:
Lure us to freshschemesof life.
Rouseus from tiredness,self-piry,
Vhet us for use;
Fire us with good passion,
Rekindlethy Church.
Restorein us rhe love of living,
Bind us to fear and hope again.
As we thank with brief thanksgiving,
\Thatever odds may be,
That life goeson living,
That the dead riseup ever,
That eventhe weariestriver
Vinds back to springsunder rhe sea.
- Clarke Dewey tpells

Easter Morn
O., .y., that warch through sorrow'snight,
On achingheartsand worn,
Risethou with healingin rhy light,
O happy EasternMorn!
The deadearth wakesbeneaththy rays,
The tendergrasses
spring;
The woodspur on their robesof praise,
III. \rAKE, NO\r, MY SENSES lzg
And flowersare blossoming.
O shinewithin the spirit'sskies,
Till, in thy kindling glow,
From out the buriedmemories
Immortal hopesshallgrow.
Till from the seedoft sown in griefi,
And wet with bitter tears,
Our faith shallbind the harvestsheaf
Of the eternalyears!
FrederickLucianHosmer(1890)

Easter: I hope he'll be rernembered


I hop. he'll be remembered-
Obscuredby centuriesof violence,
Clouded by countlesscreeds,
Dissectedby a thousandscholars,
Preachedfrom a million pulpits,
Mouthed by a million lips,
Crucified by willful distortion
And innocentignorance.
I hope he'll be remembered
In simple,unadornedhumanicy.
- RichardS. Gilberr

On Immortality
S[. not isolatedFromnature.
"r.
W'eare not isolatedin our thinking.
W'eexistand haveour being
ln an intangibleseaof thought.
\(/e live in this sea
As a fish livesin water.
Floadngin this seafor the taking
Is all the wisdom of the ancients.
Floatingin this seafor the taking
CELEBRATING AND SPRING

Are all the aspirations


of rhosenow dead.
Floatingin this seafor the taking
Are all the creativeimaginings
Of the world'sarristsand prophem.
In this evoludon
Each hasa mission and a place.
\J(reall contribure
To this sphereof the mind.
Thus our actionslive on
Dearhlesschrougherernicy.

- Paul N. Carne

Spring Sobtice
Or,.. more upon the crossthe Life-God hangs
while Morher Earrh,wirh chill autumnal brearh,
surrendersro rhe barren sleepof dearh,
feelingno more her summer'sfecund pangs,
Vinter's sepulchraltomb gapeswide today,
Now grieving,Ier us lay him rhere,and rhen_
true ro the mystery-keep watch till when,
at third moon'sdawn, rhe sroneshall roll away.
So ... well it is for us rhat in the fairh
the resurrection's truth dependsnor on
belief in it-else wereour soulsa wrairh
indeed,wailing toward oblivion.
But everyspring life risesfrom its past
And so dearhroo musr changeto life ar lasr.

- lrslie Blades

Vul,r'rr., quarteringa sky of passiondrained,


Compure rhe first quick srabbelow of fear.
They registerthe synapsesof pain
And smell rhe leakageof a crimsonsmear.
They spiral down the silken drapesof grief
And touch the wailing ground to bow rheir heads
Like mournersar a gravewho standand wair;
They alss ssrvs-by tearing dearh to shreds.
Dogsare barkingacrossthe gapsof nighr;
They sniffand lick rhe soresof L.azarus
And howl unhingedbeneatha gibbousmoon,
Returning to their vomit's incubus.
Tomorrow rheywill meeklysrandto heel,
While raucousmen knock roughenedspar'rospar,
Vill wag their railsasorherswag their skulls
es
Upon rhe gibbet shameof Golgotha.
Crearuresof the rolling earth carenothing
For human tragedy;wirh wings rhey churn
The living air, and equallythey shout
Hosanna!whenthe funerd embersburn.
But he, whosefinal sup is vinegar,
Vhose agony haslocked both heart and eyes,
Feelsfeathersof their flight acrosshis breast
And hearsrhe lasrlong fractureof rheir cries.

- lronard Mason

The EasterMiracle
f amazedto rhe poinr of ecstasy
"-
at the miracleof awareness.
Life brings me im freshnessasan
inefhble gifr.
s Everymoment renewsmy vision.
Death is permissiongrantedto other
modesof life ro exist,
so that everythingmay be ceaselesslyrenewed.
The ploughshareof sorrow,
breaking the heart,
opensup new sourcesof life.
The land burstsagaininro bloom.
321 CELEBRATING EASTER AND SPRING

The possible and the future are one.


The possible strives to come into being,
and can be, if we help.
Vithout sacrifice there is no resurrection.
Nothing grows, flowers and bears fruit,
save by giving.
All that we try to save in ourselves
wastes and perishes.
All things ripen for the giving's sake,
and in the giving are consummated.
- JacobTi"pp
(afterAndre Gide)

Easter is Paradox
E*rr., is paradox;
It is the leapover the chasm
betweenliFeand death,
Berweenvictory and defeat,
Berweenjoy and sorrow.
Easterholds togetherrealiryof crucifixion,
And myth of resurrection,
The Jesusof historyand the Christ of Faith.
Those who losetheir livesfor others
will be saved.
Thosewho savetheir livesfor self
will be lost.
Love is realonly when we give it away.
Love hoardedmelminevitablyasspring snow.
"ln the midst of winter
(\7e) find in (ourselves)
an invinciblesummer."
- RichardS. Gilberr
III. \rAKE, NO\r, MY SENSES 133

lDoetry:Spring
Softening
O i, is sofirening. ..
'Ihe earth,I mean.
I know-l know:
I sti[ seethe snowflakes.
And dark skies;
I still feelthe chill,
The chill-chillwind.But, O, it is softening,
) The earth,
Softeningtowardspring.
Why, evennow the goddessEostreis impatient
to be up and around
And sprinklingpinla and blueson boughand ground,
And Christ stirsbehindthe heavystoneat mouth of
tomb:
Eostre, Christ, and all,
Restlessto break through
Now that earth is softening,
Again.
- John Hanly Morgan

A Palm SundnyAdmonition
Tt yor whowouldaspilgrimsgo
tVith eagerstepsand heartsaglow,
V'hen on the holy city bent
Be not deterredfrom high intent.
For peopleneedtriumphal days
tVith ample reassuringpraise,
And palmsextolwhile thornsdo not -
And none would choosethe marryr'slot.
r
So easynow to join the throng
Vith flow'ring branchand palm and song.
So hard to seeon sucha day
The beggar'shand besidethe way.
j

341 CELEBRATING EASTER AND SPRING

How fine to do the pleasantdeed,


To servethe current favoredneed,
But hope needsthosewho think and choose-
Uphold a causethey well may lose.
For thosewho would aspilgrims go
Both scornand failurewell may know,
And high intent can leadto pain
And gifts must neverbe for gain.
- JanetH. Bowerin
(can
besuns
rorur,
I;*xlH;

Green Thing
Gr..n thing, greenthing!
I seeyou - here,there
Tiny dots of greenin spring
Along that treelimb, where
Birds,quick and brighr, sing
Away cold winter'scare.
Greenthing, greenthing!
Greenon ground, snowless,bare:
I seeyou - here,there
Greenon brown, tiny, fair.
Greenin spring
Here, there,
And birds do sing.
And all is sweet,
And all is fair.
- John Hanly Morgan

Wh.r, the daffodilsarrive


In the Easterof the year,
And the spirit startsto thrive,
III. \rAKE, NO\r, MY SENSES lts
Let the heart beat free and clear.

When the pussy willows bloom


In the springing of the year,
Let the heart find loving room,
Spread their welcome far and near.

\?'hen the sweet rain showers come


In the greening of the year,
Birds will sing and beeswill hum,
ng
Alleluia time is here'
- carr Seaburg
(Can be sung to Tirne: "Hasidim"
Singing the LiuingTi,adition, Hymn #62)

The Hurt of Beauty Healcd


So rich in beaury is this earth
that when we contemplate its passage
down the arc of time toward
that inevitable dark where earth herself
must end, the hearts of all grow sick
with paradox,
and tongue and pen proclaim
a faith-shall not some deathless
spark transcending earth's demise
once more embark in quest
of beauty's meaning even then?

Shall spirit-eyes, probing


the mystery, find that the faith
eternally revealed is really
truth's supernal history wherein
the hurt of beaury can be healed?

And shdl it not appear (as sometimes


seems) that timelessness was always-
now and here?
- LeslieBlades
361 CELEBRATING EASTER AND SPRING

CosmicCadcnce
In quick'ning streamsand warming earth,
In buds and rootles groping blind,
The world awakesand brings to birth
Eternalhopesto humankind.
The eonspassin cadenceslow
Ideasthrough the centuriesroam.
But all life forcesblend and flow-
'Weharvestthoughts by others sown.

Eachgenerationrriesanew
And peopleventureto explore
Old wisdom clad in raiment new;
Freshinsight found in ancientlore.
A beaconfrom a far-offstar
May touch a light-yeardistant soul.
A deedunmarkedcan travelfar
And work to make a strangerwhole.
Great good waswrought in agespast
tVhen love and faith at wrongs were hurled:
So dareto changewhile life shalllast,
Thkehold and shakea dormant world!
- JanetH. Bowering
(Can be sung to Tune "Old Hundredth"
Singtngthe LiaingTiadition #37O

Birdsong
Good earth, good sky,
Here in the spring
I want to fly,
Thke eagerwing.
And roll and dive
Thru seasof light,
Come safeto limb
'Vhen it is night,
And hear the dark
III. \rAKE, NO\r, MY SENSES ltz
All full of sound
And wake,and light
And peck the ground,
And lift again
Acrossthe sky
And pipe a clear
Ecstaticcry:
"To-life!To-life!
Good-sky,good-earth,
\W'arm-wind,warm-rain,
Spring-birth,Spring-birth!"
- John Hanly Morgan

Ariafor \Villow
wind willow
silverin silver
rain
in February
promisingspring
surprisinglysilver
g
when sun-shot
" a web suspended
O) on cables
of dawn
a mist in springmist
a cloud
gold or green
dreamof greenor
gold
a mist
a wind
caught
wrought
in gold
a filigree of sway
-
r

CELEBRATING

weepingunder
a weepingsky
April rain
streaming
greengold
- Dorothy Parsons Eas

Springtime
Lr. in Februarythe sun brightens,the robins return.
The PuebloIndians do their first spring dance"to bring the buds
to blossom."
Then, within a few days,the first crocusis followed by many
more, by white and purple hyacinths,by dafFodilsand rulips.
Leaf buds burst to a goldengreen."Nature'sfirst greenis gold."
It warms toward Easter,when the secondspring dancein the
Puebloshelps"to bring the blossomsto fruit."
Early May will seepeach,pear,apricot, and appleblossoms.My
morning walkswill be, goingand coming,into the scentof lilacs.
- JacobTL"pP

Lilncs
tiny trumpets
pouring forth
a purplesong
fragrance-
all of springtime
profFeredat no price
lavenderlike
lavenderhills
and white
and almostcrimson
a brawlingwind:
a surfiofpurple
flowers
againstthe wall

L---
III. \rAKE, NO\r, MY SENSES l 3e

,rnd everywhere...
purple winds crest and-
crash
in purple fragrance
- Dorothy ParsonsEast
st

Songfor the ChurchFamily


\U[. uk. joy in many things
'fhrusting shoots and silver showers.

llumming bee and bird that sings


Waking grassand opening flowers,
Find assuranceas we do
In the beautifiulandtrue.

With the people of all time


\?'onder at the changing year.
Ancient ritual, chanted rhyme
Things we treasure, things we fear,
Find assuranceas we do
P In the beautiful and rue.

Deepening roots and cherished lore


Mem'ries which all agesshare
And for strangers at our door,
Warming welcome and to spare-
Find assuranceas we do
In the beautiFuland true.
- JanetH. Bowering
(Can be sungto theTune "Dix"
Singingthe LiuingTiadition #21)

Vocabuhrl Lesson
A*O in an otherwiseorderly hedge
forsythiaflauntsa goldenedge
of sunshine,and thus by flouting reason
embodiesthe spirit of the season.
- Dorothy ParsonsEast
CELEBRATINGEASTERAND SPRING

Goshauth
white winged ghost
whistling upon the crest
of bursting branches
scrying messengerfrom the
molten April sun,
belly speckedwith
reflectionsoff snowpatches
sdll tracked by fleet prey
and awkward snowshoes.
I stand agape
wishing wings.
- Ellen Dionna

In Praiseof Spring
Wh", couragepure with which we start
to gather fragmena, bits, and parts,
with mindlessgracethat works and plays
and marks the season'spassingdays.
Vhat causein us to celebrate,
with calendarand specialdates,
aswe may t{y to comprehend
where seasonsstart, where seasonsend?
\7hat humanessto fix a date
and offer praiseas if to bait
the inner growth we long to reach
that roots prepareand flowers teach.
'What part
lessonwise on season's
to pinch the mind but squeezethe heart
while peldng us with memories
of icy earth and naked rees?
rVhat gift the bud, the growth, the flowers
that creepin spring and burst in power,
III. \rAKE, NO\r, MY SENSES l+r
that castour eyesin modestshame
and longing lust to do the same?
\Yy'hatflower'sstrength as if on cue
forgotten dreamsthat we once knew,
aswinter wisheswake to sing
and feedthe soul in praiseof spring?
- Dawn Goodrich

a
lV. The Time of the
Singitgof Birdsis Come

For lo, the winter is past,


the rain is over and gone;
the flowersappearon the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come.

The Songof Solomon2zll,l2


Fr

44 CELEBMTING EASTERAND SPRING

ResponsiveReadings

Easter

Rolling Auay the Stone


In th. tomb of the soul, we carrysecrets,yearnings,pains, frustrations,
loneliness,fears,regrets'worries.

,::!.t tomb of the soul, we take refugef'o* tbe world and its heaai-

In the tomb of the soul, we wraP ourselvesin the securiry of darkness'

Sometimes this is a comfort, sometimes it is an escaPe'

Sometimes it preparesus for experience.Sometimes it insulatesus from


life.

Sometimes this tomb-life gtues tts time to feel the pain of tbe u'orA
and reach out to heal others. Someimes it numbs as and locks ut up
with our own conceflts.

In this seasonwhere light and darknessbalancethe day, we seekbalance


for ourselves.

Gratdal for the darhness that has nourished us, we push away the
stone and inaite the ltght to autahen us to tbe possibilities for new
tife in ourseluesand in our worA-
- Sarah York

The Promiseof Easter


'W6" this dayand sin
is to saywhat Easteris that we shouldcelebrate
Forjoy?
Easterispromisesrememberedandfulfltzd ofdeath and life and al
that lies tberein.
It is the promiseof the planetsin rheirrurn, rhe infinite fideliryof sta
and sunsand seasons.

h-
IV. THE TIME OF THE SINGINGOF BIRDSIS COME I+S

Easter is rvintn promising to Sping that earth shall yiea its death
s to life again.

It is the growth promise o[ the dormanr seed,the barren meadow and


the naked bough.

It is the birth promise ofall reatures uhicb baue life and breath and
being.

Easreris ancient sorrowsstilled and hopes remembered.It is rhe memory


of Jesusdying in Jerusalem.

It is the promise that hit W shall neaer die as hng as ute still seeh to
duell uithin bis ways.

It is the promise that rhe hearr shall be reborn as hatred dies and love is
given birth.
' It is the promise that the mind shall be reneuted as ignorance is lost to
neutfound trutb.

Easteris the promise ro everyonewho journeys from rhe death of preju-


dice to the life of understanding.

Easter is prornises to everlone utho casts dud! tbe errors of tbe darh-
ness to dwell utithin the ligbt.

Lo, Easter is of earthly promises and human hopes rhat make the hu-
e man heart forever young.

A songoflife uthich spingsfrom deatb, ajoyoas human song,foreun


e Alhluia sang.
w - Eugene B. Navias

Easter Benedictions
Bl.rr.d be life!
g
Bhssedbe life moment b1moment through a thousandages!
Blessed
be liFethat endsin everymomenr.
ll
Blzssedbe lfe that risesagain to bhssornin eaeryrrnoment.
Blessed
be liFethat remembers
life.
rs
Blzssedbe lfe that reftses to die beforedeath.
CELEBRATINC AND SPRINC

of the soul.
Blessedbe life thar pours itselfout into the mystery
the rose.
Blessed be tfe that becomes loae, as the seed becomes

Blessedbe liFethat lives its own amen!


Mark Belletini

The Call of Easter


snow and
Err,.. calls to us our of the mist and fog, out of the melting
relentlessrain of days past, and saysto us-

Rememberthesunofformerdarysandthetestimon!ofdaffidilsand
tnornents of spring that shall come again
forsythia to tbe golden
though we uait another daY'
dreams that
Easter calls to us our of lost oppotunities and forgotten
never came to Pass'and saYsto us-
itself at its
Remember that change k foreaer, that ttfe eaer reneu)s
opportunities are giaen out of tbe
outn Spring, that neut chances and
death of tbe old.
within you'
A new self is waiting expectantly to come to birth
ears that heax
Tb utalh the eartb once more utith eyesthat see,and
and wondcr of again'
and hearts thatfeel the glory W
facesoF those
Easter calls to us our of rhe hushed voices and haunting
and mysterieswe
who have touched our lives and passedon to glories
saysto us-
know not of. Easterspeaksto us through them and
haue notforgot-
Remenber the fuad wbo are not dzad so hng as we
we leaue behind is not to die, but to be
ten them. Tb liae on in hearts
reborn in the "life that mahetb all tbings neu'"'
o[ long ago
Eastercalls to us out of the life and teachingsof a prophet
whose spirit rises up
whose form was crucified, dead and buried, but
out of the grave and Proclaims-
thousand million
Though hae be ffucifed it shall rise again in a
the pouter of loue goes on
hearts not let born and in whose passion
and on.
again and bespea
Though trurh be nailed ro the scaffold it shall rise
shallbe heard abovethe harsh noisesanc
itself in a still smallvoice rhar

br-
rv:_lrt fllrgF THEsrNGrNGOF BrRDSrs COME l+z

clashingsoundsof injustice and oppression.

Tbough lrf" of truth and hae be shut up in a tomb, uith the stone
"
sealcd in phce, it shall rise again, the stone rollcd autay.

Walking the earth once more with quiet persisrentfootsreps

That shall be heard hng after the sound of marching armies hdue
fadcd into tbe night age artn age.
Laster calls to us. Help us to hear ir, see ir, Feelit. unstop our ears.
IJncover our eyes.Unseal our lips. Open up our hearts.

And ht our aoicessing, Alhluia!

- RichardM. Fewkes

Spring

The'W'onder
of ReaiuingLife
'Wro
can resolvefor us the mysreriesof earth,
e -fhe wonder of reviving life
in the spring!
e
Not all the stars in the sfur are as utondcrful as the bursting seed: or
the tiryrgreen shoot, or thefrst braaeflower defying the storm.
'fhe
birds rerurn, and in the dawn they form carhedral choirs rejoicing
e
in the light.

Tbe scampaing squineb tahe up the glad refrain, the sping is bere.
o'
'l'he treessing in
p the wind, and lirtle srreamsswell into leaping, laugh-
irrg torrents;

The dead haaes nestling on the edrth utbisper a ghrious secret to the
n utind: the earth is stiningwith new life.
when yesterdaythe drifting snow coveredgray leaves,imperuous green

ak today thrusts upward roward the lighr.


cl AII nature sings; for light * life, and utarmth and rain are life.
48I CELEBMTING EASTERAND SPRING

This is the truth that passesundersanding;


This is the joy to all foreverfree:
Lifc Erings from &atb atd shanen cocqtfettt, and lVinta Yelds
n Spring ctonall.
- RobertT.rry'Weston

Th. hrr-an spirit has its winter but it alsohas its spring
Tbis is the ttuth tbat mast bc rcnld cach timc thc earth rcncutsinclf
atd rcsnrcs our soab.
W'eknow that impetuousgreenshoomand fragile blossomsdo not alter
the fact of sorrow and loss,and yet-
And yct ureanc uplfud agai" b thc dulity and hope in thc bcaaEr
of the auahcning cartb.
Only aswe recognizethe winter-like bonds which bind us and separate
us from lif+
Onb as arc opcn ourchrs m ligbt atd uarmth atd growth can ur
sct ounchnsftcc.
Our intellect tells us that we are mortd and that we shall die later or
s(x)ner,
Bat our spirir tcll us that un anc onc witb thc infniu, tbat somc
part of as uill ncaa ccatc to bc.
-Janet H. Bowering

A Rcsponseof Hope
I look d to mother eamhwith a cry upon my lips, "'iV'hat is your an-
swerto the age-oldquestion, 'If a persondie, shall they live again?''
And thc carth was silat Onb a rubin sangftom thc tttetop atda
ooms p*shcd i* any throagl the haus, liftoS irface m tbe san
I gazndatthe skiesarching over my head, 'O y. universesbeyond uni-
verses,flyrng galaxies,and stupendousdistances,what hint haveyou of
THE TIME OF THE SINGING OF

our destinybeyondthe rim of time?"


silcnccfrom tbe darhcning bcaaar. onl a ubispafnm
thoscfar-
of worla ttai"g of wonden tyos onl c a dtcam in
the hanan
hcart
| flung myquestiondown eonsof dme, .Vhar is this
many-splendored
rhing wirhin our minds, coursing through our veins,flooding
our souls
and lifting our facesto the sta*-this somerhing that
cannor die?l
No ansuta camefmm out thc uasttomb oftheyan; but
tbc Sping
flusbcd grccn acrossthc ancient hirb oi ro^ilriog i, ttn tion o1
Apil stincd-somctbing tbat ncua diat
I saw the evil and injustice under the sun and heard
the bitrer criesof
human pain, the sadfarewellsar timc ofparting, and the
universalquery
on our lips.
r No annnr carnc, bat t$c saqgcof uf" umt tbnagb thc
carth and
flhd tbc shics;ctent^I W and hac afiicb d.oth. bfc-cnd-
e "ooqi
la s-rtamp hant! This nanl-g landorcd th ing!
Alfred S. Cole

g
V.Thou Givestthe Grass

Thou givest the grass,


thc corn, the tree;
seed-timc and harvest
comc from thcc.
Mary Horvitt
CELEBMTING EASTERAND SPRING

Reafings

Ash W'ednesday

and fuster
'4sbes
Ir, where the plastic smile is mandatory and cheapgraceabounds,thc
"..rlnrre
sobersubject of ashescomesalmost asa refreshment.At leastwe know we smrt
wirhout illusions. All our minor triumphal entriesend, like I-ear,a ruined piecc
of nature upon the rack of this tough world.
The ashesoffuh w'ednesdayare mixed in a common bowl of grief, They arc
made from palm fronds used in celebration the year before at a brief hour of
triumph, Palm Sunday.In the Catholic tradition the ashesare made into a Pastc
and daubed on rhe foreheadsof rhe hirhful, e greysign of execution that must
prefaceany Easter.
would not be daunted'
John Bunyan said that the women of Canaan, who
though called dog by Christ (Mat. l5z 22) and the man who went to borrow
br.J"t midnighi(Luke I l: 5-8) were,ultimately,greatencouragementsto him.
Th.y hung in there thru the dark days.
For religious liberals ashescan symbolize,too, the dying of the seedthat it
may be boirr, the place of the phoenix, and, yes, the dissoludon of integriry so
thar deeperintegrities may emerge.The divine creativity leavesashesin is walc
so thar new worlds may riseup and adore.In the sffangenessof this businessfuh
Vednesday is the opening to Easter.
- Clarke Dewey \7ells

Ash rWednesdny
Tbacbut to utneatd not to care
Tbachus to sitsill.
-T S. Eliot

I thought Ash \fednod"y was the ritle of a poem by T.S. Eliot until I learned
abour the lirurgical yearin divinity school.One day I had a chanceto learn more
V. THOU GIVESTTHE GRASS lst

ir rrrrAsh $?'ednesday.
It w;tsa very very busyday.I aroseat 5:00 a.m. ro carcha rrain from Southold,
rrt tltc c:rsterntip of long Island,into New York Ciry, whereI wasscheduledto
l.fr .r tclevisioninterview.A ministers' meeting was to follow the taping, then I
r.,rtltl rrrshbackout to Southoldto meetwith the ReligiousEducationCommittee.
11, rn/, wasI bury!And imporrant. It isnt everyday, after all, that one getsro
lr ,'tt tclevision.But I kept thinking of the rabbit in Alice in \Tonderlandnho
r rrrricsaroundlooking at his pocketwatch,saylng,"I'm late,I'm late,for a very
lfnlxrrlrntdate."
Alrcr we tapedthe program, two of my colleaguesand I left the CBS srudio ro
ntrkc our way to the Communiry Church, wherewe werelate for the ministers'
ntcctirtg.As we busded through the subway and the crowded streers,weaving
.rutttttl lesshurried pedesmians,I realizedthat it was Ash \0fednesday.I was re-
ntttrrlcclby the sign on the foreheadsof many who passedus.\Ufhatlooked like a
rtrrttlge of dirt was the sign of the crossmadewith ashesfrom palms blessedthe

c ;rcvious yearon Pdm Sunday.I recallednot only what I knew of how the ashes
llr ttsed,but alsothe versefrom Genesisthat is recitedto eachpersonasthe ashes
rr rtrbbedon the forehead:'Remember ... thou art dusr,and to dust thou shalt
f?lllrtl." Eveqytime I passedsomeonewith a smudgr face,I would hearthe verse
rtr1irr:"Thou art dusr and to dusr thou shalt return."
I slowedmy pace,lagging behind my companions,and pausedto reflect that
I w.rsdust, alreadylarc for a very important date.

- SarahYork
o

d
e
54 CELEBRATING EASTERAND SPRING

Lent

Lent
\$UIh", will you give up for this season'
to help life along
in its curious reversals?
As if we had a choice.
As if the world were not
constantly shedding us,
like feathers off a duck's back-
the ground is alwaYs
littered with our longings'

You can't helP but wonder


about all the heroes,
the lives and limbs sacrificed
in their compulsion toward the good'
All those who droPPed themselves
upon the eartht hard surface-
weren't they caught in pure astonishment
in the breath before they shattered?

Forget Sacrifice.Nothing
is tied so firmlY that the wind
won't tear it from us at last'
The question is how to remain faithful
to all the imPossible,
necessaryresurrections' - Lynn Unga

a gift, a garment for the storm' surviva


I think the liturgical tradition of Lent is
a pp are l.our indiv idualdy ings andb. . o. ing s a r e g i v e n a v o i c e , w i s d o m , a n d
than the isolation and pain of ou
companionship in astoryand heritagelarger
\we don't h"ua ,o be "religious" or "christian" to enter into
unconnected selves.
V. THOU GIVEST THE GRASS lss
, r,rrlv human. Sincewe'reall in that club I invite you to join me in travers-
,, ,1',t
rhcr this seasonof faith, self-examination,and hope. We have St. Francis's
,,,1rl r.rr"B ro th e r Ash i s p u r e . "
- Clarke Dewey \fells

l ntt

t " , , r i\ or)eof those numbers to which much significancehas been given. Forti-
', I'rrt lrrlalsare often anticipatedwith dread.Many things can lurk in the "back
',\ l;orty also appears frequently in 'Western religious traditions: the forty
' , . rrrtlnights of the Flood; the Forryyearsthe Hebrewsspentwandering in the
. , ,rlier the Exodus; the forry days from Chrisrmas to Candlemas; and rhe
'r
,,' ,l.rysof Lent which precedeEaster.

I t,t is one oFthose liturgical seasonsto which many Unitarian Universalists


, , lrrtlc significance,and yet it may be the most "uU" o[all the seasonsin the
r,lrti.nal Church year. Its forry days signifr a time for searching,exploring,
,,rr,ltrirrg,evaluating,and taking stock of Life and onet placein it. It is a time of
, ,,rrrs, expanding, broadening and deepening-of planting a new insight or
l, .,.r 1.r1rin one'sdaily living.

lrliirrg time to acknowledgethe ebb and flow of our lives is a good way ro
r,,rr\(' Lent: taking some quiet time for ourselvesaway from everything else,
', 'lr rlrslbrry minutes a day just to sit and attend to whateverneedsattention in
,' lrrt's.Time to give up doing somechingelsein order to take time to nurture
,'rr,'rl ti ngN ew .

I t rrt is perhaps best known as a rime to give up something, to abstain From


,,", t lrittg-usually an indulgenceoFsomekind. This is an ideawhich has some
r ,,r for something new to take root and gro% we must first createand nur-
,r, ,r Pl;rcewhere that may occur. 'We must consciouslymake room for the New,
1,,r lrir of'mental/spiritualSpring-cleaning.For some, rherealreadyrnay be such

ar , 1,1r, t' rvaiting,evenlonging to be filled. For others,there may be so much filling


', rlrrrtit might be difficult, even painFul,to let go oFsome things so that an
'r
r r l tl t' s [) r C e c an e me rg e .

I t nr CaDbe a time ofopportuniry-opportuniry thar in the days ro come, as


al
, ,l.rvlightcontinues to lengthen and the Earth beginsto thaw, rhere might be
, , ' I r('\l)ondinglengtheningoF Light within and a melting of our resistanceto
ur
, rrt.rrishment that is the Life in All.
o _ Daniel E. Budd
CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRING

"...anoint your headand uash ltoutface"'" fo*


the seasont
TheTeutons ofancient days,after the long hard winter, reioicedwhen
was in the air. They held joyful
cold began ro passand the promise of spring
"lengthening days" were for dancing
fesdvalsand sangpraisesto their gods.The
and feasting.
to take
Then the ponderouscouncils of the church moved in and proceeded
sackclothand
the joy o.r, oi,h. seasonby prescribingthat Lent be for self-denial'
ashes,and a short-cut to holiness.
not
\(re should do better. Lent should be a seasonnot of gloom but of cheer'
sulphur and molasses, but maplesyruPand raiseddoughnuts,a time to celebrate
the goodness,the beaury and the utiliry in life'
mind and
Lent is a time not for monasticintrospectionbut for expansionof
the whole self
heart,for vigorousexerciseand deepbreathing,a time for getting
the tulips and
runed up so it can funcrion harmoniously with the forcesthat lift
for becoming more alive, for making love with
make the grassgrow. It is a time
your mate,and getting acquaintedwith your children'
- Clinton *e Scott

Lcnt
beginningof
If yo,r, yard looks anphing like ours this opening of March and
windy winter
Lent, it is a mess.Broken uee limbs and wisted wigs from a dozen
like leftover icing shoved asideon
scorms,mounds of crusry snow hereand there
the front flower bed,
a birthday cake plare. Bent over chrysanthemumstalks in
business,
and a[ abour rhereare soggyleaves-evidence of Autumn's unfinished
abandonedwith the first snow.
to
March, anticiparing spring, is a dme to clean away the mess,the debris,
these dreary days if onc
garherup and ,o ,.r,or.. it is work, but a h"pPy work on
whistle and
can recollect the refulgent summer. It is a work to which one can
hum.
debris, to
Irnt, anricipating Easrer,is also a time to clear awarythe mess,the
be' It is a season to remove
gather up and to restore.I-ent is soul-work, or should
and let the
to
rh. d."d migp and leavesstrewn about the ground of our being
the soul'
warmrh of the sun ger ar rhosecrusry patchesof coldnesswhich blemish
self.The medieval mystic, Meister Eckhart'
Im purposeis to g.i,o rhe core of the
THOU GIVESTTHE GRASS

"'lir get at the coreof God at his


'rr,l: greatest,one musr first get into the coreof
hrlrrcll'at his least.Go to the depthsof the soul: for all thar God can do is
f,xrrrcdthere."
V/t' modern folks havenevertaken much to Lent. Maybe it is becauseifwe see
r'rrrr('lltingthat is messeduP we are apt to believeit is ruined. Somehowwe are
lr,l trt believethat the intrinsic vdue ofa thing is not worrh rhe dme and skill for
rri rc\torarion.That work we areapt to cdl drudgery.
I cttt, however,affirms the intrinsic valueof eachsoul. And if you affirm irs
rltrt' lt)o, its supremebeautyand worth at the core,then you can seethe neces-
'
t firr the disciplinefor its care.Then this discipline,like picking up rwigsand
'rt
I'rrrrtllirrg them, can be done with whistlingand humming. ft meansg.r,irrg
rhc rvorthof the sel[,sorting out what is deadand gone by nurturing what is left ",
rrtrl to come.It meanscenteringin on the most important and clearingit away
fr,rrr rlredebrisof dull rourineand habit.
I hcarcomplaintsoften that the hymns and rhemesof lrnr aredull, drab and
Irrrrrrcal.Yeah.So'sour lawn-dull, drab,and frrnerealthis time ofyear.And so's
tltc s.ttl this time of year,more likely than not. But the work of human resrora-
ft,rrr,like eaftht resrorarion,should not be a dme of gloom, but ofwhistling and
hrrrrrl ni ng.
- BruceM. Clary

Pdm Sunday
,

lhlm Sunday
,ln'l u,ltenhe dreu near and saw thc city he uept oaerh, saying, ,,Voald that eaen
hxldv.lotrhnewtbethingsthat mahefrr peace!But now thcyarc hidfrom your qts..'
- Luke 19:41-42

e
e l,,,.,1ii,rehow Palm sunday might havebeenexperiencedby an averagecitizen
' lrr nr11
in Jerusalem.A ten-year-old,for example...
' It was the Jerusdemtourist season.Peoplewere coming inro town from all
58I CELEBRATINGEASTERAND SPRING

over for Passoverweek.Boy, did I hate the crowds!My folks owned an inn and dl
peopledid wascomplain about the straw in their maffresses. I went out on the
edgeof town to advertisefor the inn, and I sawa bunch of peoplecoming toward
me dl shouting and gatheredaround a colt. Then they took off some of their
clorhes(thar'swhar reallygot my attention) and put them on the colt. I wasnt
really surprised.Those country folks dways act a litde odd when they come to
rhe ciry.Then they pur a man on that little colt. I wasworried the poor animal
might collapse.
Then peoplestartedthrowing moreclothesand sometreebranchesin front of
the man and they calledhim a kirg. "Hosannain the highest!"they shouted.He
looked abour as much like a king as my little brother.And high is not what he
was on that colt-his feet were almost draggingon the ground. I knew my Par-
en15would be furious,but I decidedto get into the paradeand seewhy this man
wasbeing calledthe messiah.
According ro everyrhingI had learnedabout the Messiah,this guy did not
make it. The messiahwassupposedto be like David and Solomon.King David
wasa grearwarrior, a bravesoldier.This man didnt evenhavea slingshot,asfar as
I could tell. And when someonemade fun of him and threw a rock at him, hc
didnr sayanything. I thought he was a real sissy,but then I followed the paradc
on into town wherehe went into the temple.\?'ell, therewasa big salegoing on
and he saw how someof the priess were overpricing stuff. He got real mad and
said that they shouldnt be cheatingpeople in God's house. He acted like hc
owned the place,which didnt go over too well with the priests.In [act, he made
a realmess,turning somechairsand tablesover.After that, the priestswereout to
ger him, which was too bad, 'causeas far as I could tell, dl he did wastell them
not to cheatpeoplein the temple.
One thing thar was real obvious to me was that the peoplewho put that man
on the colt knew that he had some kind of Power.You know, real power, likc
from God. And the priests knew it too, but they knew that his kind of Power
wouldn't go with rheir kind of power.Here he waswith no horseand no weaPont
and no army so his power wasn'tlike King David's.And he couldn't afford a place
to stay in the ciry so his power wasnt wealth like King Solomon's.
Somepeoplesayhe will return againsomeday.But I bet they wouldrit recof
nize him if he did. Becausehe would still have the samekind of power. You'd
think that with that kind of power,peoplewould recognizehim, but even thc
ones who say he was rhe messiahdon't want to give up the kind of power thr3

E
V. THOU GIVESTTHE GRASS

| )r, r,l ,rrrdSolomonhad.


\\'hv is it that peoplesayrheywanr God'spower,
bur when they experiencei
rfx r rkrrr'rreallywant it afterall?

- SarahYork

(lood Friday

(iood Friday
'11," t iood
Fridaysideof life
h *.lrcrcwe find eachorher
trrrrh clch other
t rc.rl i ze
rr .rrcnocalonealone.

- Ric Masten

\nd u,hcn the sixtb boar uas comc, thcn uas darhners
oaertbc afioh hnd until
* ni ntbhour. . . '
Arrtl after the ninth hour, when
Jesushad cried out and given up his spirit,
lf t'rt' lhat lovedhim came,and stood nearto where
the threewerecrucified.And
rlrrv Prrrup a ladderto take down and
Jesus a wind cameup and beganto brow
rhcrlttslabouton the bald hill. Bracingthemselves
r againstthe wind tiey *orked
t,r lr.c his armsfrom the cross.Despairing,
t they auna no gentleway ro remove
rfrc rr.rils.\rhen finally they took him down,
e ,h., raid him renderri on a croth
r',1 rvrlpped him with spicesas was the custom,
.rrd carriedhim to the tomb
h
' t' lt fosephofArimethia offered.Then thosewho lovedhim knew no promises
lr 11,1111 future to be hoped,and theywept. But no one carne
to takedown either
d tltt' thieveswho perishedalso,and they wereleft to the winds
"l and darknessof
,fr,rrpl :rce.
- Orlanda Brugnola
CELEBRATING EASTER AND SPRING

Medinion on the Roch of SisYPhus


by the force of the
Many a rock is pushed from the enrrance o[ many a tomb
human spirit.
courage to speak when
The rock is pushed away From rhe tomb oFsilence by the
others hold their tongues and lose their conscience'
by the clear thought of
The stone of superstition and delusion is split in two
reason.
are rolled aside by the
The boulders of dead habir, set in place by many years'
quickness and newness of imagination'
piercing cry Forjustice'
The crags of inequaliry and selfishnessare set astir by the
by a single tear of
The brick walls of indifference and callousness are eroded
sympathy and cracked by the warm smile of kinship'
the waters of new possi-
The dry gravel bed of vanished hopes is washed over by
bilities.
by the force of the
Many a rock is pushed from Cheenrrance to many a tomb
milk of love!
human spirit. Many a dark wall is washed white by the
- Leroy Egenberger
V. THOU GIVEST THE GRASS l5l

tDn.ssover

. i.,, ttttlt ln-bo-oh bee-ru-sho-lo-1teem.

\t tt /t('n be blessedwith peace, and mal our brethren and all humanhind liae in
t'.'t,,tt,I tltAnd COntentnent.Amen.

-Benediction from the PassoverHaggadah

'l
i,, l,'tuishfestivalof Passoveris known as "the Seasonof Our Freedom." Recall-
,"1'rlrt'i. ancesrors'release from bondage and oppressionin Egyp,, the people
.,1,1't.rreliberation. As the earth is releasedfrom rhe grip of winter, humaniry
, . l, l'r.rrcsreleasefrom bondage.

lltrt the story doesn't stop with release.After terrible plaguesand the exodus
1,,'rrrlrgypt, Pharaoh'sarmy chasedrhe people to the Red Sea,where the waters
t,rrt.rl lbr the Hebrews, then flowed back to swallow up rhe Egyptian soldiers
r",l rl rc i r c hari o ts.

I rrrcring the wilderness,rhe people complained ("murmured") to Moses thar


r, \\.r\ his fault rhey were in rhis awful place, hungry and rired and thirsry.

I lris was only the beginning. The people murmured a lot in the wilderness.
I lr.r' rccognized that bondage had been pretry secure. Li[e in slavery was a drag,
l'rtt .rt least they knew what each day would bring, and a few convenienceshad
,'.t.l. I heir burdens easierto bear. Freedom sounded great when they were slaves,
l'ortrtrt)w that the people had to set up camp and find food in a srrangeland, they
r r r t( 'i l 1 SO SU fe.

lr is safer to stay where things are familiar and evenrs are predictable. It is safer
',' l'f i11bondage. Freedom means risk; it means pursuing a dream ofa promised
| ,rr,l tltar we may never reach. One
Jewish legend tells thar even aFterMoses said
r\,,r(l\ lo part the sea,the waters did not recedeunril the first Hebrew placed a
t,,l t i n the w ate r .

I lrc PassoverSeder is a thanksgiving meal-a time to expressgrarirude to the


r ., I r'ho hears the cries from all who are oppressed and exploited. k is a time
', to
' rl,r('\\ regrer for the sufFeringof all who pay the price for freedom, including
lrrt''t' we call the enemy. And it is a time to expresscommitment to a vision of
=

CELEBRATING EASTER AND SPRING

the promised land. For in rhe ritual of gratitude and remembering comes cour-
age-the courage ro pur our feet in the water and take risks again and again for
freedom.
- SarahYork

Easter

E"r,., summons us to life through death, not the abolition of death, not some
impossible prolongarion rhrough endlesstime of an individualiry that is dwarfed
and disrorred if it remains the same here and now through aty extended period
of time. There must be change, there must be growth, there must be imperma-
nence. And death, however absolute it may appear when peered at through the
keyhole of one individual's self-centered hold upon biological existence, is in fact
but one great and awe-inspiring instrument in the orchestra that celebratesever-
lastinglythe triumph of life.
- Phillip Hewett

Weare the Resanection and thc Life


Th. ,.r,rrrecrion sroriesof the New Testamentneedneither be taken as fact or
They canbe left asthey are:myths
reinrerpreredto appearscientificallyacceptable.
of meaningfulness. They are the poetry of They are the storiesof the
reverence.
reaffirmationof life rhat evendeathcannot end.They are the songsof the exPc-
rienceof a people,who having experiencedgrief and lossand disillusionment,
felt a restorationof their hope.
Human deathis real.It is not at all similar to the retreatof plant life to the root
to wait for spring. Human death is the end of life here, now, and among us.
\fl'hile a spring festivalcan crudely hint at the revivalof life with the coming of
crocuses,trillum, and bluets,our deaddo not comeback to life and show them'
selvesro us, their disciples,exceptin the intangible ways in which we are thc
rerurn of the lives thar haveended.\7e are the bodies that give their spirits flesh
again.'$(i'e are the specificforms of the life-forcein the world, a Forcethat seemr
to die in us in ourwinrers and cometo life againin our spring-timesregardless of
the time of year.
GIVESTTHE GRASS

lrt ttsarewritten, if they arewritten at all,


rhe new versionsof the old story of
I trlt'r, the empty tomb, the renewal.rJTe
are at leastpart of what the ancient
':rrrrlr cr' mean' for we areor can be the resurrectionand the life.
- Max A. Coots

( )' t'f the depths


of the experienceof deathand despaircomes1ssu11661ien-
"
rrrrr'\J)ecr€d, but possible,Easteris rhe power of inner rebirth
thar breaksthe
rrr\r'('r'sthat hold us in bondage.It is the erernal"yes,,
rhar shattersevery,.no.,,
( )rrtof theexperience
ofslaveryand persecutioncomesrelease, new freedom-
rrrr.xPected, though longedfor. Passover celebraresrhe realiryof the New Day of
ft\'( c' peace'and hope thar haslived for centuriesin
rhe hearrof humaniry.
( )rrt of the drearydays
of winter comesspring_expected,but nor without
rrrtl)rise'Eastermarksthe powerof life's
renewalUuit, in,o the cycleof binh and
Fr,,\r,rh and deathon this our blue planetEarth.
\l;ry the spirit of rebirth, of freedom,of
release,be with you all rhis season.
- FrederickE. Gillis

,l t

t lrt'surpriseso powerfullyportrayedin the resurrection


sroryis this-our grow-
'r'1i.'tlgeis not success,
bur failure. \?'e can know what friendship means
only
*lrt'rr we have experiencedrejection.The
best counserors,I berieve,are those
trlt, ltavehad emotionalproblemsthemseves
and haveworked through them to
frc'rlth' The individual who hashad a consisrently
successfuland easylife is apr co
lx' rhrrllow narrow and obnoxious.For
what we call ..character,,in a human
l*rrrg is determinedlargelynot by how
we handreour successes, bur how we
lr'rrrtllcour failures.Personalgrowth requires
setbacks.As one psychologistput it,
, I t strtsywithout agonyis baloney."Resurrection
wirhour the .ros irl.aning-
lc'r' lrr the natureof rhings,a lackof
a crossis not a probremfor mostof us.For
lrft' tl.es not consistof one successafter
anoth., il, is lacedwith problems,
r,r itlcnts,mistakesand failure.
- CharlesS. Slap

l'lrster W'eeb1982
'l
i"' light greenshootsof blossoms-to-have-been
r areout ofsight under the drift-
'rrl' \lrow' Gale force winds are rattling the old house.The temperarure
is far
I'r L^v fieezing.Nature is not cooperadng
with preparationsfor Easter.
64 CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRING

more than Easter'New


The storm evokesrhe spirituat quality of Good Friday
lossesto the coldness
life will appear,but not without scrife,not without some
that the sun will alwap
which returnsas inevitablyasspring.And who can say
that the coldnesshas
climb again on Eastermorning? Isnt it at leastpossible
more stayingPowerthan the warmth?
human nature' For we'
The seasonsare more reliable in these matters than
and indifference' between
individually and collectively,can choosebetweenlove
war. And we have often
commitmenr and self-absorption,benveenPeaceand
chosenthe coldness.
becausewe bid it to
M"yb. the ancienrswere right. M"yb. the spring comes
the retelling of the stories
come in our celebrations.Maybe it is the telling and
carry it forward'
that enableus to seethat hope still lives and that we c:rn
The motions of the
The storiesmake it clearthat God doesnot do it alone'
of the spirit' the springtimeof
sphereswill producea sunrise,but the springtime
to the gift of life'
love and justiceand peace,dependson our human resPonse
kt us tell the storiesagain. - Robert R. \flalsh

wasborn, nor in the


Tir. i-porrance, for us, of Jesus,lies not in the way Jesus
dead,nor in any of the miracleshe
way he died or supposedlyros€againfrom the
us, lies preeminendy in thc
,uipor.dly p.rfor-ed. The importanceofJesus,for
not asa Savior'not
*"y n. [r;i. And, similarly,I think most of us look toJesus
the Lord of Lords' but as
asthe one and only Messiah,not asthe King of Kings,
and holy life in a troubledand
an exemplar-as an exampleof how to live " good
salvation,but back to our'
brutal world. we look to Jesusnot to lead us uP to
selves. - Andrew KennedY

Blessingtbe Blend
*May we bring ourselvesand our storiesto church this morning'
Th. r.n,.nce,
our Palm Sundayservicc
and considerrhe blend a blessing,"appearednT'icein
morning, but I saidthis prayer'
yesterday.I alwaysbelievewhat I sayon Sunday
a lifedme of Easterand
ful sentencein particularearnest'having lived through
passoverseasonsin unirarian universalist churches.
cant win on Easter'
Everyyear I fight the feelingthat our uu churchesiust
the doors, alongside a number of
our familiar congregationwill come through

f,'.
THOU GIVEST THE GMSS

| 'rrr.r visitorswe'veneverseenbefore.\Vhy
do they come?
To hearfamiliar,madirional,Eastermusic.
To not hearfamiliar,traditional,Eastermusic.
To be reminded of the newnessof spring,
rhe pagan symbols of the
season'and the lengtheningdays,withoura t",
,-"tt and
resurrection. "f "bo,r, Jesus
To be reminded of Jesusand His Resurrecrion,
without a lot of talk
about the newnessof spring, rhe pagansymbols
of the season,and the
lengrheningdays.
To participatein a family service,wherechildren
delight in discovering
rhe many roorsof our religiousrradirion.
To participatein a dignified service,where aduls
celebratethe undeni-
ably Chrisdan holiday, Easter.
we eachhavereligiousstories,spring dreams,
seasonalcelebrations.And on
l''tslcr they'rewith us,joining togetherin church.
It is our gloriouscelebration,
rrrtl lry consideringthe blend a bressing,we win
everytime.
-Jane RanneyRr.pk"

'['" tonutntional Eastelparablepoints to the life


resurgentin narure,the .,an-
tttt;tlresurrection"'Yet this riumph of life
does not banishdearh.Ir embraces
rlc'rth'Much of lastyear'scarnivalof green,
which celebratesthe triumph of the
tltt ittg' now lies in deathand decayasthe
sourceand sustenance of the new and
r'i13rrous life which rePea$the cycle.Natureis immoral,
bur her individualmem-
I'crsare not' And it is only when we lose
our cravingfor self-sufficiency,for an
rrrrlividualexistencein isoladonfrom, or
evenin opfosition ro, ,h. gr."t whore
,'l wlrichwe arepart, rhat we havereally
absorbedth. I.rron of rhisp"Iruu Then
$'c(caseto live for ourselves alone,and beginto understandwhat it can mean
to
,lic ;rndcomeagainto life.
- Phillip Hewerr

liloom rVben tbe SnowFlies


'1i,"
*ind blowsand the snow fliesoutsidemy window
asI put pen on paperro
' rhirrk abour Easter.Ir's an April bluster,
anotherApril Fool,strick of narure ro
rrr'rkcus rhink thar springwont comeafter
ail. g,rt ir wont work. Driving in my
CELEBRATING@
yellow readyto shout
in full bloom, radiantgolden
car rodayI sawrhe forsythia florth again in the
blows over and light streams
praisesto the ,.,,, *h.n all this of spring and
Believe me, when I tell you this, Easuc' the goddess
morning.
yt"t' You can count on it'
renewal,will make it' "ppt"rance 'hi'
aswell'
'W'hat'strue of outer weatheris rue of inner weather
got
.whateveryour losses-whatever in you is dead' frozen' rigidified-you've
of Good
srorm through the other side
what ir rakesto wearherthe "rrJ.o-. message o[ Easter'Jesus'spirit is
to rhe resurrection of Easter'Hear the
Friday calendarof worship' It
at-thistime in the christian
risentoday asit is eachyear up insidea
of his life and teachingslocked
was impossibleto keepthe influence did
significancin *h"t h. saidand
tomb forever.There *", ,o,n..hi,,g.*,nally
lo."ihirtory h"bitat. He taught and modeled
rhar burst ,rr. .orr-es of his "r,d
love and forgiueness- and gayebirth to a new epochal
the power ;;il.ial and
"f history' He belongsto the ages
consciousness which continues,o t'"i'fo'm power of
in the
the human spirit is renewed
his influenceis still felt wherever
faith, hoPe,and love' from
spirit:f
.vhar,strue ofJesuscan alsobe true for you. If the Jtt::::nr,ise
in you arlseto new
so alsocan the human spirit
the tomb of sufferingand death daily. You dont
*i.r,.'. end-yearly, monthly,
beginningsand transformatl:ns have to be in touch with
to believethis' You only
have to call yourself a christian
y our owns pir itu a l d e p th s to k n l w th a ti ti s s o . D eepw i thi nyoursoul ani nner
pain' and sadness'
the cloudsoFdiscouragement'
sun is waiting,r ,Lit. through renewalhasits
comewhen yott *"nt it' Spirirual
The breakrhroughwon't always cyclesof the seasons'
not alwaysin concertwith the
own perioa of rJnfotaingand is over'tirhether it
still come in the morning, but not until the mourning
Joycan radiantgoldenyellow
,t tit forsythiacanbloom
comesearlyor latebe assured "t
iny our s oulwh a te v e rth e s e a s o n ' e v e n w h e nthew i ndbl ow sandthesnow fl i e
You can count on it' - RichardM. Fewkes

Resunection
eventtt t5,l:::;:t1*i::
supernatural
Th. ,.rtrrection isn'tthe only
.llm::"m;'L'ff";iliii."r*""'"'a-:ff :.1"",tJ.x::l
il;;;i;;i::':::it,::::"::ilffi
;.ifli:'::::;:ffi
;::f ;;;:;:;"ii'.nr,;i,*,::::':::T
n":"?iilil:;l'J?.iiffi tlllff :
all
emprv
could those
:h:ll;il5 \fe', ir',,.,bvdving
Jerusarem.
fii"
Jesus
V. THOU GIVESTTHE GMSS fr'

tornbs, maybe his own empcy tomb was no marvel.

No, in a world where spirits rose up on a regular basis, there had to be sorrrc
rhing more specialgoing on than just another corpse walking about. This w:rs;r
rcsurrection of many souls, not from death, but from deadness.

W'hat do I mean by deadness?I mean the things inside that kept the disciplcs
,rway From Jesus'funeral-fear, cowardice, lack of conviction and purpose. And I
rnean those same things in our own lives that prevent us from feeling dive-
rhings like fear, cowardice, and lack o[conviction and purpose. And things like
rhe loneliness,grief and boredom that numb us to life.

It's as if we let parts oFourselvesdie and stuffthem away in a tomb of the soul.
Sometimes that tomb is not such a bad place. It is like a womFsaFe and secure,
comfortable and predictable.Our tomb-life may be nothing more than the safery
and comfort of a nice predictable routine. Or it may be a shelter from the world
rrnd its problems-a place to hide from the Jesuswho called for a world where
people care for one another. \Thether it is escapeor comfort, the time comes for
tusto roll away the stone and come out.
- SarahYork

\V'henI Go To Church on Easter


...Wh.., I go to church on Easter,I expectto be remindedof the elemental
truth that in this universeof ours,with all its hesitancies
and dmiditiesand trag-
edy,the tidesof life are flowing "fresh,manifold, and free,"and I expectto find
rnyselfsweptinto participationin the universalchant of praisefor the irresistible,
shiningglory of thegreatgift of LiFe,which, for a brief momentand in an infini-
tesimaldegree,I havethe privilegeof sharing.
- FrederickMay Eliot
es.

EasterDoy
Th.r. is perhapsno day in all the yearso full of meaningto the sensitivesoul as
the EasterDay.To saynothing of the beautifulmusicand flowerswith which it is
honored,it is to multitudesthe anniversaryof new life by which they wereborne
to higher idealsand nobler hopes.The pealof Easterbellsand the melodyof the
l*;.1; Eastersongsarethe signalsfor a throng of memoriesand a hostof suggestions to

T::?:ii:1':
everyheart.The origin of the day is simple enough.It is the anniversaryof the
Master'sresurrection.But what are its deepermeanings,is profoundersugges-
CELEBRAT
are embodiedin
may be with you, but 9,. T'*''they
tions?I know not how it the
f,o,,,.h. of defeat;''..Hopeborn from
suchphrasesasthese:..Victory ",h.,
soilofdespair;,,..Immortalirycrowningthegrave.,'TheresurrectionofJesusmeans
all this and more' - GeorgeLandorPerin

nHeis risen" (Manheu 27' 6)


risenfrom the dead'
J.rrs is
ableto bury him'
The centurieshavenot been
ForsakenbY his friends'
sentenced to die with thieves'
tomb'
f,i, body buried in a borrowed
-"ngted
risen to command
he has
the heartsof millions' and
to haunt our hate-filledworld
with the restlessness of undying hopes'
to life'
The yearsbring him increasingly
to destroy him
in.'t-O.rial forcesthat tried
h"u. long ago destroyedthemselves'
uPon him
Thosewho Passediudgment
because of him'
are remembe'edonlY
Military might and politicalryranny
sdll stalk the earth;
they too shall Perish'
while the majestyof the carPenter-prophet
bearinghis crossto the hill
of violence'
will remain to rebukethe ways - Clinton Lee Scott

The Diaidends of One'sHoPe


of one'shope' It is not
seasoncelebratingthe dividends
If nothing else,Easteris a blooming flowers'bud-
but of is fi'st iruit'-early
a celebrationof hope itself, naturalworld renewsitself
r"ar.ssly without fail, the
ding trees,,.,,rr.ir,tg-crlr.
followingrhe barrenness of winter'
, , r L_-_^_ 6m^r lically
A nd' t oo, in th e l e s s ta n g i b l e w o rl d o [h u manemoti ons' w eareP erl o(

r,
GIVEST THE GMSS

renewed.Out of tragedy ofren comes a chastenedspirit; our of hare, an abiliry to


love. Beneath the myth and ceremoniesof every land and culrure, this seemsro
be the messageo[ the season.Thke heart! For hope inevirably will bring about
a
s springtime in the human spirir.
- Carl J. Nelson

Easter Meditation
Based upon a Statement by Robert Belkh

THE DEEPRST TRUTH I HAVE DISCOVERED IS


IF ONE ACCEPTS THE LOSS

of what has been ...


a Friendshipor an understanding
way of life or beloved person
fbr reason gone away

IF ONE GIVES UP CLINGING


TO WHAT IS IRRETRIEVABLY GONE
pretending it is not losr
or refusing ro live any other life
than what we had with
what can never be or
be lived with or in again

THEN THE NOTHINGWHICH IS LIFE


you without that friendship
or person or place
or Feeling-you as you are now,
lif'eas it presenrly is

IS NOT BARRENBUT ENORMOUSLYFRUITFUL


rrew things happen, new growrhs take place,
lresh srrengrhs,greater undersrandings

FVERYTHINGTHAT ONE HAS LOST COMRS


I.LOODING BACK AGNN OUT OF THE DARKNESS
rrremories,dreams, enjoyments,
r,runds of a voice, touch of a hand
(ome back brilliant and alive,
( ()rneback as glorious parts of life

i
CELEBRAT

IT IS NOW -
ONE'S REI-ATION TO
FREEAND I'TNCLINGING
the Past'
You can go on' live with
that waslived
.*. ,h","part of tife
life
but alsocreatean unuied
asit was
without denying the relationship
fitt unclinging in change
,o,r."" b. "nd
OF THE NOTHING
BUT THE RTCHNESS
gone'
when what You lovedhas
markings
and thereare few familiar
CONTAINS FAR MORE'
IT IS THE ALL.POSSTBLE
FREEDOM
IT IS THE SPRING OF
we can be true to the Past
without being its Prisoner
we can embracethe Present
it is all Possible
with hope
we can move into the future
and evenexPectation' - RudolPhNemser

were theologically
rhat unirarian Universarists
Arth.r, Foore was fond ofisaying language and theology,
to
he meant that i,, our relationship
tongue-tied.By that,
we run the riskof t alk ingonly inv agueabs t r ac t ion s a b to
o u thave
issue
a sreligion h t also
t h a t m i gthat
have grear meaning ir o,rrliu.s.'we need
orherwise
evokesour feelings'
;#; .i..,,'"' timeror usverv.rat: " :1lT::Iil::',:i'::;;',' ;;
,r,lL"j,llilT::n:TT';":,'Fii':':1':*:i
ffi'.til:.
tff
.il'i:" ; ;.1'|ilI;t ;"J *' ?i" the
opportunirythatEaster
affordsour deePestselves' and I certainly
if the resurrection of Jesusactuallytook place'
tell you
I carit volumesanyway'It points
me ,h. E;;;, sroryspeaks
wont debarerh. irr.r.. For ..resurr..rioJ-irt the recurringpresence
of re-
ro a more metaphorical "b*,
birth in eachof our lives' r-L^ r-r. .
Easterwere not set in the earlyyearsof the christian
The date and detailsof
e.l

V. THOU GIVEST THE GRASS 'l

church but hundreds of years later by the Council of Nicea-the same counul
rhat declared Unitarianism to be a heresy.

Before that many churches celebrated a kind of Easter every Sunday, eaclr
week reflecting the potential of renewal, the metaphor of resurrection as we suf -
{br small deaths in our despair, rigidiry, and the ruts in which we too often find
ourselves. This messagewas well received, for every life has many deaths and
rebirths. Loosely defined, each of us knows, metaphorically at least, many cruci-
fixions and resurrections during our lifetimes.

So let us ignore, nay even reject the implicarions of Easter which bind us with
words and theology. Having been heretics for centuries, we are free to define
Easter as we find meaning in it. For us, it doesn't matter whether the story of the
resurrection ofJesus told at Easter is historically true or nor.
lVe are called to stories not solely becauseof their verification. Rather we let

stories into our lives becausethey contain a meaning or messagethat speaks to


our lives.

It's been said that: "ln and of iself Easter can do nothing for us. The day serves
only as a reminder that if we will it, life can begin anew." It is not a simple
assignment to change our lives, to transform the physical into a spiritual self All
this holy day can do is to declare: "It can be done."
- David Boyer

The Easter Nonsmse


at all. The Resurrection,"Christ the Lord
E"r,., makesno rational,logicalsense
is RisenToday,"makesno sense.The conceptof EternalLife wins few converts
fiom us moderns.
So why do we celebrateEaster?And why should Eastercommand the largesr
:rttendanceof the yearin our churches?
Let me suggest it is precisely becauseEaster does make no sense!And, because
i:'ir;Ji*:Til:
r makes no sense,we learn something.

\(/e believe in Easter becausewe need it, deep down, for the good of our souls.
Something in us urges us to believe that the sacrifices of love and works endure
beyond the grave. Something in us urges us to hope our children will benefit
liom our worries and tears, our strivings and givings for them. Something in us
trrgesthat we and they shall be triumphant over our worldly fears.

Easter is a universal celebration becauseit is a natural response.My Dad says


72 CELEBRATINGEAS@
concrete
through the concrete of his driveway'
it,s like the crabgrassthat bursts the lily which
like
of the fr""gir. reaf of life. And it's
cannor contain the persistence of comfort' no
of snow. ind it's like the soft word
suddenly blooms ou, of " foot is the unex-
one in deep grief' suddenly there
marrer how clumsS offered to gloom and
of life that wipes away all ugliness'
plained, irr"tion"l affirmation
death' It is always
it is known that life conquers
despair. In whatever moment,
insistent and urgent'

Christisrisen int hes em om ent s bec aus eher eiso n e l i f e , w h i c h , i l l o g i c a l l y '


inevitable conquest over death'
shows us whar all life can become-the
well-given' well-
Life well-received, well-lived,
That is whar all life is, really.
is the Life Eter-
destroy. And that' my friends'
remembered, is life no death can
after all'
nal. It is Easter.And it makessense - BruceM. Clary

SomeThings lT ill NeuerDie


to a
while not literally true' doespoint
Th. ,,ory of Easrerand a resurrecrion, in the human
is that the darkestof times
profound rrurh about life. That truth
brings us that mes-
by the renewalof life' Spring returning
spirit are succeeded
sage.
hate' selfishness'
abandonment'brutaliry cruelry'
Jusr as there is loneliness, of our mortaliry' so are there
and awareness
fear,trembling insecuriry,suffering
v alues andpr i n c i p l e ,th " tc a n n o tb e k i l l e d .TheymayaP P eartobedead,butt
riseagain.
crushed
'we seeir in individual lives and in the lives of nations' countries
under r heopp re s s o r' s h e e l ri s e u p to c l a i m f reedomandsel f-government'

J us t ic em a y b e d e n i e d ,d e l a y e d ,w i s te d andcorrupted,buti tw i l l ri seagai
be born anewin the heartsof people'
official silences'but it will live again
Tiuth may be crushedby tanks,armadas, other smn-
and women who will live by no
as ir is kindled in the heartsof men
dard'
| -'--c^^^) n"o'k" hiol levelop-
B eaur y is fra g i l e .Itm a y b e s u rfa c e d o v e rbyhi ghw aysormassl ve(
Beaury
to drive out the nwdry and ugly'
menrs,b,r, b.".ri risesto iirr. through
cannot be kitled'
cruelry,arrogance'and hatred' but
Love may be buried beneathselfishness,
V. THOU GIVEST THE GMSS -.f

t lte stone will be rolled and love will rise again to walk wirh us, r, irrrfrrrr rrr
^way
Courage may be imprisoned in dank cellsor the darkestof tombs, lrrrr t.rrrl,,(.
springs up anew in rhe hearts of all the oppressed.
'Ihe
power of human love to redeem human suffering and misery, r() (fvcr
come fear and selfishness,to reach into the grave and beyond does not die. Bc;rrrry,
'liurh,
Love,Jusrice,Courage live and inspire others and redeemhuman lifb whcrr
they are manifest in us and ruly risen in our lives.

Somerhingswill neverdie.
- \(1 Edward Harris

W'e2re
Not Sure \Vbat Happened
\il7. ,.ceiued an invitation from our neighborhood
newspaper ro place an ad for
Easter.Someone suggestedto me that, should we advertise, it should say some-
thing like, 'Join us.'wete nor sure whar happened." I was rempted.

We're not sure what happened. But, we know what ir's like when someone
ilppears whose messagewe feel offers hope; who inspires us wirh new ways
of
Iiving which touch our hearts and lift our spirirs in anticipation. 'We know what
it s like when rhey fall short of our expectations, or worse, are cur down bv rhe
fbrces of hare and bigotry which roo ofren enrer human liFe.
'We're
not sure what happened. But, we know whar it's like when someone has
grown proFoundly into our own lives, who seemsas much a parr of our living as
our own breathing, whose presence lives in our souls. \U(i'eknow whar itt like

they when dearh takes them from us, perhaps prematurely, and the empcy place now
in our souls is much like an empry tomb.
'We're
not sure what happened. But, we know what it's like ro feel sorrow and
loss,desPair,and griefl \7e know the waves of tears and the rhoughrs of the pasr
which flow through us, which begin to fill the empriness with stories and memo-
i nto
ries, begin ro shore us up again with a different presencewhich will live with
us
lbr all of our lives.
'$7'e're
not sure what happened. But, we know what it's like ro realize, ro have
it dawn upon us, that what we have known and loved lives on now with
and
within us' a Part of who we are. \7e know that somehow, in our hearts and souls,
rcsurrection is real: not that of the body, but of rhe spirir-a spirit renewed,
even
leborn, in rhe midst of our lives and our living.

w'e're nor sure what happened. Bur, we know thar there is a difficult hope, a
741 CELEBMTING EASTERAND SPzuNG

faith, thar rhrough the living of whateversorrowand grief we feel(and will con-
rinue to feelon occasion)thereis alsoa growing senseof graceand gratitude,of
joy and thankfulness,in the mysteriousand abiding astonishmentof human
being. In that wonder may we find our strength,our own senseof Easter.
- Daniel E. Budd

The Right Size


Fo, y."r, and yearsI bought the samesizepants.I wasconvincedthat I wasa 36
inch waist.Thar was me. Sometimeswe hil to take note of change.Once I lost
abour thirry pounds.lnsteadof realizingthat the sizeof my pantswould shrink
with the correspondingweightloss,I continuedto wearthe familiar size36.That
was me. Now thirry pounds is quite a bit of weight, and so my Pantsbeganto
look very bagglr,and my belt was pulled to the very last notch. Then one day I
wasorderingsomepantsby mail order,and serendipitouslywrote down size34.
Many of us associate Easterwith a time in our liveswhen our parentsbought
us new clorhesto wearon EasterSunday.There is symbolicmeaningin trying on
somerhingnew.The resurrectionofJesusand the springtimerenewaloFtheearth
'W'ecan experiencelife anew i[ we castoff the ha-
both carry similar meanings.
birual pamernsof our lives.The potential for letting go of someangeror regretis
presenr,but we aremorecomfortablestickingto our old waysof relatingor being
in the world. \fle keepsayingsize36.That'sme.The other day apackagearrived
in the mail. It was my pants.I wasa litde frightenedof trying on this new size,
bur to my amazement,they fic beautifully.May Eastergive all of us the courage
to try somethingnew.

- Mark V. Harris

Easter
A rnyrh is not a tall tale. Quite the reverse.W'hether it is true or false historically
speaking, a living myth is true rc life. The story of Jesus has lasted because it
proved true to life after human life.

Daily, ordinary people show extraordinary courage. Grasped by some vision


of a better life, a better world, they declare it and live by it, although bystanders
insist the rime is wrong, the idea is nonsenseor worse, although there is no guar-
anteeof a happy ending.
V. THOU GIVEST
THE GRASS
And all roo ofrr
rrr:rt wourd Il;,;*,ffiT;jTff:'1;inffffs notcherished adream
.h. i, mpre_
;:T"*:
Ii;x:ion'Thel.-,1
dearh
-"1 f " ;;i"lii#i..-d:':.:,il
Ii. .."r,.",,rr. rn pai
", nis* ..",.,:.;:,::,
: I :,.o
r;.':;:f
;H*:
"$.lvisions."n,,*'io
l;:;
il'i."J1,,l::fl::::'.**n,,*:yff
Thereis meaning;rhere
is varue.yet, when
At such rimes,ret us darknesssurrounds
,u- ,o ,r,. ,"r..i.r.-,'il.,,r.a us,ir is hard to
'elieve' and died on sucha
'ff ffi Tfi*:" rl: :*!.;;;^,,oursm
ar
rpassi
on,i
des
iTilll,:Tff
I)idheiiei
...Ia.r,. ou. o*n
,i.. e ' -Y! r'rL urutr or tt rest "'.fgiving
"ia,,r.
courage,helpingushope. ";#Jill',|iil'#::lt within us, us

'Joy Croft

story of Easter
?t
rhe story of E3lter
a chrisrian srory.Ir is
feasrof Easrerhas it,t"'silnlr rrue that for centuries
cerebrated,'r,. n*rrr*ril;iJs the
"Easter"is the christ. But the ve{y
nameof a more ancient.na name
'sonirserf,sincerime imme-rri;i;has n"n-Ci.istian deiry.
The Easrersea-
concernedwith the been ,rr.'"#,"n of
mysteryof life and death, rites and observances
and racesfrom ail .o.n.r, ..rurr..rion and rebirth.
.r,t. *..rd. have,*,.u Rerigions
of whar we cail "Easrer." ro..rar festivarsof observances ;
I

n, ,.r"rt chefuil I

r'ixture of history.na " l;;:.rEasrer i, .*


_yrr,oLj,, e.;;;"*L"..,"o .omprex
"
tl' underlyingthis "'. and practice.
.,., marrix,rhereseemc.^
.heFasrer"o.vsavsrhat,h.*ir;;:::xi,t'".t"Tfilr[:il:,';:#
^:l-
an evil that is demonic;
but there is also in
tife ,.**"t, a
creadveness,and
ff ,:ffi essEas "
ter,"y ;; : ortenp"i l:; rre a
l::::ff :HTj::.: " "; ri
n g
__-_rrvL'truruon
ot ltfe and
To know inwardfv rhp _-^_:_ _
,hingwe need ;:11 :h: T:':'",": l,,r"*.n; :ff'#: T'ffi:,'i.
renewal.

*ir.r, we are and which ",,,


t*r is infideriry ro the ariveness
roundsus. For ,h
nre&sasewhich-.,r'";T',,LlT,"|,,nffi sur_

wanting on thar firsr


Easter;.;.
1r;:j;',ffi t:#;1,::;
ihr, *..r;,-;d
days of our lives'in good dependupon a, the
momentsand in
of rhe spirit. To be we facenew carvaries
reborn ., f"r,..-i, -o-.n,rlhen
wonder,b pray'to to understaDd, ro
ro, b".k ,h.i"rcess know, to appreciare,ro
and d.rp"t;;-r"i,h
courage.It is to
"nd
CELEB
r' r 'onof

faith in lire'ssoodn::::i::':.Jri:
ventureby an inspiring morning, assunrise ourwav'
on*'r;'";*"'
;ilffH:J ffi;,mpse thenew
- Addison E' Steeves

(Jnitarian Easter
Tfri, tenderness whichis thevernalSpring' --:^-
poignantthing'thispromtse'
ii,, r,.n. of life-this toward new birth'
ih""ting
Nature gives!Treme"dout
in the womb of earth'
Cig*,il stirrings
urge
Greatwith the cosmic
life comesto new blossoming!
The bursting surgeof
litde daYs
So let us live out our
maY
That their rich seed ProsPer
In the heartsof PeoPle'-that. ..
the memory
n,. thus be boin againwithin
-",
oi frn"at our lives have touched'
surestimmonaliry'
E*rn"t Easterrhis, and - Mary Stuart Komenda

Easter1975
spacein the clinic is
work done at the Paleyclinic' The
I,m havingsomedental at my
with my dentist sitting
I sir dlted far back i" ,h",;;d.h"i, hovering over
cramped. both were
hygienisr-assisran, ,i,,ilg;, my left. As my
right and his knee rubbed against
,i. n"ra,"g other ;;";"-;.ts-her
me_he drilling, t t:::: pain' onlv the relendess'
Having been iniectedwith l;;;."1;.
shouder.
The
pressed.lg"i"" my shoulder'
steelyattacko,.,***or*,.drillwithitsaccompanyineincessantandinhuman
or, ,i;;..
my arrenrion from the
whine. r focused o#t"d an escaPe
humaniry of irs #tJr;ii.".a.h" "td
-o*tnt'mining drill'
that cavirv
destructivetJ;;;;;i Powerof

I nt hos em o me n ts l re me mb e re d a fra gtirrrt


mentexperi who had been
encefrommyyouth.A
with my father
..flashback,ro anorherdental ,i,.r",i""-,fri' As he worked he
sittinr;'-, fathlrs dental chair'
my dentist. I remembered
heldmyheadclosetohischest,t.,,d.,lycradlingmealthoughlmusthavebeen
|2or l4at t heti me .Iv i v i d l y ,.-.-b .,h i s b o d y warmthpassi ngfromhi mi nto
he workedon mY teeth'
-. ",

L
GIVEST THE GMSS

We were not a "touching"family.Ve kept our distance.I recallno other in-


stltncewheremy father "took me in his arms." But the experiencein the dental
clinicchairbroughtbackoneof mywarmesr,closestmemoriesof him. And with
that memory came a resolveto touch my son (and daughrersand wife) more
often and more affecrionately.
My fatherdied fourteenyearsago.He neverknew what his "rouching" meanr
to me. Neither did I until a dental hygienist'sknee distracredme from the cold
steeldrill and helped me to focus attention upon humanityt warmth and
tenderness.
The message of Easteris that evenunder rhe most dehumanizingand deaden-
ing conditionswe can be "recalledto life." In that connecrionI suggestthar the
image of a dentist'schair providesa bizarre but not wholly inappropriate
metaphor.
- Vicror Carpenter

Resunection
So-.ti-.s Eastercomesin Aurumn. My friend Shirleycalledme rhe other day
from Massachusetts to sharea story with me.Ten-year-oldTimmy cameinro her
carefrom a programcalled"Mentor" which placesemotionallydisturbedyoung-
stersin temporaryhomes.
Shehad begunto takechildrenlikeTimmy inro her home.Tim is non-verbal,
but very bright and his story is a classic.He wasabandonedby his mother ar the
ageof three,raisedby a few family membersin succession who, eachin rurn, gave
up becauseof his fierce temper tantrums. Finally Timmy was placedwith his
father,an alcoholicand abusiveparent.Authorities suspecrthar Tim was badly
mistreated,emotionally and physicallyby his farher,and by his morher before
that.
Shirleyand her husbandraiserabbits.Timmy, silent and morose,suspicious
and not very cooperarive,waspur in chargeof one of the pens.As the dap went
by,he becamefocusedon his work with the rabbits,making surethey had plenry
of pelletsand enough water.Shirleywatchedhim carefullyand worked Leside
A
him-ro make surehe rreatedthe animds gendy.Timmy madea specialpet of
one of the fluffy white doesand he tdked to her-but little more rhan he'dever
talkedro human beings,who had lost his ffusr so long ago.
n
One morning lastweek,he cameout to the pen with Shirleyand his little doe
78 EASTERAND SPzuNG
CELEBRATING
lay her
a corner and there, on the cage floor
had given birth. She was huddled in
three tiny babies-lifeless'
Timmyg ag ge di nr age, andbeat his f is t s agains t t h e s i d e s o f t h e c a g e , s p i t t i n g
at ht'-"w,hy did you leave them alone?
out ugly names at his f,tt, """"'ing
and cried' and scraped
you didnt like them. You left them alone to die!" He cursed
"You left them' you left them alone"'
his fists on the wooden cagein desperation,
scooped
one arm restraining Timmy' and
shirley reached inro the cage with
her palm, and ran to the house' pullingTim
three breathlesslumps of skin into
him with words and not let go of his arm'
with her, trying ,o ,ootht
stood
blanket-and an hour laterTimmy
She wrapped the three in an electric
warmth
oFfspringsquirm and wriggle in the
wide-eyed watching the little doe's
of the blanket.
has lectured her more civilly on
Timmy has made his peacewith the pet-and
more and more to everyone each day.
how to be a good rno,h.,. He talks
"oh' rabbits
miracle, she said simplY'
v'hen I quesrioned Shirley about this
are like that!"
who take them in'
So are limle boys' So are the good people

So is life like that' - Mariorie Rebmann

Exultant
verseso[Hymn #78' "color
(This Exultant is ro be interspersedbeween the
Tiadition)
and Fragrance" of SingingThe Liuing
T.rn. of hymn is PlaYed,then:
uP there behind the sun!
I could say you are beautiful' you stars
Ico uld sa yyou giv em epleas ur e' y our ed- paint ed m o o n a n d c u r v e o f c o m e t !
lcou ldsayyo ura v is hm e, wis t er ia' nar c is s us ' daff o d i l a n d t u l i p !
seem lit from within'
Or, I could say instead that you all
even
something divine, something I could
brimming with something ineffable,
call God.
But today I cannot saYsuch things'
of competing cultures;
I cannot crucifr words on the crisscross
and crowned by marvels'
today I seem only gtad to be alive'
THOU GIVEST THE GRASS

\'t. I and 2

I ...uld say that the earth hanging


in spaceis incredibre.
I rould say irs an accident that just
happened.
I truld say ir blossomed into
being fo, no particurar reason.
t )r, I could say rhat it is commonpl"..
miracle
nr l cosmos filled ro the brim
with Godly miracles.
llrrr roday I cannor say such
things.
I just cannot rell which word
i, *1i.h anymore: accidenr or
miracre.
l'hey seem ro be rwins.

'\rd so today I rise in gradnessagain, and sing the marver of it ail.


Vs. 3 and 4

When some folks speakoFheaven,


.rnd others speak of earth,
lirr the life of me I cannot comprehend
the seriousnessof rhe debate.
l.ook. The heaven I seehas no
name,
iu.st.thesilent sparkle of your eyeslooking inro
my own.
And the earth I seehas no name,
jusr scentsI cannot exprain
to you and corors I cannot name.
In both the report of heavenand
the vision of earth
I can senseintimations of a love
so deep
ir was once cradled only in rhe
impossible word God.
Ilur now I cannot confine such
loue in mortal words.
And so I am given over ro song.

o Song beyond my songs' song


deeper rhan my inadequacy,brokenness
or loss,
ro sing Your immorrar anthem in
thesemortar b.ingr,
'egin
nry sisrersand brothers, alive now
and yer. Amen.
Vs. 5 and 6

- Mark Bellerini

R.ru.r..,ion is rearfor ail peopre-christian


or nor-or it is rearfor
none.
Jesusdied. His dearh meanr exactrywhat every
dearh means: the end of
Iti s l i fe's promi s e , r h e e n d
o F h i s h o p e s, r h e e n d o f h i s
d r e a m s, a n d a l so
the hopes and dreams which
others had of him and for him-of
what rhev
CELEBMTING EASTEB4NP qRING

hoped he was,of what they wanted him to be ' ' '


of disciples'for
Something happenedin the minds and hearts Jesus'
occurred,a radicalshift from
whom everythingh"d b..rr lost. A transformation
of the utter absenceofJesusto a
absolutedespairto renewedhope, from a sense
deathwasnot the end; it was
feelingrhat in someway he wasstill with them. His
in the world'
the bJginning.\Whathad died becameagainlively
renewal exists;it is in us' All
fh. porrlCiliry of transformaiion "nd
large and small, have been
around us are p.opl. whose lives, in ways
the lossof what was most
transformed and ,.n.*.d, those who haveovercome
won a battle with alcohol or
preciousto rhem in rhe world, those who have
to despairwhen life
othersdrugs, rhosewho have transcendcdthe temptadon
ago, unique, unlikely event'
was ar its darkesr.Resurrectionis not a long
b u tis pot ent ially p re s e n ti n a l l h u m a n l i fe .Iti s a p romi seanda
change-transformaliep-
challenge,for ir ,.pr.r.rro the possibilicyof radical
basedon a radicalsenseof hoPe" '
lives but at every mo-
Dearh threatensus not only at the end oF our
grievances we caffywith us' the
menr, the rhousandlittle deathsof the spirit, the
frustration or
discouragemenrs and sorrowsthat weigh us down, the senseof
nights' Easter is the promise
futiliry that darken our days and drear our
new life' It is the assurance
that we can be reborn; it is the promise of
that in the midst of deathwe are in life'
T heE aste rfa i th c a n b e e x p re s s e d i n tw ow ords:l i few i ns.
- Earl Holt
THOU GIVESTTHE GRASS

Spring

Days
daysmy thoughtsarejust cocoons-al cord,
9.t-: and duil, and brind,
They hang from dripping branchesin rhe
grey woodsof my mind;
And other daysthey drift and shine-su.n
rr.. and flying things!
I find the gold-dustin my hair, left by
their brushing*ingr.
- Karle Vilson Baker

nng
TLt toad hibernatesfor months in rhe parched
'p"dtfoot mud of the desert,s
fire' Then suddenlywith a rainfall in the
spring the roadawakensand, like we in
this week'takesup a song.It is a rong of..lebrltion
of rhewernessand the road,s
existence'howeverbrief For it is both a love
chant and a deathkneil. Ir is a song
which attrac6 the predatorycoyore,owl,
and snake.But sdll, in the faceof dan-
ger' the spadefootsings.Becauseit knows
that eventhe coyote,owr, and snake
may ofFerthe reflectionof an angel'swing.

- tVilliam F. Schulz

Tlte Greenlaughter of Spring


f struck dumb with wild and wordlesswonder
"-
That on this planet,hurtling .round rhe
sun,
The greenlaughterof spring risesto clorhe
Our earth through cell and seedand birth _
Eternallpin spireofwinter,s srormsand
cold.
Through agesof fire and of ice rhe flow
of tife
In coundessdearhsand multi-million forms
Has known rhe con-fraterniryand miracle
of birth.
This, my miracl€,D/',resurrection of
the flesh,,_
Too vast,too rrue for little creeds,is spring,s
Unbridled minh!
- John C um m i n. s

l-
CELEBRATING

The Hesitant SPring


the cold returns to
old now, but sdll occasionally
sprirrg is more rhan a month
cat c hu su nPre Pare d. Thewindwhips pas t us aSwer u s h . f r o m c a r t o h o m e , g l a n c .
ingon lyb riefly"..h .s hiv er inga"r r oair andm agnoliab l o s s o mwe
s . 'We d awearied
have r e n o t of,
that
away the winter coat, the sweatersand wool ,1".1.,
pack
from the dance of a new life'
whose weight holds us back
Although
comes slowly, haltingly' *:"dtit9l
so in our individual lives, change still they
to di,.",d old habits andtired Pat[erns'
we may feel deeply the need
clu tch atu s'cripp lingour t ent at iv enews t ePs ' f r eez i n g u s i n mEven
ovemasewe
n t syearn
t h a t w to
e
comforrfl. b,r, which we have now outgrown'
once found
of the old and familiar.
free, we feel the temptation
be ser free, to set ourselves safer than the uncer.
the old ways seem at times
However painful and limitin$,
tain paths ahead'
one backward; yes,
one step forward, the next
These transitions are difficult:
no longer to be denied'
or,. d"f rh. ,pring.is here'
no; I will, I wont. And then twe dance'
fear the frost'
burst out and no longer
Leaves and blossoms have all
f ultya nd free ly,e n|oy ingm ov em €nt s andr hy t hm s th a t b e fmetamorPhosis'
o r e w e c o u l d o n l cater-
y
i-"gi... o, ,prJraia awakening spring, amazing
vaguely
around us'
hail yo"' p""nce within and
pillar turned butterfly' we
- Helen Lutton Cohen

Vinter into SPring


Th. ,r..r, along their bare limbs'
contemPlate green'
and white
A flicker, rising, flashes rust
before vanishing into stillness'
and raked leavescrumble imperceptibly
to dirt.

On all sides life oPens and closes


around You like a mouth'
Vill you Pretend You are not
caught beween its teeth?

The kestral in its swift dive


and che mouse below'
the first green shoots that
GIVESTTHE GRASS

rr ill not waic for spring


,rrc a languageconsranrly forming.
(]uier your pride and listen.
'
I'here-beneath the rainfall
,rnd the ravenscalling you can hear it_
the great tongue consrantly enunciating
something rhat rings through the world
as grace.

- Lynn Ungar

The Colorsof Lrft


Consider the amazing bulb flowers
-Hyacinth, Crocus, Daffodills_
Bulb resurrectionssprouting in corners
ofyards, fences,
ln unexpected places though they
appear year aFteryear.

Consider bulb abiliry to respond to the


mixed up weather,
Amazing force with which they emerge
rnd reach up ro the sky-
Slicing rhrough accumulated leavesand
earth not-long-ago frozen,
.Springingup with joy to show their
colors.
Ilulbs ger on with the viral endeavor_
l i fe.
Sometimes,they suspend their progress,
( lhilled ro a srop by the
freezing winds,
lJudsclenched tight for protecrion,
And then, sometimes, when the weather
\vurms or the rains quench,
llulb plants surge upwards (you can
nreasurerhe growth in inches per hour),
[ )nstoppablein their rush to smile back
,u the sun.
l

CELEBRAT

\7e, too, are equiPPedwith that


inexorabledrive
lives'
To show our colors, to fulfill our
mind or spirit keeps
Vlhat coldnessof
our life restrained?
fear' or
Vhat deePfreezeof doubt' or
numbness?
to thwdt'
\fhat layershave accumulated
distort, or imPcde our thriving?
thwarting
Be gardencrs-peel bacl<the
accumulation of old ideas'
fears'
Of uncried impressions'habits'
and unexamineddoubs'
of life'
Revealing the strugg[ing shoots
and wait, wait,
ifrro,rgh wind and rain and cold''Vatch
and wait,
For the warmth will come again'
Smileswill aPPear'
\fith surgesof ioY
being ' ' '
The colois of tife will grow into
All in god dme, alt in good time'
- BetsySPaulding

SpringIs A Tidc
Eachof us'
human heart,and will not be denied!
sprirrg is a tidc rhar risesin thc erecting futile
the sma[[ sea snair, builds our ourn she* of habit or i*usion,
tike If a person
we hear the challengefrom beyond'
barricades.g"irr* tif.. But then becomesfirst our
rhrough the shell, rhe litde home
doesnot an$ rer t;;;"g
prison, and then our tomb!
and to walk is
spiritually aswell as.phpicalty'
Each of us is an animal that walks all you are' This is
a-iri", u"hi"d yot" to hazard
ro pur the land or,rr. safeand is a tidc
i, i, is beaudful rc behold' spring
the way of living, growing things,ani
and will not be denied!
th"t ,iro in the him"r,lr."*, -John cummins
THOU GIVESTTHE GRASS

Hautb Fliglrt At rValden


Oh ,,r.h a &yas this, it must have been,
Thoreau walked ar the edgeof \$fardenpond
and smefled
The wet eanh warming in the sun, rhe leaf-buds
bursting,
Heard the striped squirrel chirp, the wild geesc
honk
commands,
The very trill the word of its rerurn. On such
a, day
He must havewarchedthat tenanr of rhe air
the h"-k,
Sporringwith proud relianceon its satin wings,
Mount and tumble and fall and mounr again
fu if it had becn hatchedout of some nesr,
Fashionedof rainbow rimmings lined with
haze,
Pitchedin the angleof a cloud, a bird not
meanr for
earth
But for the wide pure curve and movement
of cerestiar
play
vhereby the witnesswho hasmind to learn
and eyesro see,
On such a hy,loola up and knows himself for.u..
fr...
- Althea Bass

Autaheniog
TLe book and subsequenrmovie, ..Awakeningp,,
depicr the story of a group of
people who fall victim to a diseasewhereby
Jey "fail asreep,from once active
lives, and have lived an apparent .zombie"
existencefor decades.During their
exi
activitvhascontinued,
but thev ,rppJtil;;;'ffs
^t:*n\rhile most of us never know such "r.
ease.
dis-
a Rip v"r, rurlirrkl..*p"rlnce, it does
make us wonder what parts of life we sreepwark
through. The poet lGbir once
wrote' "If you are in love, then why are you
asleep?"Tie spring implores us ro
considerwhat sleepin our liveswe might awake
from.
If we are haunted by our pasr, why not awake
to live for
today?
If we are numbed by the effectsof violence,
why not
awake to peace?
If we feel isolated from others, why nor rry
to
speakour love?
CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRING

find relieflwith the help of a drug' They


In the srory rhe victims of the disease
the world has to offer' \7e have countless
suddenly awake ro all the wonders
they
lives have to offer' In 'Awakenings"
opportuniries to wake up to what our
a new life'and one
are able to love d"n.. again with great joy. They are given
".d So-etimes when we are delivered
responds by saying," I *"nt to do .''.lything."
we
feel h"PPy with the onset of spring'
from some terrible ordeal or even iust
or the cold winter in
that the old burdens
wanr to shout with new fbund freedom
everything!
our lives is over. \fow! [ want to do
- Mark V. Harris

VernalEquinox
\U!l[n,., washed away last night

And ancient fear, deeP frozen in the


dark of time
Broke loose before the coming
sPrlng.
The weight of ages melted under
mystic change,
And plunged the torrent of its spirit
out across the lands'
Bleak fingers, clutching ice, reached
up to hold the glacier back'
But suddenlY
The dawn aPPearedand called
uPon the sun ofhoPe
To take its Place within the human
heart.
The night was gone!
The morning came!
W'e stand new born to meet our
selvesagain
In earth's celestial change'
- Robert L. Zoerheide
THOU GIVEST THE GMSS

For Eyes Tbat See


M., we have eyes thar see!
f :ve'sthar see the beaury of the
earrh and the groryof the skies;
that reflect the light of dawns
and sunsetsand the valiant
noons, and the starsat night.

l:yes thar rhrill to the poetry


of rrees,of grasses,and of flowers.
lryesthar delight in the gradness
of rhe smires that we can
s'are; eyes that mingre rheir
tears wirh the tears of rhose who
weep.

Lyes whose vision reachesto far


horizons and which see there
rhe dim prophecy of what we
yer shall be.
May we have eyes rhar see!

- J^y William Hudson

Fo'd*p below the deepsof human consciousness


there is a
l)ower, a new being ever waiting to be born,
a power of
hope and faith and courage in
rh. face of adversiry,
rragedy and loss, a power of
love and endur"rr.. _d
venruring fomh to new beginnings
for young and old at
lll scagesof human b..o-ing.
TI. po*.r is wirhin us
rrnd yet beyond us; accessible
ro us in our own fairh
responseto the pain and glory
of life; gifted to us in
rlre discovery of momenrary
sources of strength and
compassion, of joy and praise,
we did ,ro, krio* *...
there. Resurrectionshere and
now_multiple, diverse,
recurrenr,perennial. Alleluia!

- Richard M. Fewkes

Springand W'ords
U/t together at a time when the earth
is renewing herself peacefully,
-ttt victoriously.
velously' mar-
No power on earth may push
back this triumphanr ride of
rhelighr is ,*..t, anda pl."r"n, ni'g
;c i, fo, our eyesto behold
l;j:r*:tr
As we respond to the joyful
rhythm of chis season,we are
grateful thar we our_
CELEBMTING EASTERAND SPRING

'We know that we are maln-


selvesare part of this great and glorious ordering.
a generosirythat
tained by the energy that awakens in myriad forms of life with
we may never fully measureor understand'
\We are grateful, too, for the unnumbered Processeswithin us which we do not
work together in
have ro conrrol but which of rheir own accord, unconsciously,
harmony to make possibleour lives'
bodies' while
All unseen,the goodnessof the air blessesevery cell and fibre of our
us' and water' so
silently our blood circulatesthrough our veins, food strengthens
humble and precious and clean, daily bestows its vital blessings'

V'e remind ourselvesthat we are part of the ceaseless web of life' part of the
not to break, through stupidiry
harmony in the eternalsong of praise:we resolve
or greed, the lovely and delicate strands of lifet web; not to bring
carelessness
things to mind,
discord and uglinessinto rhe music of life. \rhen we bring these
we sensethat the
we begin ,o und.rr,and that in the divine will is our Peace'for
love that moves the sun and
love thar risesso fakeringly in us is linked to the
other stars.
of our failures
At the same time as we behold a vision of glory we are ashamed
'We have the gift of awareness:we know when we have done wrong'
and sins.
missed the mark, strengchenedthe Power of evil'
that our powers of
so we pray for the cleansing, healing strength of good wi[],
\we pray for the power to
rhoughr, imagination and speech may be well-used.
to give' welling
communicate, not in words alone, but in life. Ve have messages
words that only we can speak, loving deeds
up from the depths of our lives, living
that only we can do.
oFseeds'and
Grant above all, that our communications may be like the sowing
thar those who receive them may look to a fine harvest.
- Frank Walker

precariou^sbPerchedon the Precipiceof spring


from our
\U[. precariouslyperched on the precipiceofspring, trying to shake
"r. iron grip upon us'
spirirs the coldnessof snow. The heartt winter is releasingits
Ve are poised in anticipation of a warmer time'
the processionof'
Do I speak only of the pageant o[earth's seasonsor do I mean
glory of reviving spring' the
rhe winters and ,p.ing, of the heart? Even in the
V. THOU GIVESTTHE

rt'ttliltdersofwinter deaths
areabout us-the yard reveals
rhe refuseof rhe months.
It is not unlike the soul-sometimes
ir is buoyant with new life, sometimes
rvirh the remnants of broken srrewn
dreams.
I'he soul'siourney is as unpredictable
as the wearher-remperarures
*'irh sready marhemaricar rise and farl
precision and rhey arso reap
and prummet wirh rude
.rlrruptness. There is jusr no telling.
llrrt while we may escapewinrer's
icy hord on our bodies, there
r.ldness of rhe heart. Mostry, is no escapingthe
Iife is nor so much an arcric
or a tropic crime, but a
temperareone which knows
both cold and warmth.
I'here is no escaping the seasons
of life-we simply learn ro
lru.dle ourselvesagainsrrhe live wirh rhem_
cord or find .oor ,.fr.rlr-.n,
from oppressiveheat.
we learn ro live with them,
for rike the seasons,they pass
jryous to know that on and away. Bur how
now, for a fleeting moment,
we are precariousryperched
rhe precipice of spring. on

- RichardS. Gilberr
VI. The SoulHath
Lifted Mornenrs

The soul hath lifted moments,


Above the drift ofdap,
\U7henlifet great meaning breaketh,
In sunrise on our ways.

- \Tilliamn Channing Gannett


CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRING

Prayers and Meditations

Lent

of so many things,com-
On this first Sundayin Lent, we are reminded
ingupt ou s o u to fo u rb a c k g ro u n d s -th e hi storybothofbl essi ngand
cursewhich hasbeenrh. Chrisrianirythrough the ages-so much
-".liof Man of Nazarethwhosebrief
of it a denialof the wonder and graceof that
m inis t r y to h i s o w n P e o Pl e c h a n g e d thew orl dbothforgoodandi l l .
is and in the weeksthat lie
we would be remindedin the day that now
a true disciple-disciplined'
ahead,of the raskthat eachof us hasof being
our thoughtsand our impulses'
ordered,and yet free-free to roam with
out lives'to all whom we
our intention aboveall-to bring Peacethrough
dl our world'
touch, and through that' graceand peaceto
.\fle we are, and
know how difficult it is-we know how ego-centered
y et ' wew o u l d fi n d i n th e s e m o m e n ts o fqui ettogetherthepow erandthe
of what we might be, now
g|aceto be more than we havebeen,and more
and always.
So may it be. - Philip RandallGiles

Palm SundaY

saveus from Fear,the fear of days


Tfro., who art the heart and soul of life,
a nd nig ht s y et t obe, t heideaof t hek nown a n d t h e u n k n o w n 't h e f e a r
and our lives, the fear that closes
rhat builds high walls around our spirits
at the edge of every satisfaction'
in and envelopes us, the fear that nibbles
of shame and pain, of deach and
Free us from fear of failure and success,
we may seeThy glory in humble-
fear of life as well. open our eyes that
generously across our path all
ness and simpliciry commonness strewn
VI. THE SOUL HATH LIFTED MOMENTS
93

our days.May we recognizeThee riding upon a simple beastof


burden,
down the crookedstreetsofJerusdem. May we nor iequire the palms
of
victory and praise,the accoladesand shoutsof the muitirude tosee Thy
glory in gendeness, parience,Ioving kindnessand, yes,pain and some-
times death.Thy way of peace,of faith, hope, and love still is
our path,
our joy, our way.
- David A. Johnson

Palm Sunda,y,1964
O rhou, who art rhe holinessof Being irselfi,who dost appearro
us in
any of lifet vicissitudesin accordancero our expecrarions, *ho
by thy
gracedorh fill our common moments,and eventragedies, "rd
wirh exultation
and who doth chastenus with rhe consranrremindersof thine omnipo_
tence'we ask thar Thou be presentin our worship. As we celebrare
rhe
beginningof the w'eekof passionof our Elder Brorh.r, of
Jesus Nazarerh,
may we' as he, not be remptedeither by the applauseor rhe condemna-
tion of othersbut striveto hold on ro rhar inner fire of integrirywhich
can
mingle in eversodelicateproportionsthe "independence ofsolitude,,wirh
"chariryfor all." Amen.
e
- PaulN. Carnes

O coa of life and faith, be with us aswe facelife,sJerusalems.Granr us


the courageto ride forth and meet them. Give us rhe wisdom nor
to be
enamoredby the "Hosannas"of the momenr and keepus from bartering
awayour integricy.Rather,o God, fiil us with a christlike spirit.
Thke
awayour selfishness.Enlargeour vision; deepenour conscience; increase
our faith. so may we becomeinstrumentsof hope and healing in
your
world.
- Harry H. Hoehler

On this Palmsunday morning, we look forward to rhe coming ofwarm


weatherand the budding of spring flowers,a respiteberweenrhe hazards
of winter and the heat of the summer.\w'elook forward ro rhe
coming
daysof vacationfor the restorarionof our bodiesand minds and
ro rh.
q q!BINS
EASTEts4t'{
94 CELEBRATING

renewal of strength.
beginning' a new vision
vith each new seasonwe find new hope, a new
own making. The choice of vision
for the future. Thar vision musr be our
it and what strength and fulfill-
must be our own, and what we do with
to reach beyond ourselvesinto the
menr we gain from our own caPacities
future must come from within us'
we must strive to reachbeyond
For, wirh divine inspirarion and guidance'
o urp resen ,.on. . r r , r t odar et oaddr es s newhop e s a n d n e w s o l u t i o n s t o
humankind'
or'r, ,,rr'rgglesand to the struggles o[ all
make bold and even daring deci-
Ler us srrive to form bold visions and to
hopes and visions oFeachother
sions ro heal our souls and to suPPort the
and o[ suffering humanirY'
in worship and in the custom-
Be with us rhis Easterseasonas we gather
Give us hope, we pray; give us vi-
ary ceremoniesof this week of hope.
Amen'
sion; give us right and useful decision'
priscilla Murdock

Palrn SundaYPraYer
beaury of the earrh renewed,
w. are thankful this day, o God, For the
and for everything that brings
for the lovelinessof ligeand for its promise,
awakening to the soul.
the memory of which can
\7e are thankful for all lives great and good'
ofiwhich increaseaswe become
never perish, and the power "nd irrfl,r.nce
for those who in the mystery
more ready to receive rhem.'W'e are rhankful
in darkness lighted a lamp For
of life could find rheir path: those who
to utterance the sacredinsights of
others ro seeby; those *ho.o,rld bring
th espirit:thos ewhohav em adem or eplainli f e 's n o b l e r w a y '
of whose lives was more than
And we are thankful for those the goodness
ofi those who were faithFul unto
lesser people could suffer the reproach
walked in Galilee, carrying the
death. Especiallywe think of Jesus,who
simply to simple people so
radiance of his vision with him and speaking
tha tthe yfi oundnewc onf idenc eandhope. A n d o f J e s u s w h o s e m i s s i o n
the people who had known and
grew and took him to Jerusalem'where
loved him hailed him as their King'
Brief was his triumph, foilowed swiftry
by his anguish! yet we can hear
hosannassrill, echoing ro us rhrough
rhe cenruries]arrdwhen we remem_
ber him, love rakespossessionof our
hearts,
In him, o God, Thy spirit was a pure,
whire flame. rwreshail never forget
him; no, nor all rhe generarion, that come
after. He has laid upon the ages
the totrch of his humaniry; he has marked
our parhway from Nazareth to
God.

- A. Powell Davies

Ara so we come on our donkeys,


some fiom Detroic and some from Tokyo
and even a Fewfrom seour.
Wirh horns blaring and brakesscreeching,
\7e enrer the ciry, rhe holy of holies.
W'e know whac Caesar wants:
Testing rangesand new arenaswhire
rhe homeresshaunt church
basemenrsand the poor shuffle in the
srreers.
Bur we march to a differenr drummer.
Not many rich, not many mighry.
A vagabond crew in a strange land,
Vhose ways are nor our ways
Nor thoughts our thoughts.
Bur let us be of good cheer.
Ler the word go our.
The donkey is mightier rhan the missile,
And flowers have been known to splir
a rock.
This week moves inexorably toward Friday.
It is Caesar'sweek.
Bur ir is God's world.
And so we rake hearr and rejoice. Amen.

- RogerCowan

l-,
CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRING

MaundyThursdaY

O God, you know our weaknesses, how confused and fearful we are'
us from your Pur-
our personalambitions so often divert us, blocking
by instilling in us a christ-
por., for us. Help us to find our path again
faith so that in our
inspired vision. Srrengthenus with a Gethsemane
waysbut your
pr"ying and in our living we will seeknot our indulgent
*"y, oTgraceand Peace. k.tp us in your greatcare'O God' and makeus
faithful servantsof your holy will' Amen'
- Harry H. Hoehler

Good Friday

'W. and marryrs


are grareful rhis day, O God, for all the sages,saints,
the command
who have given of rhemselvesto savehumaniry because
from Nazareth'
waslaid ,rpon them.And toweringamongthem' the M-an
into liFe.\ve can seehim
who in so short a rime lived so much promise
over the centuries,
sti[, and rhe brightnessof his presence,coming to us
spokeof it wereso
his love srill warms us, though the words in which he
up so rich a life,
long ago.And we rememberho* ", last,reluctantto yield
and thus he won
y.,"*iitirrg if it must be, he went in anguishto the cross;
his victory.
tilv'henwill we receive
\w.esrand,o God, and marvel at so greata sacrifice.
crucified?Ve bow
Thy prophetsand Thy saints?How long must lovebe
a new resolve:
our headsand in rhe stillnessof our thoughtstherecomes
him room! undl throughout the
he shall live on! our heartswill make
world such love ashis haswon its victory' Amen'
_ A. powell Davies
VI. THE SOUL HATH LIFTED MOMENTS

Almighry God, Giver and preserverand Renewer


of rife,we wourd come
in the fullnessof ioy,in the renewarofhope
and strengthand aspirationro
worshipThee.ve would feelthat behinJ
us and'."irtin us thereis power
not yer exhausted,rhereis rife yer ro be lived
with fulrermeaningand with
gladderpromise.'we rememberrodayall those
who in agespasrhaverived,
and wrought righreousness, those who have tesrified ro eternarpower
through the renewalof their own lives,who
havemade this life of ours
more pure and beautifuland strong.They
havelived rheir lives,they have
spokentheir words,their worksfoflow them.
srilr the new generationsare
coming on, and still the voice of childhood
and of youth, with im high
expectationsand daring comesanew.The
great hasnor ended.
And so we rememberail rhosewho have "drr.ntu..
thus kept arivein human hearts
the senseof the digniry and the worth and
the diiniry of life.
lve remember
Jesusof Nazareth,his rife, his death, rhe great words
spokenby him, rhe grearidearsrousedin
orhersby the srory of that life.
And may we live in our generationwith
that ,.nr. of the nearness of the
divine, of rhe tenderness of alr rhar is human, of the go.. and rove
made
manifesrthrough human personality.Amen.

- SamuelMcChord Crothers

A Tbmb is no pkce Tb stay: An Earter Meditation


J
A to-b is no placero sray
Be it a cavein the Judeanhills
Or a dark cavernof the spirit.
A romb is no placero sray
Vhen freshgrassrolls awaythe stoneof winter
cold
And valiant flowersbursr rheir way to warmth
and light.
A tomb is no placero sray
\fhen eachmorning announcesour reprieve,
And we know we are grantedy.t r dayof living.
"noth.
A tomb is no placero sray
Vhen life laughsa welcome
To hearrswhich have been awaytoo long.

- RichardS. Gilberr

I
CELEBMTING AND SPRING

Easter
death
'w. birth and life must come before
know that, physically speaking,
b utwe ha ve lear nedt hat , s pir it ually s peak ing , a n g u i s h a n d d e a t h m u s t
come be fore Lif e' \ ( / et hank Theef or allt hem en a n d w o m e n 'k n o w n o r
unknown,who,becausetheylovedtheirfellowsandthecommongood,
\We would be re-
and condemnation.
chose the difficur. p".r, oF reprisal
min de dth att hes uf f er ings oinc ur r edis not bin d i n g o r f i n a l b u t t h a t a
it'
harvest of life always results from
are not so
our easy and conllnl:nt lives
In contrast' may we see that spiritual
of selfishness and
thinki,,g
much the outcome of clear ", was one oF
great ,o.-.,1,,such asJesus,who
self.delusion. Help us to praise not with
dearh rhar we might reap life,
those who planti ,rff.rirrg "r,J our lives
our emotional needs, but with
our lips only, not simply to meet faithful
up all
that Thou \(/ho hast lifted
also. Sure in rhe knowledge setting
them out of shame and death'
workers for the truth, ""Jlifttd
it glorious in the ofThy Spirit'
their humaniry on high and making-tnolose Sisht
to walk with Thee' may we also
will also walk with rlJ if *t 't'otttd price that
paying the
contend for the;-t" and, if need be, suffer for it,
paid'
men and women i""t'y time and in every land have

Ma yth ee lev at ionof our hopes f or m anandt h e s t r e n g t h o f o u r r e s o l v e t o


bu ilda ciry of m anon. ", . h, bet hem ar k s of our r e s u r r e c t e d h u m a n i t y .
MayJe su s at las t walk out of t het om b, as c hi l d r e n a r e F e d a n d h e a l e d a n d
led inp ath s of s elf . f ulf illm ent , as t hev igor ou s p o o r f i n d j u s t i c e a n d o p .
p ortu niryandas t heelder ly f inds om eo- , . . * h o i s s i n c e r e l y i n t e r e s t e d i n
them. - Gaston M. Carrier

EasterSundaY,1964
who re-
is everywheremanifest,to those
o God, whosedivine presence
i' *o't particularlyaPParentin the
main oPento its possibiiiry'but which
ever.recurranceoFlife,touchourheartswiththeknowledgeofthanksgiv-
of hope'
irrg, our minds with the bright vision
"nd
A nds o, a s w e g l o ry i n th e a w a re n e s s ofhei ghtsanddepthsoflthose
i feasw e
liu. ir, we would ,.-.Lb., with compassion
havebeen blessed ro
or
mind and body, or through malice,
who livesare cut off by illnessto
through their own btind choice of evil-doing.
May a heavenly alchemy
mix our concern with their welfare, so that
rhis day ro-. senseof renewal
may be born in their lives, as in ours, thus
making ro our prayer.
"rrr*.,
- Paul N. Carnes

G:o of Light, with whom is no variabreness, neithershadowof rurning,


we look to Thee on rhis day of joy and gradness.
The night has passed
away,driven by rhe sun which uncoversthe blue
expanseof heavenand
the glisteningtrees.-soshall, through all ages,
,h. *", of light and dark-
nessbe, and so shall it end. Always.
This is the essence
of the Eastermessage.
ve must speakwirh our hearrslestwe be strangers
unro Thee. \ve yearn
to makeour livesa parr ofThy wondrouspl"rr,
belongingto thosewho
careto help,who dareto speakfor a more human ",
world; lestwe be aslitde
babieswho receiveand enjoy withour rearizing
rhe cost, ro someone,of
everyrhing,and who wanr ro takewitho,rr girri-ng.
This is the deprh of the Eastermessage.
Allow us ro seerharour livescount cruciallyin
the scales.If we give in to
indolenceand drop our obligarions,rhen the whole
world will be a litde
weaker;bur rhe whole worrd movesforward, ir
may be by a verysmail
amounr' if we overcomeour indifFerenceand
coldnessof heart. Thou,
\7ho alonehastthe righr to judge any person,receive
this day,our affec-
tion and our grarirudewith the promiseof lives
madelighter and brighter
through service.
This is the thrill of Easter.Amen.
- Gaston M. Carrier

Easter
Ld, we havepreparedfor this day and waited rong for
irs coming. on
other Sabbathswe havewhisperedto thee ou,
hopJ, and rongingJ;but
thereare hopesand longingswhich only Easre,
o"y can understand,and
we havesavedrhem for its coming. w'e beseech
theenor ro disappointus
but to be unto us, more than ever,a God who
keepethcovenantand
mercywith his people.
CELEBMTING@

with all our hearts'eventhat which


Ve havesoughtoccasionto believe,
seemsimpossible;toshowtheeagernessofourtrustbythewillingnessof
our c r edul i ry .Bu tw e h a v e b e e n c h e c k e d bythedi sdai nofourearthl y
logic , and c h a i n e d i n th e p ri s o n -h o u s e o ftheseearthl yrati onal i ti es.l rt
Majesry strike off the chainsand
this day, consecratedto thy Sovereign rationaliry
riseto theewho art aboveevery
releaseour soulsthat they may
and unto whom nothing is impossible'
haveobeyedthy
,we havespokenfarewellto friends and dear onesasthey
las t s um m o n s ,a n d w e h a v e s o u g h tth e o nl ysol aceth.atourachi and nghear
deatharealike gifts of thy mercy'
could find in sayingthat birth and how
lovesremain.But thou hasseen
thar though h."r,r-"r. dust, hearrs'
har dit is fl o ri ts to a c c e P tth e p ro m i s e w esogreatl ycrave.Letthi sE aste
Daylaughawayourdot'bt';andwarnusofourfault-notthatweexPect thy
exPectenough.Forgiveus for iudging
too much, bur thar we do not to be true-
for sayingit is too good
loving-kindnessU, ot" o*n' "nd
not to be true'
*h.r!"r, to thee,it is too good
Letthisdayconsummateisgreatestblessingbyteachingushumiliryand to steP
us ro makethe ventureof faith'
a savingdisrrusrof self.trr iihelp
bey ondo u rs e l f-re l i a n c e a n d p l a c e o u rrel i anceonaP ow erandl ovew e
cannot measure'
chastei:O::1irt::':,:,5t:::o;:
So grantus,asthosewho havebeen tll',1:i"
:.'tfl":J ; ;: discardour.vesiur'.: r 1'lb' "l 1-:':
ffi ;;il;, ; il;;;, fairhfurandberiwing,y':*::i'H:.: 3::
'#"ffi":;il; whatT:
asktheetoconfirm
onrv we
;i.";orr.\(e Amen'
- l contain.
courd Ar nen-
sepurcher
himwhomnoearthry
- ^- .^i -
il. ffiilil, .- r l n - - l -
- CharlesEdward Park

EasterSunda'Y,1969
oF
warmth oFthe.sunremindsus
on rhis morningwhen rhe returning
ourdependence,actualaswellasfelt,-ontheelementalsourcesofnat
andwh e n .l ...-.,g * c e o fl i fe a n d j o y i usti fi esthehopethatsustai ned
and bless-
us through,rr. *i",?r, *. both know and affirm the glory
of this'
-"y vision of holiness'How we speak
ing of creation in a renewed of interest,
individualiry
what words ,if, *. use,will bespeakour
""a be seen, rhat it may lay a claim uPon us
rasre,habit, d.ii... onry let it
"rrd
VI. THE SOUL HATH LIFTED MOMENTS
I r 0l
to the poinr rhat satisFaction
be extendedwirh duty, and we becomenor
only open to othersbur stepswherebyrime may ascendover ro us a more
gloriousfuture.And so, o God, may we be sustainedin any presenr.

- Paul N. Carnes

Chrir, rosefrom the dead on EasterDay, we're told. To all who believe
on him comesthe promiseof resurrectionand eternallife. So the story
rts goes.
'we, in a less
believingage,seeresurrectionas macabreand eterniry as
more rime than we canbear.ve believe,more modestly,in what we see-
er crocusespushing through rhe ground while snow still fills the air, buds
shovingtheir way out from dead brown nvigs,wings in the air, heading
south. \7e believein whar we feel-the soft tuzz of pussywillows, rhe
warmth of sun on skin, the damp crumble of unfrozenearrh.
It's time!Time ro takeoffour coats,roll up our sleeves,
plungeour fingers
d into rhe soil and breathethe fragranceof resurgenrlife. All fleshofihe
earth is new with greenthingsgrowing. Look around:you just mighr see
e
the earrhin the act of erernicy!
- Maryell Cleary

Et..n"l Spirit, sometimeswhen tragedystrikesI sir aloneand weep.Thke


this cup from my lips, I ask.It is more than I canbear.Bur dearhh"pp.nr,
illnesspersists,
prejudiceconrinues,misforrunesmuldply,cruelry
"bo,rrrdr.
At last, I know that this is my destiny,ro carry rheseburdensupon my
back for ro do otherwiseis ro die in spirir aswell asflesh.
once more I weep,bowedunder the heavyload. Give me the strengthto
standstraighrand walk proudly.Give me companionsto shareth. *.ight.
But no one comes.My companions,too, are bowed low. They do *h"r
ture, they can, but it is not enoughand they call to me for help.\(zhy,oh why,
hastthou forsakenme?And, still no reliefl
Then slowly the dawning comes,as I take one falteringsrepat a time. I
creePsteadilyup the hill. Othershavebeenherebefore.I follow their trail
of sweat,tears,and blood: I can seethe way.vith eachwaveringsrep I
CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRINC

by *y own resolve'Here is my
gain in confidence.My strengthis fed
P ur P os e. H e re i s -y -." ,,i n g j l o .ti ' ..th e l i tew hi chi shandedtomew
which isi th
courage.To carry b.,,d.n",with digniry.To focusthe strength
-y resources on ourwarddespair'
my inner being r"rh., rhan squandermy
to be what I must be' It is my
I am renewed!I find new life in my courage
as a baby for the first time'
resolvethat is reborn and I oPen my eyes
carryingtheir burdens''w'e
There, aroundme and besideme, areothers
nod encouragementto one another'
Amen'
I give them thanks for this resurrection'
- Sydney\Wilde

For EasterDaY or Other 7imes


Spirit within- us;
O Coa we thank thee for the stir of thy
for the courage which is equal to every new day;
failures of yesrerday;
for the hop.J*hich rise out oFthe
wrong and woe'
for the ,.*lut which lifts its head above
begin again;
and affirms its right to rePent and
f or t helit ewhic hc annot beholden b y d e a t h ;
for t hehealingwhic hc om es t owo u n d e d h e a r t s t h r o u g h t i m e ;
our fires and ashes;
For the srr,"i'e which is greater than
not how and when
for the ioy which b'eaks i" we know
least expected;
better desire;
for the disappointment which releases
for the darkness where the roots grow;
never lost
for the golden thread o[valor and goodwill
of man'
through all the strange wanderings
f or allt helabor s of t hos ewhohav e s o w n t h a t o t h e r s m a y r e a P ;
and time;
for the high calls to dury in our day
which is at the heart of the world;
for the golod"t"
for the sPirit of JesusChrist;
for all the saints;
for allwe love;
Amen'
For the longing of this our Prayer'
Vivian T. PomeroY
VI. THE SOUL HATH LIFTEDMOMENTS
r03
An EasterPrayer
r{, th. earrh, O God, is resurrected into
life, and we see once
more its beaucy,so may it be wirh our souls.
Let rhe winter-rime of doubr
dissolve and all the frozennessof our refusals
meh wirhin us. Deepen our
faith thar evil shall be vanquished, rhat
good at last shall be triumphant.
Let no Eastercome to earrh, O God, and
come nor ro our spirirs! Revive
our faith! Ler rhe sepulchers of our despair
be opened! Ler darkness pass;
let dread be left behind! Let weeping b.
rurn.d inro joy, and ramentarion
into singing! And the beauty of Thy peace,
o God, Iet it be upon us.
Amen.

- A. Powell Davies

God, I searchfor you ar Easter.


Vhere do I look?
I will seekyou at Golgotha,
And find a man dying in despair.
Ve killed him, we still do.
This man frighrenedus,you see.
He ofFeredus freedom,bur we hid in our cells.
He gaveus love,bur we shut it out.
Bur he wouldnt giveup, he srill won'r.
He found us in our pride
in our hypocrisy
in our deceit
in our cruelry.
Our life, he said,wasdeath.
Maybethere'ssomethingin him though,we rhought;
Jesuscan be our Messiah
our King
our Superstar
our God,
But he prickedthe bubbleof our idolatry.
And so in ignoranceand frustrarionwe rurned on
him.
He lived in Palestine,we killed him rhere.
He livesin us, we kill him there,too,
CELEBRATING AND SPRING

The prisonersslayingtheir deliverer'


But they sayhet aliveagain!
Through humiliation, pain, and death-to life!
Life freed from fear,from greed,from hate'
Thuelife is liberry in love.
Christ offersus life, liberry love,
And these,God, areYoursto give'
There on the Crosson Good FridaY'
There in the garden,God, on Easter Day'
I ve found you.
- Cliff Reed

Prayerfor Ltfe and Death


and Deach,we thank
O tho,, who arr the Lord of Earth and Sky,of Life
marvelousa world'
Thee for thine infinite wisdom which hath createdso
made challengeour
and evolvedus to be exercisedwith it. Thou hast
happinessThy harbin-
reacherand growrh our guide, hope our spur and
and death Thy servantin
ger.Thou hasr made love Thy creativeforce
and loveand create'
i."rirrg awayrhat which .,ln no longerhopeand grow
and
\(/e pray for the graceto seelife and deathin their ProPerPerspective'
to giveThee thanksfor
aswe praiseThee for life, with ics challenge,learn
which come at the last'
death alsowith its changeand the restand Peace
\we would become*or. awareof its dark and solemn beaury, oFthe past
the realm the spirit
of
yearsit hides,and o[ the new birth it heraldsin
light of God'
*h.r. all good that hasbeenunites in the growing
with death,and
As we giveourselvesro life, help us alsoto makeour Peace
beFore then, bid it bide
let us, when it must come, make ic welcome,but
each in its proper
irs time. Let hope be our banner,mercy be our guide,
place,our songof joY.
- Donald S. Harrington

Easter
in the languageof
O God, who art spirir, help us to speakto thee now
of touchwith earthly
the spirir. Put us for rhesefew momentsof prayerout
open our eyesto
,"rritier, and more in accordwith the things of heaven.

\-
VI. THE SOUL HATH LIFTED
MOMENTS r05
discernrhe frailry of thar which is
seen,and the permanenceof rhat
cannor be seen.Let roveand truth which
and honor b. preciousto us rhis
day than earrhryfame and success. -or. more
Let hope shine brightry, and
courageand trust be strengrhened.
Those of us who come beforethee
wirh deepquesrionsro ask,and
longingsro besarisfied,do not thou deep
r.rrd .-pry away,burin mercy,
fort and bless.a.: com_
day bring inro their h."r* i,, iigr,,
:tt and beaucyand
speakits comfortabre promir.. k, it rurn,l,.irrri*,r^s."".r,
of heavinessro garmentsof praise. rheirmandes
Bressail forrorn and forsakenones;
broken heartsand empry rives; arl
at who are dead to honor and
hope. Ler the miracreof rebirth dead to
which we seein at Nature about
placein rheir hearrs,to rouch u., ,"kl
with new rife rhe cord fires of yourh
pride and high resolve;and to reawaken and
in their d.rp"iring spiritsthe rost
imageof Christ.
Acceptour graritudefor ail rhis
day speaksro us and brings ro us.
revivein us the tendergraceof May it
thl past; the love and careby which
were once surrounded;the hope we
and confidencewhich were once
teredupon us.Ler it tell us rh"tih.r. cen_
rreasuresaresrill ours,undiminished
by time, uninjuredby separation.
May the day find us readyfor these
hory messages, quick ro hear,eagerro
learn,prompr ro ob.ey. And may ir leaveus blesrandcleansed,
quieted,our fearsatayed, our path our doubrs
of dury and open, our
spiritsjubilanr andour feet swift
to treadthor.-"d;,;;;;ht
paths, our journey,s
end in the welcomeof thy rove. ""inna
\7e askin the spirit of our christ. Amen.
ft
_ CharlesEdward park 'l

I
I
rii
Earter I
I

vr th""kThee, o God, for ail the stirring


of rife renewed,for the warm
winds and the whisperingof reaves
on trees,for the sweetnew fragrance,
for the bravecolors streamingbanners,carriedonce
tory over dearh.And:lrifej more to vic-
for the soul,srir'rrnph, and the
rransmutingof nag-
edy' and for the true and the
good which are crucified but never
Breatheinto us, o-God, th. qui-i.k.ning die.
breathof the life which was be_
fore rhe pageanrof the worrd L.g"r,
and shat be evermore.Amen.

- A. Powell Davies
CELEBRATING AND SPzuNG

Rolling Away the Stone


pains, frustrations,
In rh. romb o[ rhe soul, we carry secret yearnings,
loneliness, fears, regrets' worries'
the world and its heaviness'
In rhe tomb o[the soul, we take refuge from
the securiry of darkness'
In the tomb of the soul, we wraP ourselves in
an escape.
Sometimes this is a comfort. Sometimes it is
it insulates us from
somerimes it prepares us for experience. Sometimes
liFe.
the pain of the world and
Sometimes this tomb-life gives us time to feel
us and locks us uP with our
reach our ro heal others. Sometimes it numbs
own concerns.
the day, we seek balance for
In this seasonwhere light and dark balance
ourselves.
us' we push away the stone
Grateful for the darkness rhat has nourished
within us and among
and invite rhe lighr ro awaken us to the possibilities
u s-p ossib ilit ies f or newlif einour s elv es an d i n o u r w o r l d .

Amen.
- SarahYork

\-
VI. THE SOUL HATH LIFTED MOMENTS

Spring

Spring Houseclcaningof the Spirit


Julian Huxley, thegreathumanist, oncetarote: ,,It is ofthe greatest
importance
that humanity now and then shourdtaheout
;t tri;r1syo, springrrrorirg.,,
Perhapstlte sameis ako mre of the human spiit.
In the holy quiet of this promisinghour oFspring,
May we purgeourselves
of cordness
ofspirit rhat warm springbreezes
may
thaw our souls;
May rhe debrisofwrongs unforgivenbegarhered
and discardedso we can
start anew;
May slownessof spirir, frozenby cold, be
quickenedto everyfreshpossi_
biliry;
May the songthar haslingeredroo rong in our
rungsbe inspiredby nvir_
teringbird choruses;
May thegrime ofmistakesmadebe rinsedfrom
our mindswith rhespring_
time watersof self-forgiveness;
May the dust of the exhaustingjourney be
wiped from rhe furniture of
our livesso thar ir gleamsagain;
May we musrer the strength to do our
own spring housecleaning of the
spirit.
- Richard S. Gilberr

Tlte Spring
O coa of life, who dost renewthe faceof the
earthand dost quickena[
things, we blessthee for rhis lovely time; we
praisethee for all beauryit
brings ro our eyesand for all rhe cheerit
givesro our hearts.Forbid rhar
we be sullen when rhe treesbreak forrh ii-rto
singing; forbid that we be
unmovedwhen rhe greattide is flowing again.
Make us eagernor only to
Ir
lo8I CELEBRATING EASTER AND SPRING

be good but alsoto be happier,knowing thar joy is one of the fruits of the
spirit. May we not defraud ourselvesof the fleeting day, but drink here
and now of the sweetness of life. Amen.
- Vivian T. Pomeroy

V. arewaiting for the sun to show its strength.The winrer is too long,
and spring seemsto trifle with us.The everydaycold hasmade us tired,
our neighborsand children and co-workersrired.'W'earewairing ro rise
from the dead.
Vho is not readyForthe poetryof spring,the forsythiathat bloomsover-
night, the digging, the surpriseof lengtheningdays?
May we savor the air as it grows warmer and easierto breathe.May we
love the earth again,and while we wait oncemore for the sun to show its
strength,may we carefor one another.
- JaneRanneyRzepka

A gr".. appearsin the world on dayssuchas thesewhen the sun gently


warms the breezeand when the sun warms the heart to simple beautyin
an unfoldingSpring.
Hurried feet or harried minds are apt to find a slightly lesshurried pace;
we may evenstroll ratherthan race.
The ciry sooften cold or grayor cruel,becomesbrighter;the possibilides,
the promises,the hopeswhich fill us may return to us with new srrengrh.
A graceappearsin the world on a morning suchaschiswhen rogerherwe
gather-when we gendywarm this placeby our presence, when the simple
beautyof being human unfolds like the growing Spring.
Hurried feet or harried minds are apt to find herea gentlerplace,where
joys areshared,sadness too, wherewe may meet rogerherascomfort and
hope to one another.
Life in the city sometimescold, gray or cruel; in a church such as rhis -
Life recallsto itself the brighter light and hope which eachsacredindi-
vidual possesses.

\-
VI. THE SOULHATH LIFTED MOMENI'S
I lt9

Here the possibilities,


rhe promise,the hopeswhich fit
us may rcrrrr rrl
us wirh new strength.
So, for this day and for the nighr roo,
for all rlre gifts of Life, we gather and
we
give thanksat this hour' Amen.
_ Brucesouthworrh

Prayer
vr h"r" cometoday,aswe havecome
ro many pracesin our lives,in the
hope of renewal.
\Ve seearound
us the faint renewalof Nature:
rhe streaksof greenin the gr.rss,
the budsgrowing on bushesand rrees,
rhe sun slowlyclimbing higher in
the sky.
And within us, we feelthe fo. ou. o*n ,.n.*"lr,
a joy which joins us".gi.rg,
with the joy of the counrryside
onceagainblooming with Life.
lrt this be our comfort and inspirarion:
that Life continually renewsirself,
and that we areable to join in It
wirh our own wonder_filledgrowing.
Now is a time when we would pray
ro rhe Spirit of Life,
when we would revereIt asholy
r".r.d,
when we would hope for It to be"nd in everyhuman being,
that our earrhmay be a placeof peace.
\07egive thanks for
our daily food,
for thar of the earrhwhich, through
im death,
conrinuallyrenewsus.
\Ve remember
our failings,
and reach.!r-the strengrhto forgive
ourselvesfor rhem,
aswe would forgive thosewho have
in someway
beenunkind 1eus_5hort of temper
and sharpof rongue.
W'ewould hope nor ro be fooled by
someillusion of Life,
and tricked into denyingwhat is rruly
Real;
yet shouldwe thus fall,
rl0 CELEBRATINGEASTERAND SPRING

we pray for rhe inner srrengthand the love of others


to help us back on our feet again'
Now is the time when we would clearlyseethe wonder of Life,
its power and glory
and that eventhough things die,
Life iself is eternaland everlasting'
May we know that we touch somethinglike immortdiry
when we know this with our heartof hearts'
Let us continue now with our privatethoughs and prayers
in silence
May the life which is in us and among us
fill us to overflowing,
so that we may be fullY human
and know that which is fully Divine'
In the Spirit of Love we PraY'

- DanielE. Budd

Spriog
Sprirrg is a time of movementand unrest'
It is, a poet haswritten, 'the cruellesttime"
It was the time o[the crucifixion.
Keepour heartssteadythrough its storms'
Our facesfirm againstthe rain and hail'
It is a time for pruning and for repair,
For discardingwhat is broken and useless,
For repairingwhat is worn, but useful,
May we havethe iudgementto know which is which'
And the strengthto do what is neededwith both'
Spring is a dme of light and glory
Of the snowdrop,the crocus,and the daffodil'
Open our eyesto seeits gifts.
May the greengold of spring shine in our hearts'
Our spirits be filled with its coinageof beaury'
It is a time of birth and rebirth.

\
It is the time of Easrer.
Let Easterbe born in us.
And live in us,
And gain new being from our lives.
Springis a time of cleansingairs.
Let us open our windows to rhe breathof heaven,
Our heartsto the wind of penrecost.
Fill our lungswith new life,
Our sailswith the breathof power,
Thar we may live and sail to the glory of God.

-John Knopf

O Mystery
O Myr,.ry beyondmy understanding,
Voicein my heartansweringro the earth,
And lighc of distant stars!
O \flonder of the spring,leadingthe seasons
on:
The dewdropssparklingon the web ar sunrise,
And unseenlife, moving in depthsand shallowsof the
brook,
Tiembling in raindropsar rhe edgeof eaves,
tVhisper ro me of secrersI would
know.
O Powerthat flows through me and all that is,
Light of srars,pulsatingin the aromsin my heart.
\flhether you aremind and spirit
Or energyrranscendinghuman thought
I cannorknow and yet I feel
Thar out of pain and sorrowand the toil
Through which creationspringsfrom human hands
A force works toward the victory of life, even through
the srars.
Here on the earthwinter yieldssrowry,srrikesagain,and
hard,
And lovelybuds,advanceguardsof rhe spring *rn, harsh
dearh,
And piry movesrhe heart.
Yet life keepspulsingon
The starsstill shine,the sun risesagain,
.--

t12 CELEBMTING EASTERAND SPzuNG

on.
Newbudsburstforth,andlife still presses
O Mystery!
I lift my eyes in wonder and in awe!
- Robert Terry'Weston

L, r'r,lie back for a few momentsand feel the life moving through our
bodies.
tVith eachbreath,liFeis pulsing through us. Life: energy, movement,
connection.
Let us feel the spirit of life moving through our selves'
lW'eare not isolated, we are alive with every green and every moving

thing.
Life vibrates within us, and here, together, we amplify the spirit of liFe'
Let us feel together how alive we are. Spring lives within us every day,
sometimes asleep,sometimes awakening' sometimes vibrant with li[e'
Spring: the awakening of life happens not iust in the world, but in us,
for we are of the world, and o[ the seasons.
Now is the time for awakening life. Though snows still threaten, their
time is past. Let us awaken to life, to wholeness' to holiness, to health'
Amen.
- Mark Mosher DeVolfe

Springtirne Prayer
O Coa of the morning of the world, by whosebidding the eanh is stirred
with new life and at the sound of whosevoicecreationwakesand sings,
of ia
open our heartsto the gladnessof this seasonand may the Freshness
beaurycleanseour souls.
Forgiveus, O God, that so dim-sightedlywe go our way, in hasteand
fever and wirh fretful aims. Lift up our eyes!Let us seethe wonder all
about us!Not a fragilepetalon the dniestof bloomsbutThou hastgiven
it creation'sglory;Thy miracleof life is wrought anewwith everybladeof
grass.
Ve thank Thee, O Creation'sLord, for this renewalof lifet unfolding,
this revelationof Thyself that nevergrowsold. May the joy of it restore
VI. THE SOUL HATH LIFTED MOMENTS
rr3
our hope, its lovelinessenrich our understanding.May
the beauryof ir
breatheitself into our spirits, and its promise mingle
wirh our pr"y.rr.
Amen.

- A. PowellDavies

Spring Meditation
Th.."rth doesnot argue.It doesnot debare.Ir acts
and reacrsin accord
with the lawsof its own beingand existence.ve are
childrenof the earrh
and our life is one wirh it. rve riseand we fail aswe meer
or refusero meer
its rulesof existence.
The earrh is coming greenagain this year and for
that we are thankful.
The hyacinthsarein bloom and the first rulips. By rhem
we arereminded
of the morning of the world. They speak*itho,rt words,
but wirh coror
and form of rhe infinite powerof sun and rain, of winter
snowand sum-
mer heat.They speakwirhout words to shamethe drabness
oFour srreers,
to tell by contrastthe graynessof our lives.
For the power in life that moves,evermoving,we give
our thanls; for the
fruirfulnessof the earrh and the beauryof rhe hiils
and woodlands,for
wide and cleanrivers,for deeplake.s,
for the skiesand rhe ocean.But more
than rhese,meywe find reasonto givethanksfor the
beauryof human life
that we canmaketo shine;for the puriry of the human
soulrhat resrsin our
powerto achieve;for the warmrh of human love that
is ours ro generare.
To eachof us much is givenand from eachof us much
is expected.Let us
riseto thar expectarionand, assilently as the sun, as
the hyacinrh,as rhe
tulip, speakof rhe qualiry of human life through the
day and through rhe
yearof our own living.

-John \fl Brigham t,


I
rl
Holy spirit, cleanseour eyesthat we may seerhespringdme
glory round
about us. Removefrom our heartsall rhat hascloudei
,h.- so that no
longer they can see.Thansformus into those that
greatlyendure; those
that erernallytrusr; thosethar are srrong in rhe p*,
that comesfrom
strengrhunseen.In thy Spirit may our spirirsbe reborn
and rakecourage
yet once more.Amen.
- tVilliam Lawrence Sullivan
rr4 CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRING
VII. FieldsareSmiling
in the Sun

Fieldsaresmiling in the sun,


Loosenedstreamletsseawardrun,
Tenderbladeand leaf appear,
'Tis the springtideof the year.

- FrederickLucian Hosmer
--

1 16 CELEBRATING EASTER AND SPRING

Easter Letters
with a holiday
It is an old.customto sendout an Easterletter to the congregation'
messagefomthe minister.sornetimessuchhtters enclose a scheduleofEasteractiuities
lenersfromthree
ondtli, Easteroferingenuelope.lqeincladeherea sampleofsuch
rninisters.Theyare abo suitable asa readingduring a seruice.

April 1985

Dear Friends:
This dme of yearit is popular to explainawayEasterasa celebrationofburst-
of the earth'
ing buds and blooming biossoms.Itt okay to rejoicein the greening
now being swePt
Ll;oi.., roo. I'm glaJthar the sandand salt on the streetsare
away,and the sound of the PeePers is sweetto the ears'
is automatic'It
But Springis nor Easter.Easteris somethingelse.For spring
folks, Easter never comesat all'
alwayscomes.Easteris not automatic.For some
been around a
If we read it righr, Easteris hard work. And, iF you've ever
It is hard work'
barnyardor in a btthing room of any sort, you will understand'
bringing Fonh life from the tomb'
liberalsought
Eastermeansmuch more than dancingwith the daisies,and we
it affirms dl of life'sforces
ro pay more attention to the holiday than we do' For
which struggleagainstdeath.
Easter
Eastersaysrhar the life of one Personcan be imprinted on centuries'
years
sayswe ,i.d with life srruggles,millions o[ yearsgone' and to infinite
"r. beyond our concerns to
beyond.Eastercallsus to strerchour lives,to reach Perty
some mark on those
l"rge granddreams-as Jesusdid-and at leastto make
"rd
who will follow us.
It neednot be
In other words,Eastercallsus to somemeasureof immortaliry'
to the call. Easter comes tough' So
grand.But, by God, we can srriveto respond
all around will re-
i, brirrg, a blessing.And, if you are touchedby the blessing,
joice.
Faithfi,rllyyours'
Bruce M. Ctary
The First Parish Universalist Church, Stoughton' MA
VII. FIELDSARESMILINGIN THE SUN ITTZ

March27,1980
| )t'rrrFriends:
I like to think of the Spring-Easter
season
burstingon us in a surgeof lighr and
, , rkrr and vvxllpsfu-latersunsets;pde greenwillow, golden crocus,and the hor
rrnr :lt noonday-a symphonythat relaxesand revivesat the sametime.
It doesn'thappenthat way at dl. It neverhas;but this year perhapsdemon-
stnttedit more clearly.The seasons changewith many falsestartsand setbacks.
\lv.snowdropshopefullypokedtentativeshootsaboveground overa month ago.
lhey were discouragedby a changethat brought winds and rockhardground.
I hey tried againand wereburied in snowand drowned in icy rain.
Perhapsthey should not respondto the fickle warmth this morning, but they
rvill.Snowdrops,we assume,aremindless-as aremapletreesand pussywillows,
Itrrtthey respondin a healthyFashion
to the inhospitableand the daunting.
With our complexpersonalities and intellectwe find a greatdealto doubt and
rrumbleover.W'erecoil from coldnessoFspirit and discouragement aswe rry ro
grow.\W'earesensitiveto our lack of success.I look on thoseintrepid snowdrops
.rndwonder,"Don't you evergive up?" It's not the steadybleakness of winter so
.We
tttuch as the encouragementgiven and then withdrawn. humansspeakof
nromentum.The hardestthing is to get going, to be thwarted and then ro rry
.rgainand again.
The lessonsof spring are as demandingas the harsherlessonsof winrer. To
lrave"springin our souls"truly, is to haveexpectationand trust combincd with
rcsoluce courageand constancy. Thesearepricelessqualitiesin our persondlives
,rrrdvaluablein our church and our nation. If springcan teachus theselessonsit
rvill be a gift greaterthan the light and color and warmth.
The Blessingsof the Seasonto you.

JanetH. Bowering
Thr Universdist Unitarian Church of Haverhill, MA
l l8 CELEBRATING AND SPRING

Easter1984

Dear Friends:
\J?'ehavea needto celebratenow! Open the windows of your homesand of
your minds. Srandand drink in the golden sunlight. The promise is fulfilled,
spring hascome again.
Nearly all our religiousholidaysaregroundedin someform ofseasonalchange.
This is understandablesincethe earlychurch wiselycombined them with older
agrarianfestivals.And early peoples,at leastin temperateclimates,noted the
transitionsof rhe turning yearasa crucialpart of their survivalin an often inhos-
pitable land.
In a socieryof frozendinners and centrallyheatedhousesthe changingsea-
sonsmore ofren representa changein outlook. There is a psychologicalshift as
we move from casualsummerhabitsto the routine of fall schedulesand respon-
sibilities.
In the sameway,rhe rilt ofour hemispheretoward the sun revivesnot only the
vegerarion,it hasa hearteningeffecton old plansand on nascentideas.Livesare
changedby new directionsand freshpossibilities.
That which the old culs displayedin the changingof the Gods, and which
Christianiry dramarizedin the legendof a risensavior,is with us sdll. Vhether
we buy a bunch of daffodils,look for a new way to tackle a job that hasgone
stale,or simply gazewith aweat a young child, we are renewingourselves.
We draw on rhat perennialsourceof lifieand hope presentedby the returning
sun-and ifwe namewhat happensto us resurrection,we will not be far offthe
mark.
The blessingsof this seasonbe yours

JanetH. Bowering
The Universalist Unitarian Church of Haverhill' MA
VII. FIELDS ARE SMILING IN THE SUN Ittq

April ll,1982
l)carFriends:
Easteris a celebrationof the rebirth and renewalof life in the spring. New
l:rrglandwinters are long and the arrival of spring is most welcome.Life is a
rrriracle.No materialistictheory completelyexplainsthe presenceof lingering
trrowflakes,the greengrass,the yellowsof dandelionsand forsyrhia,rhe migra-
r,rryflights of Canadageese,or the bold adventof rhe first robin. Neirhercan we
cxplainstar-filledskiesor the mayflowersthat grow in abundanceon the south

'ide of mountains.Exisrencehasand alwayswill be surroundedby mystery.


Easteris the celebrationof the uncommonbeauryof the commonplace world
tltatwe far too often takefor granted.It alsois the celebrationof the couragethat
rriumphsover tragedy,the couragemanifestin living, growing rhings,rhe cour-
,rgethat makeshuman lovea possibiliryand the searchfor excellence imperarive.
On Easterwe celebratethe life and influenceofJesusof Nazarerh.Afthough
tlespised, reiected,and crucified,his invinciblespirit could nor be imprisonedin
;r tomb. His spirit hasshapedour art, music,and the culture of wesrernciviliza-
t ion. Countlesspeoplethrough the centurieshavefound srrengthin his example
of sacrificiallove.Our world doesnot needa new revelation,but a more faithful
keepingof the commandmentof love to God and humankind. The real enemy
,rf the spirit of Jesusis not the doubt of Thomas but thosewho haveno orher
visionbeyondrhe exerciseof power.
Aboveall else,Easteris the greataffirmation that might doesnot make right
-that truth crushedto the earrhwill risetriumphant.
Faithfullyyours,
StephenDaviesHoward
All Souls Church, Greenfield, MA
r- l2o I CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRING

Easter1995
Dear Friends,
Once againcomesthe holiday which we observein so many ways,from ser-
vicesfor devout worship to lightheartedpleasurein a gatheringof family and
friends.Most of us come somewherebetweenin our reasonsto celebrate:
rVinter is past and the greeningtime comes,pussywillows, snowdropsand
the crocusappearon the earth,
The naturalworld proclaimsa time of new beginnings.
Days are longer,brighter,warmer.
ril?'ehave come through dark and difficult times and the messageis to look
forward.
renewedand returned to vitaliry
The legendof ancient gods and goddesses
speakto our own hopes.
The sagaof peoplefleeingbondageand oppressionremindsusoFhumancour-
ageand the will to be free.
The story of a young teacherand prophet who dared to preachhis message
evenunto deathstirs us and heartensus.
If we c:rn respondto any or dl of these,we honor the good earth,the pattern
and shapeof creationand the striving of peoplethrough the ages.
Easteroffersusanotherround ofopportuniry. It proclaimsthe good newsthat
evenin a worn and cynicalworld thereis sdll much to be savedand treasured.
May the seasonwarm you with life and hope.
Sincerely,

JanetH. Bowering
The Universdist Unitarian Church of Haverhill, MA
WII. In GreeningLands
B.gins the Song

In greeninglandsbeginsrhe song
which deepin human heartsis strong.
In cheerfulstrainsyour voicesraise
to fill the whole spring world with praise.
- Anonymous
r22 | CELEBRATING EASTER AND SPRING

Easter Eggt

aster eggs have a very long ancestry-though chocolate or plastic or


cardboardonesonly go back a short time-but the giving of real
eggs,colored or dyed, also were part of pre-Christianspring cel-
ebrations-eggs wereregardedassymbolsofcontinuing life and resurrection-
Greeks,Chineseall exchangedthem, at their springcelebra-
the ancientPersians,
tions.
During the fastof Lent eggswereforbidden food-so theywerejoyfiullyeaten
on Easterand given aspresents.
Sinceeggsareespeciallyplentiful in the spring,therewasa naturalassociation
with both the spring celebradonsand by extensionto Easter.All sorts of eggs
were used, not just chicken eggs.Among other popular eggswere duck eggs,
gooseeggs,quail eggs,and pheasanteggs.
The custom of coloring and decoratingtheseeggsis very old, too. Designs
canbe bright and colorful. Red-dyedeggswerevery common in many countries.
Children delight in coloring them or putting designson eggs.Store-boughtdyes
arecommonly usedtoday,but if you want to usenaturaldyesfor your eggs,you
might try the following: steepedtea leaveswill give variouscolors from ecru to
dark brown dependingon the strengthoFthe tea;yellow onion skinswill yield
yellow or peach;red onion skinswill giveyou red; raspberries willgive you dark
red; blackberrieswill give you a bluish tint; spinachwill give you yellow green;
dandelionroots a light purple.
In the Ukraine elaboratedesignsare painted on eggsand they are treasured
and handeddown within the family for generations.In many AmericanFamilies
today a game is played at breakfiaston EasterSunday to seehow many eggsbe-
longing to othersyou can breakbeforeyour own is broken. It is best to do this
with hard-boiledeggs.This customgoesback hundredsof years-the beliefwas
that eggshad to be broken to let the blessingsout. \(/'hen that happened,the
believersaid "Christ is risen."
In Scotland,children rolled eggsdown a hill on Eastermorning, said to be
body had been
symbolic of rolling aweythe stone firom the tomb whereJesus's
GREENING

l.ritl.Nowadaysin the United Stateswe haveeggrolling on Eastermorning at the


\\/lrite Housein \flashington.It is saidthat this cusromwasstartedby First Lady
l).lly Madison.It is alsoa common community evenrro haveyoungsrers hunt
l,r Eastereggs(usuallyplastic)which are hidden in the grassar churchesand
.rlrer places.Ir is popularlysaidthat the Easterbunny laysrheseeggs.
Somechurcheshave an Easrertree. Peoplebring decoraredeggsand hang
tlrctnon the tree.At the end of the servicepeopletakea differentegghome with
tltctn,similar to the flowercommunionwe celebratein many of our congrega-
t i ons .

Of course, the Easter Hare is the true Easter beast. It was once considered
t.rcred to the European spring-goddess. Instead of the "man in the moon," an-
t icnt Egyptians saw a rabbit image there. The hare is a living emblem of fertiliry,
r..'newal,and return of spring.

s
IX. Lo, the Earth
AwakesAg"in

lo, the earth awakesagain-


From the wintert bond and pain.
Bring we leaf and flower and spray-
To adorn this happy day.
Samuel Longfellow
J-
126l CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRING

SpecialService

Easter Seruice

uHe
is Risen, She is Risen"
First giuen in the Main Line Unitarian Church,Deuon,PA, 1998.
(Performancenote: In order to keepthe seruicedynamic, the readtrs wore lape
microphones and wereable to moueto dffirent positionsin the sanctuaryfor
dffirent sectionsof the seruice.
I suggestthat you considzrthis seruicea narratiue/storytelling/theatricalsort o
piece,andplan to "direct"it in accordancewith itsdramaticstructure,honorin
the needfornansitionalpausesand momentsbetuteen and duringsectionsof th
It
seraice. runs a bit less
than an hour.)

Prelude: Suggested:Handel violin piece

Announcementsz (Pacingis ueryimportant to thisseruice. Afer Announcemen


{rf to" mast haue them at all} it would be a good idea to ring a small bell o
patrsein somewa! to allow the congregation to shifi moodsto "sacredtime.")

Opening'Wo rdsAVelcome: by Polly Leland-Mayer

"Today we come, as people have come for thousands of years' to worship


and sing praises,to celebrate the victory of hope over despair, to be reminded
of the ever-renewing liFeo[the spirit, and to mark the seasonof springtime
come again. lVelcome to our festival of joy!"
'Welcome to you all.

\Ve need stories of resurrection.

'We come out of rhe seasonof cold rain and darkness-blinking against the
bright sun we emerge and stretch, and marvel at the bright blooms tha
emerge from branches once dead, from earth so recently frozen. Death and
rebirth, death and rebirth-the birds sing it, the daffodils wave it, children
skip and squed and play it in the yards and the neighborhoods. It must b
IX. LO, THE EARTH A\UTAKES
AGAIN I rzz
so-we see evidence everywhere. And so we join tonight to ler our hearts

es and souls receiveand make use ofwhat our eyescan see:Life is Risen. Life is
Risen, indeed.

( lhalice Lighting and Candle Lighting:

Reader #l (Reader #2 lights the candles):


We light our chaliceasa symbolof the unquenchable light of the human
spirit. May this flamebe a symbol of hope in all dmesof darkness.
Candle#l: Ve light a candlein honor of Passover,
the Jewishfestivalo[
freedomand redemption.
Candle#2:\X/elight a candlein honor of the Christianholidayof Easter,to
el
celebratethe courageand goodnessofJesusof Nazarerh.
r
candle #3: \(/e lighr a candlein honor of Persephone,
rhe Greekgoddesso[
Springtimeand the cycleof life and abundancesherepresenrs.
of
ng join in singinghymn #266
Please
he I lymn: #266 "Now the GreenBladeRiseth"
f ntroduction/The Divine Children: Readers#t and#2
Reader#2zYou know of him. Jeshuaof Nazarerh,son of Mary son ofJo-
nts seph.A Jewishboy who lived in the first centu{y in Palestineunder Roman
or occupation.A teacher,healer,prophetwho claimedro be the messiah-and
somepeoplebelievedhim. An innocentman, a lover of humaniryand of
righteousness,
who was executedfor his troublemaking.They say he tri-
umphed overdeath to riseagain.
p
His followerswrote storiesabout him fifty, sixty yearsafter his dearh and
d
reportedresurrection,and in thosestorieshe is calledby the Greek name,
e
Jesus.His followerscalledhim theCh*t,from theGreekwords,rheAnoinred.
One chosenoFGod.
His religion is known asChristianiry.It hasbeena culrural phenomenonof
inestimableinfluencefor nearly2000 years.It is a demandingreligiouspath
e that invitesits followersto work for justice,to devotethemselves
to a life in
at community, to deny the world's materidism, and to receiveeternallife. Its
d rituals,theologyand literaturecome not only from the Hebraic{ewish tra-
n dition ofJesus,but alsofrom the culture of the Greeksand Romansamong
be whom Jesus's peoplelived in the ancientworld.
128I CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRING

Reader #l: Yes,you know of him. You may not know of Her.

She was the daughter of Mother Earth, Demeter the Grain Mother.
Her name-Kore-which translated, simply means "maiden."
A fresh, springtime girl goddess beloved of the ancient Greeks.
She is youth iaelfi, but hr older, far more ancient than Jesus.
Just as he was called Son of God, she was Daughter of Goddess.
The rwo divine children who suffered undeserved cruelry and death, and
rose again to become the resurrected figures of their respective religions.

Kore the maiden became Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld.


She was stolen away to the land of the dead by her Uncle Hades, God of
the Departed Spirits. No one knows what Persephone means.
It is so old and mysterious a name as to confound scholars and
probably derives from an ancient civilization far preceding the Greeks.

Her mystery religion was celebrated for thousands years in the


Mediterranean ciry of Eleusis, in Greece. The yearly celebration of her
divine regeneration was known as the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Easter and Eleusis. For a period of about three hundred overlapping years,
they were both celebrated in the ancient world: The risen son and the risen
daughter. Persephone'sobservance died out and Jesus'ssurvived. And thus
we are gathered here today, in the Christian era, paying homage to both
these resurrection stories. The truths they have to share are timeless and
universal.

Reader #2:

The epics ofJesus and Persephone have inspired countless works of art,
lirerature and music. A contemporary musical cdled "Godspell" tells the
story of the Gospel of Matthew in rock music.

This song is from that musical, but the God-image has been changed.
Today we hear it as a hymn to Demeter, mother of Persephone.

Song: "All Good Gifts," Stephen Schwartz

The Passion Narratives:


Readcr #2:

Jesushad a short ministry in Palestine.Three years,really.


of
constantexhortations
Somecompellingsermonsand publicappearances,
his followersto loveone anorher,mysteriouswarningsabout the coming of
the end of the world ashis followersknew it, healinglepersand casringout
demons,walking on waterand other miracles,teachingerhicsand moraliry
in the form of unserrling,quirky parables,and most dangerously,challeng-
ing the Powerstructuresof his day.Questioningauthoriry.Breakingrules.
Subvertinghierarchy.
He wasarresredon the nighr of the Passover
seder,a Thursday.
He was tried and found guilry of insurrecrion,mocked and flogged and
crownedwith rhorns,and handedover ro be crucified.
The gospelsof Mark and Luke reporr:
"Then they boughr Jesusto rhe placecalled Golgotha (which meansche
placeof the skull) and rheyofferedhim wine mixed with myrrh; but he did
not take it. And they crucifiedhim, and divided his clorhesamong rhem,
castinglots to decidewhat eachshould take.
It wasnine o'clockin the morning when they crucifiedhim.
When ir was noon, darknesscame over rhe whole land unril rhree in rhe
afternoon.At rhreeo'clockJesuscried our with a loud voice . . . 'My God,
my God, why haveyou forsakenme?'
\fhen some of rhe bystandersheard it, they said, 'Lisren,he is calling for
Elijah.'And someoneran, filled a spongewith sourwine, put it on a stick,
and gaveit ro him to drink, saying''Wait,let us seewhetherElijah willcome
to takehim down!'Then Jesusgavea loud cry and breathedhis last."
Reader#l:
And so the humanJesussufferedand died, innocentof any realcrime:a fare
rypical of any personwho challengesand frightensrhe powerful and ruth-
less.Times havenot changed.
The Roman Empire is still in business,only in difFerenrcosrumeand speak-
ing differenrrongues.
Our goddess,Persephone, is not a realwoman. Her deathexperienceis nor
causedby mortal politics,bur by the cosmicstrugglebenveengodsand god-
desses.Her story is the srory of many human girls, and tells rhe ragically
timelessstory of maleviolenceagainstfemalevictims.The poet Homer rells
the tale in his hymn TbDemeter!composed(for the most parr) around the
-

130 CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRING

seventh-centuryB.c.E.:
Now I will sing of golden-hairedDemeter,
the awe-inspiringgoddess,
and of her trim-ankled daughter,
Persephone, who was frolicking in a grassymeadow.
Shewas far awayfrom her mother.
Vith the deep-girdleddaughtersof the goddessOcean,
the maidenwasgatheringflowers,
crocuses,rosesand violes
irisesand lovelyhyacinths
growing profuselytogether,
with one narcissus.
This was the snare
for the innocent maiden.
Sheknelt in delight to pluck the astonishingbloom
when, all of a sudden,the wide-wayedearth
split open down the meadow.
Out spranga lord
with his deathlesshorses.
SeizingPersephone, he caughther up in his golden chariot
despiteher laments.
Her screamswereshrill and shecalledfor her father,Zeus,
but no one heard.
(The transktion comesfro* PenehpeProddow, "Demeterand Perseplton
(fup.). The last threelines werecomposedb1 me in the interestof time and
simplifcation. For a morethoroughtreatmentofthe Homnic sou'rce,see"Sheis
NanatiueforVomen,"
asA Resunection
Risen:RechimingtheMyth ofPenephone
Victoia'W'einstein,I 997.)
Still glimpsing rhe earth, the brilliant sky,the billowing, fish-filledseaand
the rays of rhe sun, Persephonevainly hoped to seeher belovedmother
again...Demetercircled the earth for nine days,steadily,brandishingshin-
ing torches,searchingfor her daughter,bride of Hades,unwilling Queenof
the Underworld-Place of the Dead.
Meditatiotl: "In The PlaceoFDeath" Victoria'Weinstein
IX. LO, THE EARTH A\TAKES AGAIN Irlr
Reader #2:

Irrnocent, they are stolen away from the sunlit world.


l)recious, they are grieved by a world that loved and needed them. Loyal
daughter of Lady Earth, the Grain Mother.
ljierce son ofAbba, Elohim, the Hebrew Father-God.
'fhey
are us-we are they:
rnaidens, sisters,brothers, sons, daughters, goddesses,
disciples, water-walkers, stillers of the storm,
bringers of seasonsand of many gifts.
We dont want them to die, to disappear into the bowels of the earth, to
ceaseto exist.

And so we come with Jesusonly as far as the Garden of Gethsemane where


he prayed before his trial, and where he asked his disciples to keep him
company. His disciples fell asleep.Too weary, too drunk, too cowardly to
stay awake with the frightened man. "Thke this cup from me," he had prayed

... And we come with Persephoneonly as far as the field oFNysa,


where she gathered flowers before her abduction.
ller Friends, lovely nymphs, failed to save her from
the greedy clutches of Hades-Too slow, perhaps, or too distracted by the
pretry blossoms.

We bow our heads because her mother couldn't save her.


We bow our heads becausehe felt abandoned by his "father."
We are as weak as the disciples, as distracted as the girlish friends.

ne" We arrive at this most painful moments in these epics


d and avert our eyesat the cross, the rape.
s \?'e cannot go with these children into Death and
" their time of captiviry in darkness.
It is For them to experience. It is For them to conquer.

d In the silence, and in the music, we pray for patience.


r We meditate on helplessnessthat is not permanent, not eternd.
- We accompany the Son and the Daughter of Life in their time of rial.
f And we bear aloft torches in the darkness, to search
and to show that we will not abandon them, or each other.

(Dim lights in sanctuary.One minute o[silence)


r3,2l CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRING

Prayer Response: Organ solo: Bach,Nun komm'derHeidenHeiland


The Resurrection Narrativesz (bring lights up slowly)

Readcr #2:
And very early on the first day of the week,when the sun had risen, rhey
went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from rhe romb, but
when they went in, they did not find the body.Vhile rhey were perplexed
about this, suddenlynvo angelsstood besidethem. The women were terri-
fied and bowedtheir facesto the ground, but the angelssaidro rhem, "'W'hy
do you look for the living amongthe dead?He is not here,but hasrisen."
Rcader #l:
After a most shocking and frightful year,when Demeter'swrath kept the
earth from yielding a singleseedand the raceof humanswas about to die
out altogether from hunger, the gods relented to Demetert rage and
justice-seeking,and Persephonewas releasedfrom the land of the dead.
Mother and daughterclaspedeachother closein passionace reunion.
But becauseshe had eaten of the pomegranate,fruit of the Underworld,
Persephone wascommitted to returning to Hadesfor a portion of the year
free to spendone third of the yearin the sunlir world.
Shebecamethe most dreadand belovedQueenof the Underworld,gracious
on her throne,greeterof departedsouls,absolutesovereignof her new realm.
Greek religion confirms her status as even higher than her abductor'
turned-husband,the Lord Hades.
In all reportsof the Eleusinianmysteries,we readof a
torchlight searchfor Persephone. Demetergoesin search
of her daughterand joyfully proclaims,"She is risen!"
Reader #2:
In the GreekOrthodox church thereis a practiceunique to the GreekChris-
tian observance, and probablyhasGreek rather than Christian origins. On
EasterSundaymorning, a priest ignites many torcheswhile speakingthe
words, "He is risen!"
Celebration of Communion: Dona Nobis Pacem("Grant Us Peace")
(I borrowedphrasesfromuaious soarces
out of "The CommunionBooh"
edited by Carl Seaburg.)
rx. Lo, THE EARTHA\TAKESAGArN I tll

Reader#l:
After Persephone's
releasefrom Hades,rhe poer Homer tellsus thar Mother
Demeteronce againmade the earth yield grain, and revealedrhe secretsof
agricultureto humankind, so thar we mighr have bread,and susrenance,
y
and abundantliFe.
Reader #2:
d
At the Last Supperwith his disciples,on the eveof Passover, Jesus"rook a
y loaf ofbread, and afiterblessingit he brokeit, gaveit ro them and said,'Thke;
this is my body.'Then he took a cup, and aftergiving thankshe gaveit to
them, and all of them drank from it. He saidto rhem, 'This is my blood of
the covenant,which is pouredout for many."'
e
Reader#l:
e
d In her period of mourning for her absentdaughrer,Demetertook on the
. guiseof a elderlywoman and went ro travelamong the mortals.
During this time,oneof her companionsarrempredro cheerthe sadmorher
, by ofFeringher a cup of redwine. Demererrefi,rsed.
h wasnot righr, shesaid,
, to drink red wine. Shetold the woman to make her a drink of barley-meal
and water,a humblerconcoction.

s (This episodeaPpearsin the Homeric source,lines206-9. It is Metaneira who


. ffirs the drinh, which is refusedb7 Demeterinfauor of the barlqt-meal/water
' mixture. In the Homeric source,the brew ako inchdes 'tenderpennltroyal,"a
hallucinogen.This brewprobabU ,tfto to a specialuision-inducing concoction
consumed by initiatesat Eleusis.Howeuer,I do not recomrnend
prouidingsucha
beuerage tolour congregation. rYedecidedon non-alcoholicbeerforours,VA.II(I)

Reading: "The BreadVe Eat Is The \7hole Cosmos"


from Liuing Buddha,Liuing Christ byThich Nhar Hanh
Reader #l or #2 (while otherReaderpreparestbe communionelements)
"The message ofJesusduring the Sederthat hasbecomeknown asthe Last
e Supperwas clear.His discipleshad been following him. They had had the
chanceto look into his eyesand seehim in person,but it seemsthey had not
yet come into realconracrwirh the marvelousrealicyof his being.So when
Jesusbroke the breadand pouredthe wine, he said,'This is My body.This is
My blood. Drink it, eat it, and you will havelife erernal.'It was a drastic
l-
CELEBRATINGEASTERAND SPzuNG
'3.4l
way to awakenhis disciplesfrom forgetfulness.
rVhen we look around, we seemany peoplein whom the Holy Spirit does
not appearto dwell.They look dead,asthough they weredraggingarounda
corpse,their own body.. . . lVhen a priestperformsthe [Mass],his role is to
bring life to the community. The miraclehappensnot becausehe saysthe
words correcdy, but becausewe eat and drinh in mindfulness,Holy Com'
munion is a strongbell of mindfulness.\fle drink and eatall the time, but we
usuallyingestonly our ideas,projects,worries,and anxiety.Ve do not really
eatour breador drink our beverage. If we allow ourselveslife imelf Eating it
deeply,we touch the sun, the clouds,the earch,and everythingin the cos-
mos.'Wetouch life, and we touch the Kingdom of God.
Rcader #lz [Reader#2 bringsforth the breadJ
Companionsare,literally,"thosewith whom we sharebread."
'Weare companions in this free faith,
and it is in this spirit rhat we break
breadtogetherasa sign of our communiry.

fReadcr#2 bringsforth byheonJ


The sharingof Demeter'sbeverageof barley-mealand water
(tonight it comesin the form of non-dcoholic beer!)
is a mark of our communion.
W'esharethis food and drink with gratefulheartsin order
to createthe "miracleof mindfrrlness"in this most hopeful ofseasons.

[HoAing up breadJ
\D(/'e
are all one body,sonsand daughtersof the Divine.
[Holding up uessel of hyhnn]
'W'e
are all blood kin; our life flows from one Source.
(Readcrsand soloistteach "Dona Nobis PAcem"- threeparts. Congregantsare
inuircd to sing any of tbosesections.Exphin that "Dona Nobis PAcem"meAns
"GrAnt uspeace,"and that we singit for eachotherar a praler and a blzssing)

Ve areinvited to feedone anotherasa way of showingour interdependency


\(/'hen the loaf comescoyou, hold onto it until the personnext to you has
broken off a portion. Don't be shy. It is good bread-make sure you get a
good chunk. \fhen the cup comesaround,dip your breadand then hold it
for the companionnext to you. Dona nobis pacem.Peacebe with all of us.
Closing Hymn: #61 "l-oThe Earth AwakesAgain"
s ClosingWords: (we readthis antiphonallyonesideof the
congregationto the other)

Out of the dusk a shadow,


Then, a spark.
Out of the cloud a silence,
Then, a larh.
y
Out of tl,e hearta rapture,
Tben,a pain.
-
Out of the dead,cold ashes,
Life again.
- John BanisterThbb

k
Postlude
- Victoria Weinstein

s
)
y.
s
136| CELEBMTING EASTERAND SPRING

An Easter Tennabrae Liturgy


LEADEk This is essentiallya seruicefor chiHren. Introduce tennebraeseruiceto
chiHren and call on readersand candlelightersand utinguishers as their turn comes
in the seruice.

READER l: \Ve don't really know much about Jesus,becausehe lived a


long, long time ago, beforenewspapersand books and TV. Everythingwe
know about Jesusis from one collection of writings called the Bible. And
eventhat wasdl written down a long time afterJesuslived.
READER 2: The storieswe haveaboutJesustell us that he wasborn in very
humble circumstances, that his parentswerepoor, that his fatherwasa car-
penter.'Wealsoare told that therewasa wonderful star in the sky the night
Jesuswas born, and that shepherdsand kings cameto visit the baby.
READER 3:\il7edon't know ifthose storiesaretrue or not, but we do know
that they help us to imaginejuschow specialJesus
was,and how the people
around him loved him. And so, we light a candle,and call it a Christmas
candle,in honor of the birth of a greatman.
CANDLELIGHTER l: lights candle.
READER 4: \7e don't know anything about Jesus'growing up. V'e assume
that he learnedto be a carpenter,becausehis fatherwasa carpenter,and in
thosedays,little boysalmostalwaysgrewup to do what their fathersdid. \Ve
do know that he learneda lot about his religion.He wasJewish.He went to
Passover celebrations,learnedthe Jewishlaw,and learnedwhat greatJewish
teachershad said.He learnedthis all by heart,becausetherewereno books
or pencilsor schoolsaswe know them today.
READER 5: Maybe he even thought about growing up to be a rabbi, and
learningevenmore about his religion,but he neverdid. Maybe he was too
poor, or maybehe liked beinga carpenter,or maybehe didnt like the rabbis
he knew.\7e just dont know. This is a mysteriouspart of Jesus'life . . . so
let'slight anothercandle:a candlefor Jesus,the man we will neverknow.
CANDLELIGHTER 2: lights a candle.
rx. Lo, THE EARTH A\rAKES AGArN
| 137

REA"DER6: One dar when Jesuswasgrown up, he wenr ro heara popular


preacher,namedJohn the Baptist.John was telling peoplerhat rhe end of
the world was near,and that God was engrybecauseso many rhings were
wrong and so many peoplewere selfishand mean.John believedthar God
would judge eachpersonafrer they died as ro wherher they were good or
bad. Somepeopleliked what John had ro say,but lots of peoplewereafraid,
for they realizedthat they hadn'talwaysbeengood.

s READER 7:Jesusfelt drawn toJohn and went to be baptizedby him. Being


baptizedcan be a wonderful experience,and in rhat chargedmomenr,Jesus
realizedthat he felr so good, so freeand happy,that he suddenlyknew that
Godt lovewasmuch more imporrant than God'sanger.He decidedthar it
washis missionto go and tell peoplethat they did not needro be afraid of
God, that God loved them. So, here'sa third candle;a candlefor Jesus'call
to preach,teach,and comforr people.
CANDLELIGHTER 3: lights candle.
READER 8: JesusFeltvery stronglyabout a lot oFthings.He believedthar it
is important to loveGod, bur just asimportanr to love our neighbors;even
the neighborswhosereligion is different from ours or who aredoing things
we don't like. Jesusraughtthat we should sharewirh our neighbors,that we
shouldbe peaceFul, and that we shouldn'tworry so much. He wasconcerned
s about peoplewho were sick or handicapped,and he liked peoplethat no-
body elseliked. It becamevery clearto thosearoundJesusrhat he wasa very
extraordinaryman, and they loved him. So, ler us lighr anothercandlefor
Jesusthe teacher,whosewords still inspireus today.
e
CANDLELIGHTER 4: lighrs candle.
READER 9: So, this wasJesus.He atrracteda lor of atrenrionand a lot of
love.He helpedpeoplefeelgood, and he helpedthem to be good, which is
just as important. Whereverhe went in his small counrry peopleFollowed
him around,crowdsgathered,and peoplelistenedto what he had ro say.
READER l0: Afrer abour ayearof this, somebad rhingsstartedto happen.
Jesuswent to Jerusalem,the biggestciry in his country.Many of rhe people,
especiallythe poor people,welcomedhim. The Bible saysthat they rhrew
down their cloaksto decoratethe road and wavedbranchesfrom rrees,and
cheeredwhen he went by. It wasa wonderful parade.
READERII: But, not everyonewash.ppy ro seeJesuscome to Jerusalem.
The officialsof the ciry wereafraid.They wereafraid that Jesuswould start
l3s I CELEBRATINGEASTERAND SPRING

a riot, or worse, a revolution, and that they would be held responsible. People
would be killed and perhaps the officials would lose their jobs. People who
are afraid often do bad things, and these officials decided that they would
have to somehow get rid ofJesus. It is fear that extinguishes our candle; fear
which overcomes reason and justice.

CANDLE D(TINGUISHER l: puts out candle.

READER 12: The next day, Jesus went to the temple in Jerusalem, and
what he saw there made him very angry. The priests there were cheating the
people, charging outrageous prices. Jesusgot so angry when he saw this that
he began to shout that they had turned the House of God into a Den of
. . . and he ran around turning over the tables and making a big
Ii::.r

READER 13: This, in turn, made the priests very angry. They didnt like
being called thieves.They didnt like a messbeing made of their temple. The
fact that, in their hearts, they knew it was true, made them even angrier.
Now they wanted to get rid ofJesus, too. It is anger which extinguishes our
second candle; anger used for good and anger used for ill.

CANDLE D(TINGLIISHER 2: puts out candle.

READER 14: The officials and the priests got together and decided to do
something about this troublemaker. So, they bribed one of his friends, a
man named Judas, to betray Jesus.'We don't know much about Judas, or
why he did what he did. No doubt he had reasonswhich seemed good to
him. People always have reasonswhich seem good to them Forwhat they do.
Nonetheless, it is betrayal which extinguishes the third candle; the becrayal
of friendship which was precious to both people.

CANDLE D(TINGUISHER 3: puts out candle.

READER l5: The priests and officials tookJesus before the courts the next
day, and after a long and complicated discussion, Jesus was convicted and
sentenced to death. It was an unfair triah there wasn'[ any evidence or any
jurp and Jesus wasn't guilry as charged, but they sentenced him to death
an)ry/ay.And so it is that injustice was the final cause ofJesus' death. Injus-
tice is a terrible thing.

ADULI takes candle out of the church into foyer.

READER 16: You know, there are lots of people in this world who believe
that force is the best way to get what they want, even what they think they
IX. LO, THE EARTHA\rAKESAGAIN I rrr
deserve.\7e look back now and understandwhy the authoritiesfeh they
had to do awaywith Jesus.But we can alsolook back and seerhar killing
Jesusdidn't do any good.Jesusdied, all right, bur peopledidn't forgetwhat
he said.Jesuswasdead,but his followerslovedhim so much that they went
on teachingin his name.Jesuswas dead,but the Christian religionwas
born.\ilfetookJesus'candleout ofitheroom to showthat he died;now we'll
bring it backin to showthat, in spiteof that, he is still with us.
ADUf,f bringscandleback into church.
READER 17: SomepeoplebelievethatJesusliterallycamebackto life after
he died, but sincethat neverhappenedto anyoneelse,Unirarian Universal-
istsbelievethat this is just anotherway,like the starand the shepherds, of
sayingthat this specialman and his message still livesin our hearts,and still
influencesthe way we live and think and makemeaningin our world.
READER 18: \(/e believethat Jesuslivesin our heartswhen we remember
to help oor neighbors.
Q{,NDLELIGHTER 5: lights candlefrom one alreadylit.
'We
READER l9: believethat Jesuslivesin our liveswhen we are inspired
to live,and i[necessarydie, for what we believeis true.
CANDLELIGHTER 6: lights candlefrom one alreadylit.
READER 20: W'ebelievethat Jesuslivesin our heartseverytime we rry to
loveand understandpeoplewho arestrangeto us.
CANDLELIGHTER 7: lights candlefrom one alreadylit.
LEA"DEk You can kill people,but you cant kill the spirit. There is good in
us and it wellsup in responseto greatmen and women and to greatstories.
The spirit that urgesus on to loveand serveour fellow human beingsnever
dies.
- Christine Robinson
l4o I CELEBMTING EASTERAND SPRING

Spring Ceremony
Note: hEare sacrd spacewith candhsin sping colorssetin thefoar directions(N,
E, S, V(/)and afifh frr Spring and eachparticipanti soukpace,in the centerof thc
four. Aho phcc hett a stone,fx sizcd or htgcr. The artichs and the spacemay bc
smudgedwith cedarand sweetgrass btfon the ceremony
THRESHOLD IIrI\/OC,AIION (spohcnfrom the door)
Eternd Eanh Mother, make communion
with the Sun rising in the perfect East,
ardent star of winter dreams,
of promiseslain dormant in November'ssoil.
Oh, Gaia, turn your eagerheart to
hallowed winds of Spring!
SPRING SONG (smudgrngofparticipants optional at this time)
Sing praisefor Earth'secstaticgifis,
of bursting bud, of tender,greeninghill.
'Weraisethanksgiving prayers
in soakingsilver rain,
Sing joy for all creation,
Sing praisefor fertile Spring!
CANDLE LIGHTING (mat befune bl onepersonor indiuiduabfor eachcandh)
EAST'Welcome, fresh warmth of Sun from your southern arc to the portals of
the East!
SOUTH:'W'elcome, soft vernd winds, tropic-born gustsof ferdliry.
WEST| 'Welcome,sweet rains, blossoming nimbus showering your glistening
watersfor our greening.
NOMTI:'Welcome, Wingeds,hurding flocking soaringto new nestinggrounds
CENTER/WITHIN:'Welcome, grounding energiesof rootednessand growth.
May our bare feet ooze in your gentle mud, our hands dngle with your loamy
grace.May we crirry in our heartsyour messageof regenerationand rebirth.
LITANY OF GRAIITUDE: (sharedamongpdrticipants)
May I be witnessto the minute, the humble miraclesof Spring: the spider web
strung with dew, the print of mousein mud, the eruption of the egg case.
IX. LO, THE EARTH A\TAKESAGAIN I rcr
l'hankyou, Goddess,for woodlandsenchantedwith pink Springbeauties,white
llloodroot, yellow Tiout Lily, lavenderHepatica.
lllessedbe the ratde of woodfrogsin the ice-freepond, the jubilant songof peep-
crsin the swale.

c ( )h, Universe,thank you for the splendor of the stars-Alssunrs in the Eastern
c rwilight sky,gleamingheraldof Spring.
Mother Earth, may we rejoicein your fiercefecundiry! Howling coyotes,hooting
owls,bubbledclumps of frogs'eggsin a puddle.
'l'hank you, Grandfather Sky, for warm thermals rising
beneath the wings of
soaringhawks.
lllessedb€, Oh, Gaia, for your moist, gloss)'',greenrebirth! for Spring!
CELEBMNTS IW{IG, OFFERINGS TO A SPRING BITNDLE (cottonfabic
in a spring cohr is hid out and participants mahe oftrings of tbings which meltn
Spring to them, e.g.,passywilhw,forgttbia, soil, sceds,a baseballcatd, shedpetfar.
'fhe bundh is smudged.It may rcmain open
duing the remainderof the ceremonll
pary. Duing the ofering theparticipants chant eitha chpping or with rattlcsldntms)
\?'e are the stars in the earth,
We will keep her spirit pure,
I7e will bring the soul rebirth!
STONE MEDITAIION/CLOSING
(The stonewhich hasbeenpkced in tbe ccnteroftbe candh annngementis held and
)
passedamongthegroup asthe lcadershawstbe medimtion.)
f
For thousandsof eonsthis stone hasbeenwitness,Witness to
coundessmillions of Springsin passing;Passingthrough melting heat and
glacialcold, Cold into warmth into swelterinto ice again.
g Again rebirthing into lilting graceof Spring.
May we honor our Mother's rebirth with our witness,
May we, as the stone, honor in stillness.Ground us asrivers flood,
s.
furrows are turned, hills explodeinto green.M"y our heartslift with the
. growing lighc sing with the rushing brook, exult with the flowering trees!
y May all BlessedBe.
(Following the ceremony/partythe Spring bundh and the StoneGaardian are tahen
outdoonand pkced togctbcrwbercthq may ningh uith the elennts.)
b - Ellen Dionne
X. Now OnceAeain
the HeavettTilrns

Now once again thc hcaven nrrns


To bring ageip thc rrcndantyear.
And once again the old sun burns
To freshen up the earth to bcar

-IGnncth Pacon
CELEBMTING EASTERAND SPRING

Story
Easterseruices
are ofen intergeneftttionalsnuices.This story inchtdcsa cand!
cornmunionof Swedishfsh.

Catchi.g Fish
by Marlc V. Harris

(To tell tbis storylou needtwofshing nets;thefirst is emptyand held up


duing tbosetimesin the storywhen the tact indicatesthat eaeryone should
shout:EMPTY. Thesecondnet isfull of the candy Swedishfsh. Theseare
giuen out afier the net is shown to beFIILL)

Tn. day broke cloudy. It had beenonly three dayssincethosererrible evencsin


Jerusalem.They rook our masrerJesus,and we barely ried ro srop rhem. He
receivedthe uldmate sentence,and no one srood up for him. least of all us. He
is gone now. Never to brighten our heartswith his greatsroriesand compassion-
ate heart again. I swearhe could forgive a wolf for stealinga lamb, aslong asrhe
wolf had a rePentantheart. I cant believehow horrible I feel.rVe loved him, but
we didnt havethe courageto stand up for what we saidwe believed.The masrer
would probably forgive us, too. I don't know how. Ve are such scoundrels.'We
deserveto be fed to rhe wolvesfor what we havedone.
Now here it is early morning. There are my friends below me lying on thc
beach.They are trying to sleep,but it is hard when your heart is so heavywith
grief, fu for me, I've beenawakesincewe fled fromJerusdem. I wasafraid some-
one would say,"Hey there goes the son of 7*bedee, wasn'[ he a friend of rhat
preaching fool we arrestedand hung by his heels?Good riddance to all rhese
radicals."I iust dont know what to do with mpelf now. Vhat arewe waiting for?
Vhat do we think is going to happen?I rried picking up somestonesfrom the
beachhere at the Seaof Galilee. Normally I love to skip rhem acrossrhe warer.
Buc today they dl seemedto sink. I went out fishing before dawn. I even took
Peter along. He is supposedto be the experr, bur we didnt have much luck.
$7hen the masterwas with us, we alwaysseemedto pull up ners thar were full,

\
X. NOIUTONCE AGAIN THE HEAVEN TURNS r45

but today,it wasobviousthat his spirit wasn'twith us. Everyner we pulled up was
EMPTY.
They saythat fishing is bestat dusk or just beforedawn, but lasreveningat
rwilight wasno good either.Three of us setofffrom shorejust asthe sun serover
rhehill looking towardthe greatopen seabeyond.\7e had jusr finishedmending
our nets.The ropeswerecrackedand full ofgiant holes.\ThyJonah'swhalecould
haveswam through. But we stitchedand stitched.The holesare small enough
now to hold a tiny minnow. No more excusesfor nor landing a good catch. We
had spentall day repairingthosenets. And it waspouring rain dl that time. It
reminded me of those days only three short yearsago when my brother and I
sPentall our daysfishing with our father.Dear father,he musr curseus now for
running out on him. And what havewe come to?Threeyearsof running around
the countrysidepreachingthis gospelof loving your enemy; telling rhosewho
lorded it over orhersrhat one day they would be last. \who was lasr now?
Ve feel so worthless.It reminds me of thosedayswhen Jesusfirst came ro us.
My brother and I were standing there, when the teachercarnealong. He said,
"Join me, and we will fish for the soulsof men and women. \7e will bring com-
passionto thosewho feelrejected,and we will scold the evil onesand tell them to
rePent.DHe wasso convincing we followed him, and would havekept following
him if we didnt turn out to be such cowards.Poor father, his jaw dropped ashe
sawus walk away.tU[ewalked out on him, and later we walked our on Jesus.No
wonder the fish dont want to come nearus. So therewe werelastnight, dropping
our nets time and again on the right side of the boat. Eventually it becameroo
dark to see,and we barelymade it back to shoreand our campsite.\[har a wasre.
\lfe were trawling with our netsall over that sea,bur had no luck at dl. Every ner
we pulled up wasEMPTY.
It was late morning when we decided to go our on the water again.'Wewere
getting so hungry. r$(/hathappenedto all our fishing skills?It just seemedlike we
had lost all confidence,and couldn't do anything righr. This was our prize for
deserting*1s mss1s1-starvation.Then we saw this figure coming up rhe beach.
Then we heard her shout our, 'Have you anything to ear?"She looked vaguely
familiar to us, but we couldnt quite placeher. Shesaidwe had come to her home
once,and visited with her and her sisterMartha. \7e rcld her how sadwe were,
and how life would neverbe the sameagain.It's over,we said. Hopeless.\$(/'e can't
evencatch any fish for breakfmr
Every time we go our on rhe Seaof Galilee our nerscome up EMPTY.
Then, believeit or not, shescoldedus. It waslike having rhe masterthere.She
146l CELEBMTING EASTERAND SPRING

said, 'l|fhat's the matter with you? Moping around like you cant do anything
without him. Giving up? tVhat would Jesussayabour thar?Here you are ar thc
beach,all together,the nryelveof you, now you must take careof eachorher. He
has many followers.We are scatterednow becauseof the fear in the ciry, bur we
will riseagain.His words and storiesaretoo wonderful to die. k's nor really over.
Sure,he is gone,but you havero rememberwhat he hastaughr you, and rhen tell
his stories to others.There is good news to relate throughout this whole land."
Shewas right. It we stayedforeversadabout what we hadnt done, then nothing
would ever happen.'Wehad each orher. \7e had the memory of him as well.
Suddenly we realizedwe could make his spirit live, and rememberedhow he
once said, "I am with you always."
After that, we were determined to catch somefish. Our headshad beenh*g-
ing so low we neverwould havecaught anything. rVe neededthe life, the spirir,
the energy to do this, just like we alwayshad when Jesuswas with us. But he
dwap had some specialtrick, some magic. \$7erhoughr, what could it be?Our
friend M"ty suddenly snappedher fingers and said, "Of course.The masteral-
we)6 wassayingtry it a new way.You can'tjust staystuck on the sameold rhing,
you haveto be open to the new. Of course.Cast your nerson the left side of the
boat." And so with renewedhope we sailedofffrom the beachwirh Mary watch-
ing from the shore.Soon we nearedthe center of the crystal blue sea,and threw
our nets over the left side. In minutes we pulled them back up. 'We were so
excitedwe couldn't wait any longer. \0flelooked, and rhe nerswere FULL
'$fhat a sign. Now for a hearry breakfrut of fish, cooked over the burning
embersof that fire that kept ui warm all night.'We weren't alone on thar beach
anymore. Ve rememberedwe could be filled with a burning passionfor life. It
waslike Jesus'spirit was moving among us. rVe wereso h"ppy with our catchwe
ran up to the village nearby,and said'Share our fish wirh us." He wasgone, but
his life was not. It was a grearday for a celebration!
X. NOW ONCE AGAIN THE HEAVEN TURNS l uz

Sermons
A dihmna someUnitarian Uniucnalist ministenface is "Vhat shall wcpreach
on Easnr Sundaf" For your inspiration and encouragement,we presenttuo
sennonswhicb ma1 behelpftI One wasprcacbedby a distinguishedminister of
two gcnerationsago, Viuian T Pomaoy at Milmn, Mass. in 1942 afer tbe
dcath of his wife ofmany!ea6. Thesecondwaspreachedin 1996 at Chelmsfad,
Mass.by lhren Lewis Fob

Day-break
byVivian T. Pomeroy
"Simon Petersaith unto them, I go afuhing. . . and that night theycaught
nothing. But when morning wasnow come,Jesusstoodon tbe shott.'
- St.Jobn 2I: 3,4

Tlr. r,ory in which our text is set has every appealingcharacter.At the time it
waswritten the Christian Movement had beengatheringforce for severdgenera-
tions; but therewere many who were feeling that things were in a bad way.Arro-
gant circumstancesseemedto be overpoweringa simple tradidon, and a senseof
Failurewas darkening many hearts. No doubt the story was intended to be a
parablefor the encouragementof the struggling Christian Church in the sccond
centuqy.'Fishersof men" the Masterhad calledhis followers;and the Early Chris-
tians must often have felt they were on a dark and barren sea."They caught
nothing." After all, in spite of a growing organization,it wesa limle Church. The
boat wasso smdl and the seawasso big. But in thosetimes of dismay they were
encouragedto believein the light while the &rkness was unbroken. The morn-
ing would come; the assurance ofa guiding presence;the castingof the net on the
right side; and then they would not be able to draw for the muldtude of fishes.
"Christ turns all the sunsetsinto dawns,' at last said one of them.

But bccausethe story was written with spiritual insight, there lies in it the
suggestionof a more intimate truth. It lives again marvelouslyas the story of
persond experience;it strangelycallsto the heartsof any of us today.So listen to
148| CELEBRATING EASTER AND SPRING

it repeatedin this tone.


There is the man Simon Peter.The time is immediatelyafter the deachof
Jesus.Life has rumbled in on Peter.Things he thought securehavebeendl bro-
ken up. The worst has happened.For him the world has been despoiled.The
stunning waveshavegone over him. Now he returnsto the sceneof his former
job as fishermanon the Seaof Galilee;goesback to the very placewherenot so
long agohe had left his nets,when that irresistiblevoicecdled him: "Follow me."
He goesback,not for any sentimentalreasons,but simply becausethereis norh-
ing elseto be done.The placeis the same;eve{ythingis the same,just asif norh-
ing awful had happened.The quiet light on rhe water; the familiar villageby the
shore;the men busy with their limle ships;the children ar their play.The un-
changed,undisturbed,indifferent sceneis a dull offenceto this man wholly oc-
cupiedby a singlegrief, But the seacallsto labor.There is the old common work
again.The old habit re-assertsimelf Petersays:"I go a fishing." H. saysit wearily.
He is going backto the old prosaiclife with new memorieslike stabbingwounds;
and it meanswork for a while in utter darkness-such meaningless,profitless,
desolatework. And then acrossthe waters of that disheartenedand common-
placedury-the breakingof the morning; the lost hopesteding backagainrhrough
the mist; the rememberedvoicespeaking:from the distancewhich is no distance;
the undying call for devotion to the living. "Simon, do you sdll love me?Then
take careof my sheep;feed my lambs."
It may be everyone'sstory. Vhen any of us men and women have met and
sumbled through somedark and immensehour, the ordinary world around us
seemsutterly unreal.Not necessarily a dark hour; asa matter of fact, nor neces-
sarilyan hour ofanguish; possiblyone of fearfuljoy.Anyhow up from the gloomi-
estvalleyor down from the highestmount we come,and we seenothing bur our
own vastempty surprise.All interestin the common things of life seemsstopped
for ever.Almost deliberatelycruel appearsthe unconcernedregularicyof things;
incrediblystupid this continued processionof daily affairs.
The world of Nature, its moods and modons, does not changea shadeor
pausea moment for dl thatwe feel.\7e havestood in a hushedroom and watched
a beautiful life withdrawing from a form dearer to us than anything else rhe
world contains.'We have put our hopesinto some gallant causeonly to seeit
smashedagainstthe hard resistanceof ignoranceand wrong. lVe have been up-
lifted into some supernallight. And, after it all, the surrounding sceneis un-
touchedby our amazementand grief; unstirredby our exultation.It appearsto
mock us.The morning sun shinescheerfullythrough the windowsof the house;
X. NOW ONCE AGAIN THE HEAVENTURNS lvt
the rain drips with no more hint of tearsthan before;the hills are silent; the
sea-tidesriseand fall. "Ol' man River,dat ol' man River,he must know sumpin',
but don't saynothin'; he just keepsrollin', he just keepson rollin' dong."
Not only Nature, but the whole world of our own Humaniry is all around us
with its businessundelayed,its movementunabated,its laughterunquenched.
Once it was reportedthat, when the newsof the death of a notorious financial
magnatereached\7all Street,something occurred which had not been known
before.There was a hush for fully five minutes. Frantically busy men stopped in
their tracks;therewasno sound ofvoice or footfall; eventhe tape-machinesceased
their ticking. Only five minutes-and then the mighry tide of human afhirs
flowed noisily on, accentuatedby the brief pause.
For most of us thereis no homageof five minutes'silence.The world's needs
must be met; pleasureand greedkeep up their pursuit; neighboursgo on their
errandsand keep their engagements;the children'sshouts are heard from the
street;the boy flings the newspaperat our door; the postmanpuncrudly ringsthe
bell; trade is brisk in the market; the train tolls its friendly warning; the plane
roarsacrossthe sky.Everything is the sarne.
Then we are compelled,or then we choose,to return to the simplestduties.
After hours or daystremendouswith excitementand dreadand love and sorrow,
we go into low gearand beginto climb the old hill again.Life asa whole will not
bear thinking about; so we apply ourselvesto some ordinary and undeniable
detail.Vith our bewilderedheartswe find ourselvesamongfamiliar things.E-pty
seemsthe old place;senseless the old work; but the placewaits,and the work has
to be done. It may aswell be done. Our enormousexperiencegivesus no dis-
chargefrom the ranksof the little people;no immunity from the demandsof the
commonplace.The sunlight may seeman unearthlyglitter, and our fellowmen,
eventhe most sympathetic,may seemonly shadows;but all the samethe sunlight
falls,the friends passand speak.So it is back to the routine, back to the things
that remain,taking life up again,althoughit seemsonly a brokenbit of liFe.And
we say:"I go a fishing."
And neveragain,sowe think, will the heart know peace,or joy gird us for life's
endeavour.Never again,we think, will there be any sensethat ordinary things are
highly significantand worthwhile. Leastof all could this happenamid the trivi-
aliry or the monotony of the tasksto which we havereturned;leastofall amid the
drudgeryof unheroicduties.So for a time we think. But the ruth is that dong
that plain road-and only on that road-peace comesto meet us and the imper-
ishableessenceof lost things is found again. Deep in the faithful heart are the
J

l5oI CELEBRATING EASTER AND SPRING

fountainsof the day; the shoresof dawn are there:and theresoundsthe voiceof
tender command, bidding us live on to finish the work and to greet life with
"valor undismayedand h"ppy astonishment."Amid thosemost commonplace,
most necessary things,wherethe breadis broken and the fire is kindled, we must
prove the greatnessof the hour through which we havepassed,prove it by our
Christly serviceto a needyworld. "Simon, son ofJonas,lovestthou me?... Feed
my sheep."
One might not expectto hear the accentof Galileerepeatedamid the genial
gossipof Alexander'W'oolcott;but you can hear it, if you turn to a pagein that
book of his, V(/hihRomeBurns.Here is the incident in almost all'\Dfloolcott's own
words.A well-known Americanwoman, sitting down with her stunnedmother's
heartin a New York hospitaland staringblindly into the firture, only half listen-
ing to the headnurse,who, beinga wiseperson,kept on talking about the hard-
estpart of her job. Had Mrs. Norris, asshewaited in the ante-room,chancedto
notice a shabbylitde boy sitting out there cooling his heels?No, Mrs. Norris
hadnt.'W'ell, there was a case,the nurse said.That boys mother was a young
Frenchwomanwhom the ambulancehad brought to the hospitd a week before
from the dingy home to which sheand her child had drifted. The nvo had only
eachother in the world, and from sun-up to sun-down eachday he had come
and waited outside,just on the chancethat he might be allowedto speakto her.
Besides,he had no home whereshewasnot. Vell, that frail, valiant mother had
died a hdf-hour before,dropping out of sight like a pebblecastinto the ocean,
and now it waspart of the nurse'sjob to go out and tell that child that, at the age
ofeighr, he wasalonein the world. "I dont suppose,"shesuggested hesitandy-
a wisewoman that nursemust hxvs!sgn-"I dont suppose,"shesaid,"that you
would go out and tell him for me." And what happenedin the scenewhich
followed,when Mrs. Norris clearedher eyesand went forth to this new assign-
ment, you will rememberor you can imagineor readfor yourselves.
'Jesussaidto Simon Peter,Simon son ofJonas,lovestthou me more than the
othersdo? He saith unto him, Yea,Lord, thou knowestthat I love thee.He saith
unto him, Feedmy lambs."
That unchangedfaceof Nature, which appearedar first to mock by callous
indifferenceour singularloss,becomesa constantinvitation to a largeremotion,
a more generousemotion; becomesan outward sign of a realm more safefrom
hurt than our weakholding. And our thougha begin to flutter up from the little
heap of mournful dust into the rays of some indescribabledivine purposeof
perfection,which is betokenedby the sun that shinesand the rain that fallsalike
X. NO\T ONCE AGAIN THE HEAVENTURNS I rsr
on the sorrowful and the glad. And we come to echo the robust cry of G. K.
Chesterton:
Thank God, the starsaresetbeyondmy power.
If I must travail in the night of wrath;
Thank God my tearswill nevervex a moth,
Nor any curseof mine cut down a flower.
Men saythe sun wasdarkened;yet I had
Thoughm it beat brightly on Calvary.
And He that hung upon the torturing tree
Heard all the cricketssinging,and wasglad.
"l go a fishing." That inevitablereturn to some activesharein the world's
afFairs; that taking life up againamongthe inevitablethingsofevery day-carries
with it a wisdom greaterthan at the time we know, and it brings us at last to the
'Wecome to be very grateful
shoreof unyielding fortitude and quiet assurance.
that life is largelycommonplace,that it is crowdedwith dudes,and that ia unfading
beautystandsvery closeto the most homely tasks."I go a fishing." \7e all sayit
sometime; and then we know very deeplywhat CharlesKingsleymeantwhen he
wrote: "Thank God when you get up that you havesomethingto do that day
which must be done, whetheryou like it or not."
So,aswe put it, we just "carry on;" we are following on; we bend to the oars
and try our best to keep time with the others-the othersin the little boat, so
little on the great dark waters.And then lift our eyesto the first gleam of the
soul'sinvincibleday-break.
There is only this to add.\(/hether we know it or not, it all hasto do with the
burning heartof realreligion."Now it'sgoodbye,"saysPeterin his hopeless whis-
per; in agethis Peter,who is no saint but a plain man. "Good-bye forever,
^ny
Master.You know I really did love you still. I meant to fight loydly for your
throne;only at the end I just wasntbraveand good enough.Now I'm going back
to the thing I usedto do." Then comesthe answer:"It neednt be good-byelike
that; it cant be. I haven'tgone to be among the pomps or the spectres,and you
didnt leaveme in the placeof bitter tears.I am where I told you I would be,
amongthe living and the leastof my brethren,anywherewith the sufferingand
the heavy-ladenand the h"ppy ones and the young children. So it cant be
good-bye-not like that."
For, asAlbert Schweitzerwrote and sealedwith his own working faith: "He
comesto us asone unknown, without a name,asof old by the lake-sidehe came
t52l CELEBRATING EASTERAND SPRING

to thosemen who knew him not. He speaksto us rhe samewords-Follow rhou


me!-and setsus to the taskswhich he hasto fulfill in our time. He commands.
And to thosewho obey him, whether they be wiseor simple,he will revealhim-
self in the toils, the conflicts,the sufferings,which they shallpassrhrough in his
fellowship;and as dl ineffablemysterythey shall learn in their own experience
who he is."

Born AS"ir: Hope For Our Lives


by Karen Len'is Foley
'W.live
by the storiesthat grow out of the stuffof our lives.Peopleger ro know
eachother by the sroriesrhey tell eachother."Thar happenedto you?Oh, some-
thing so much like it happenedto me too!" One of my own storiesI call "Musk-
rat Revival."Yearsago,just after my marriageendedand my first posr-marriage
romancehad crashedin flames,a friend introduced me ro the GrearMeadows
\rildlife Reservadon.It was the end of March, freezingcold, with a high wind
whipping the fat red buds of swamp maplesin a miracle of blue sky. I was in
excruciatingemotional pain. My friend told me I d get through rhis hard rime
becauseI was fully experiencingthe lossand pain and nor rrying to hide from
them.That seemedsmall consolationat the time. The bestconsolarionwasthar
I had a friend who would take me for a walk in sucha place.And rhen we sawa
sadsighc:a deadmuskrat,half frozenin the broken ice ar the warer'sedge.The
stillnessand silenceof the frozenmuskratseemedto echo rhe lack of hope I felt
in myself.
After that I often walked in Great Meadows, especiallywhen I was sad or
perplexed.The friend who'd brought me therewaskilled in a planecrash.Some-
times I went there to be in the presenceof his spirit. Three yearsafter our first
walk, I found myselfthereagain,done, on EasterSundayafternoon.I'd recenrly
ended another important relationship,and I was lonely, but rhe walk rhat day
was more of a celebration.I had a new senseof purposein my life and a god: I
was preparingfor rhe ministry. I felt blessedby grace,by vocation,by my chil-
dren and good friends,and by the memory of my dead friend, the very person
whod helped me seemy vocation.The sun was again brighr, the sky another
X. NO\T ONCE AGAIN THE HEAVEN TURNS I rsr
brilliant blue, the treesagainfull of red buds,but the air blew with gentlewarm
breezesthis EasterSunday,and there was no ice over the water'ssparklingex-
panse.Suddenly I heard little noisesfrom *1s \Mx1s1-e€peep-and looking
closely,saw severdsleekdark headscoursingthrough the water,muskratsglee-
fully chasingeachother,very much alive,and full of muskratmischief.I almost
laughedaloud.I wishedmy friend could seethem, "The muskratsarealivenow!"
I wantedto tell him.
And sowasI. He had beenright, of course.Incredibleblessings had arisenout
of the pain of that day threeyearsearlier.I could only think of what had hap-
penedin my life asa kind of being "born again."The most significanrpart of my
rebirth, my finding new value and purposein life, had involved finding a UU
church,growing in faith, and developinga vocation.The Unitarian Universalist
church and its peoplehad given me a communiry of faith where I was free to
grow my soul. And I d heard others speak,who'd found this faith, of feeling
"born again."
That is one oFmy stories.It probablyechoessomeof yours.Early Christians
survivedand grew in communiry by a common story-the story of their last
mealwith their teacher,of his betrayal,his trial, his execurion,of the empry tomb
on the third day-and of what that emptinessportended.Then added to the
storyweretalesof his appearance in the fleshto his closestfriends.Of coursewe
dont know what really happenedto his body. Vhat lived for certain was the
story-and perhapsthe miracle of Easteris that such a story still holds such
power Forso many today.I imagine thoseearly Christiansfelt as if they'dbeen
"born again"-as if theyd found new faith and hope for their lives-through the
experience of their story and through sharingir with eachother.
In order to participatein Easterwith any meaning beyond the renewalof
nature,we Unitarian Universdistsneedto understandthe Easterstorywithin the
parametersof our own faith-which holds a healthy doseof skepdcismabout
miracles.UU ministerArt Severance speaksof our needto translare:
So fior Easter,for Passover,for Spring festival, we translateold
words into new understandingand meaning,archaicunbelievable
beliefsinto rationalwaysof living and loving.Somewordsor phrases
aretricky to translatefrom one languageinto anorher.The advertis-
ing slogan"Come Alive with Pepsi,"lost somethingwhen rranslated
into Germanwhereit became:"Come Alive Out of the Gravewith
Pepsi,"or asin one Slaviccountry: "Pepsibringsyour ancesrors back
from the Grave."So let us rejoicein our own interpretation.Rejoice!
CELEBMTING EASTERAND SPRING

He is risen!Sheis risen!Death doesnoc end relationshiprhough ic


changesthe shapeand form of rhe one we love; while rhe husk may
die, the seedwhich is planted in just one loving heart livesforever.
And so the concept of "being born again" has aken new translatedmeaning
for me-and it is real. It's not a pat theological formula for my future-world
sdvadon, nor a once-for-all-dmeflashof mysricalexperiencethar exonerares me
of all the wrong I've ever done and guaranreesI'll never do it again. Ir's not a
slogan I can carry with me and wave in people'sfacesro let rhem know I m
spirituallysuperiorto them and ifonly they'dacceprmyspiritud metaphorthey'd
rise to my level.
Being born againjust meansrhar I've groped way, slowly and painsmk-
-y to sustain me, ro
ingly' to a larger faith than the uncertaincythat used a grearer
hope for my life and for the world than the bleakerview I usedto entertain, and
that I've learnedto live with an undercurrenrof joy and expecrarion,while en-
gagedin the daily vicissitudesthat besetus all.
And more than this, being born againdoesnt srop an) ilhere.It keepshappen-
ing. It's a constantremembering,recommitment,re-engagement. It's not cheap
grace. I find I have to keep working at it. And maybe that's the only kind of
rebinh that can really speak to Unitarian Universalists-the kind we have ro
keepworking at. It's honest.Henri Nouwen, the Durch priestwho haswritten
and spoken so eloquentlyof our spiritual lives,said: "Erernal life is nor some
greatsurprisethat comesat onceat the end of our existencein time, ir is rather,
the full revelationofwhat we havebeenand havelived all along." (The Life ofthc
Beloued)
Being born again is not something that somesupernaruralforce did to me all
alone; it hasbeen,and will alwaysbe, something thar happensthrough the vital-
ity and the struggleof beingin communion with other people.Peoplekeepbirthing
eachother again and again.After all, my very firsc walk in Great Meadowswas
somethinga friend gaveme in a time ofpain. And I passedon rhe gift to anorher
friend in a time of her own pain and confusion, when I took her there for a walk
on a summerday."Come let me show you a placethar helpsme ger centeredin
my soul," I said to her as my friend had said to me. \J7ebirrh eachother's slow
and gradual resurrectionsof our souls.
And finally, being born again most vividly arisesour of the momenrs of loss
and pain and bewildermentin our lives,the timeswhenwe dont know howwe're
going to go on, when we'd rather not go on, when itt all we can do ro ger up in
NOW ONCE AGAIN THE HEAVENTURNS

the morning and put one foot in front of the other to begin our walk into the
bleak and hopelessday. \7ho can say how ir will happen for any one person in
any one time of bewilderment,sorrow anger,or despair?But going through rhat
hard time without fleeingfrom our pain is whar brings us to the msm6ng-ifrys
evenrecognizeit-ir's usually more like weeksor monrhHf rebirrh.
Now this is the hard message.Here is the part we dont wanr to hear.!7hen we
come to thosetimes of wildernesswe'd rarher flee, deny what we feel, and go on
asifeverything is the same;or we want to rush rhrough it, find a replacemenrfor
what we've lost as quickly as possible,and we forget rhat irt our own feet and
heart that haveto carry us through. Paul Steinke,wriring about how hope oper-
atesin peoplehe'sknown who haveAIDS, tells us this: Hope growsin the soil of
despair.Unlike optimism, hope is tentative. It doesnor counr on successor suc-
cumb to an illusion of progress...Bill camein a month beforehe died and rold
the group [ofAIDS patients]:"I've beenso depressed this week.I've beencurled
uP on the couch. I've beenfighting it off It hangson." Adrian replied:"It's all
right to be depressed.\fhen you get to the botrom, things appeardifferently-
you seemore clearly-I alwaysfeel gradfied for what I have." This encourage-
ment to inhabit despairfostershope. ["PasroralNotes on AIDS and Hope," The
Christian Centary May 2O-27, lg92l

John Giles,Minister of Music at the Unitarian Church of Evanston,Illinois,


puts this truth in the context of making changesin our lives.It is painful ro srop
smoking. It is painful to facedown an addict in a professionalintervenrion. It is
painful to begin family-systemstherapy to addrcssrhe real reasonyour children
are acting out. It is painful to confront your parenrswirh incesr issues.When
Jesussaid that "in order to be born again,/ou must take up the cross,' he was
reminding us thar the road to health is full of pain. ["ExperiencingOur Own
Resurrection,"Quest,Churchof the LargerFellowship,April 19921
This is wherewe often dont acknowledgewhat life teachesus againand again
is true. rVe love Easterbecauseof irs connection with new life, becauseir affirms
spring, becauseit reassures us with imagesof colored eggsand baby chicks and
bunniesand daffodils tender and tough againstrhe early air. But we wanr ro ger
here, to Eastermorning and the lilies, without enduring Golgotha. \7e dont
want to faceour personalcrucifixions.The disciplesran awayand pretendednot
to know Jesusbecausethey didn't want to sharehis fate. Only the women re-
mained,and we dont wanr ro srandwith them. \7e dont wanr to find rhe empry
tomb and stand there in the morning light, peeringinto rhe emprinessof our
lives,and wondering what it all means.
156| CELEBMTING EASTER AND SPRING

And so we rarely acknowledge Good Friday. Maybe we should. Maybe we


should ritually re-enact, as peoples in every faith tradition re-enact the srories
that give flesh to their spiritual realides, the pain of death that gives forth new
life. Maybe we could find a way to do that in our communiry that would honor
our multi-faceted tradition. Because the truth is, getting through Good Friday,
metaphorically, is the only way to get to a meaningful Easter.

W'e share each Sunday morning the momentous joys and concerns of our
lives. I've been aware for years that while we share certain kinds of concerns, it is
extremely rare that we speak publicly of dissolving marriage or partnership, job
loss, or mental illness or severedepression. It's as ifwe're ashamed-as ifwe think
these hells we live through are somehow our own fault. Yet aren't these the very
kinds of hell through which we need others to walk with us? I would never abro-
gate anyonet right to privacy. But I wonder what it would be like if those who
would appreciate communal acknowledgement of their difficulry felt free to ask
us to stand with them at their Golgotha,* at their empry tomb, and look with
them toward their Easter?

However we die on our Golgothas, however we inhabit empry tombs, we need


to hope toward our rising into renewed faith, into deeper hope for our lives, into
a greater and more expansive love for those in our lives and for the world with
whom we are connected. Ve need to keep getting born again to the truth of our
lives, to the call to the best in us, to the love that sustains us and returns us ever to
life. That's why we celebrate Easter not once for all time but every year. Ve need
ic every year. W'e need it when we rise slowly out of our deaths and despairs.

May you be born again this day, and again and again and again. And may you
find here a communicy of companionship that keeps birthing you into new life,
and discover yourself a force toward Easter sunrise for those who gather here with
you.

* "Golgotha" is the nameof the hill where


Jesuswascrucified:"Golgotha, the
placeof skulls."
XI. SpringHas Now
Unwrapped the Flowers

Springhasnow unwrappedthe flowers,


day is fast reviving,
life in all her growing powers,
toward the light is striving.
- Piae Cantiones,1582
CELEBRATINGEASTERAND SPRING

Additional Resources
Lenten, Easter,and Spring Mrrcic
Composers hauegiuen ut d great comucopiaof wonderfal musicfor the Easterand
Spring holidalt season.For congregationsphnning a concertat this time of Tear we
can only saggestsomeof the highlightsfrom uhich they can cboose.Otganists,music
directors,and choirswill beawAneof many other fuhghtf"l piecesthat are auailzble.

SamuelBarber:EasterChorale
Ludwig van Beethoven:Quartet no. 15 in A Minor
Anton Bruckner: ChristusFactusEst
\filliam Byrd: Mass in Five Voices
DuruflC: Ubi Cains
Gabriel Faure:Palm Branches
Orlando Gibbohs: Hosannato the Son of Dauid
Hans Leo HasslerzHcrzlich Lieb Hab lch Dich, O Hen
Guillaume de Machaur: Lai de k Fonteinne
Olivier Messiaen:La Tiansfiurationde None-SeignearJesus-Christ
\Tolfpng AmadeusMozart: Aue Verum
Ned Rorem: MissaBreuis
FrancisPoulenc: VineaMea Electa
Timor et Tremor
Tbnebrae FactaeSunt
Giacomo Puccini:Requiem
FranzSchubert:Lazaras(D. 689)
Heinrich Schtitz:Passionof Our lord According to Saint Luke
Thomas Thllis: LamenmtionsofJeremiah
R"lph vaughn \filliams: Fantasiaon a Themeh7 TbomarTallis
FiueVariationsof Diuesand Lazarus
TommasoVittoria: Pueri Hebraeorum
Thomas \(eelkes: Hosannato the Son of Daaid

Johann SebasdanBach: SaintJohn Passion


Saint Matthew Passion
EasterOratorio
XI.SPRINGHASNOWUNWRAPPEDTHEFLO\TERS r59

Massin B Minor
CantataNo. 4
CanmtaNo. 129
Ludwig van Beethoven:MissaSohmnis
GeorgeFrederickHandel, Messiah
futhur HonnegerzAlhluia from King Dauid
GustavMahler: SYmPhonY No. 2
Flor Peters:TinrmPetTilne
Daniel Pinkham: Nou is the Hour of DarhnessPast
RandatlThompsonzAlhlulia
Domenica Zipoliz FestiaalPrelude

BeniaminBritten: A SpringSymphony
FranzJosephHadyn: Spring section from TheSeasons
Robert Schumann:'spring SymphonyNo' I in B flat
Igor Stravinsky:The Rite of SPnng
Antonio vivaldi: Spring section from TheFour seasons

Easter Food
fusta Brcabfast
can now be
Pancakes,which were eatenat Mardi Gras,but bannedduring Lent'
varieties,from
indulged in. Egg dishespredominate at Easterbreakfasa, in all
a special
scrambledeggsto eggsFlorentine. Sometraditions servea Pbarustica'
And breakfm is a time for the
Italian .gg pi. *ith .ggt, cheese,and meat fillings.
origindly it was an
children to crack,h.ii.ggt together.'Wedo it for frrn, but
Eastergreeting.
recipes'The
Breadsinclude Hor cross buns with a crosson toP, to variousethnic
polish Easrerloaf is called 'babka," meaning 'litde grandmorhei' because it is
a tree of life marked into
round and pufFedout like a grandmothert skirt. It has
remind us of
its shiny brown crust. It is madeof wheat flour, eggs,and raisinsto
Itdian Easter
the good things from rhe earrh that nourish our life. There are
stollen, end fruit breads. There is Rus-
br."dr, Irish Easterbread, scandinavian
square mold' with crosses
sianpaska,madewith cotage cheese,and bakedin a tall
l5o I CELEBRATING EASTER AND SPRING

marked on eachside.The Moravians make a sugarcake,calleda love cake.Oth-


ers make fruit cakecookies.
Pretzelshavebecomeassociatedwith Lent and Eascerfor over a thousandyears,
and were first servedin monasteries.Essentidly they arebread,but like bagelsare
boiled in water (with baking sodaadded) before they are baked.

Eastcr Dinnct
[^ambis the traditiond roast for Easterdinner. It symbolizesJesusasthe "sacrifi-
cial lamb." Ham is dso popular. This was ordered by \Tilliam the Conqueror of
Englandto be eatenon EasterSundayasa properChristian food. Lamb and ham
now vie for top honors at our dinner table on Easter.

Passoact
Among the traditional foods eaten at Sedermeds during Passoverare matzohs
(unleavenedbreads),bitter herbs like horseradish,and roastedeggs.

Recipc

KT,JLICH
This is a raditional RussianEasterbread.Norma Goodwin Veridan sharesthis
recipewith us.
2 cups lukewarm milk
2 cakesyeast
(or omit Vz cup milk and soak 2 pkgs dry yeastin Vz cup
lukewarm water for 5 minutes.)
2 eggs,lighdy beaten
r/z cup sugar
2 tsps.sdt
Vz cup soft shortening
7 toTVz cupsall-purposeflour
I cup raisins
lrh tsp.vanilla
l. Crumble yeastcakesinto milk, or stir dry yeastand water well and add
to milk.
2. Add eggs,sugar,sdt and shortening to milk and yeastmixture.
XI. SPRING HAS NO\T UN\TRAPPED THE FLO\TERS r6r

3. Stir in flour in nvo additions using amount neededto make the dough easy
to handle. \flhen dough begins to leave the sidesof bowl, turn it out onto a
lighdy-floured board to knead. Knead-fold dough over toward you, then Press
down awayfrom you with the heel of the hand. Give dough quarter turn, rePeat
until it is smooth, elastic,and doesn'tstick to board.
4. Placein greasedbowl, turning onceto bring the greasedsideup. Coverwith
damp cloth and let rise in warm draft-freesPot undl double in bulk. (lrh '2
hours).
5. Pressnvo fingers into dough. This will leavean indentation when dough is
doubled. Punch down-thrusr fist into dough, pull edgesinto center and turn
completelyover in bowl. Let it rise again until almost double in bulk. (30'45
minutes).
4. After secondrising, mix into dough: raisinsand vanilla.
5. Divide into 50 small buns (like hot crossbuns) and placeon well-greased
cooking sheet.Cover and let rise until double (30-35 minutes).Bakeabout l5
minutesat 400 degrees.
6. To decorareKulich: while stillwarm drizzleover tops Confectionary Sugar
Icing, made by mixing together
r/z cup sifted confectionarysugar
lh tsp warm water
r/z tsp lemon juice and a bit of grated rind

Sprinkle with colored decoratingcandies.Servewhile warm and yum!

Spring
No specid food customshavedevelopedaround the celebradonof Spring. People
with accessto lawns,garden,or the woods, however,find this a good time to add
freshgrowing greensto their diet. Dandelion leaves,fiddleheads,parsley,water-
cress,and others bring a spring flavor to the table.
Greenonions, a symbol of new life to Eryptians todap arepopular at this season.
Moslemsand Copa ear them on the day after Easteras they celebrate"sham el
nessin."It is a time, they hold, for smelling the sweetbreezesof spring.
Achnouilzdgnnntw

Thc editor has made everyeffort to trirce the ownership of materid conained in
this book In the evcnt of any question arising as to the use of any material, the
editor, while exprcssingr€gret for any error unconciously made,will be pleasedto
make the necessarycorrection in future edidons of this book I want to cxprcss
my thanla to the following authors, publishers, publications, and agenmfor per-
mission to use the materid indicated:
First, of course, to my generouscolleagueswhose materid forms the basisof this
worlc They are:

Dorris Alcott Philip Randall Gilcs Priscilla Murdock


DianneArakawa FrederickE. Gillis Eugcne B. Navias
Mark Belletini Peter B. Godfrcy C"rl J. Nelson
Janet Bowering Dondd S. Harington Rudolph Ncmscr
David Boyer Edward l$7.Haris Patrick O'Neill
John \7. Brigham Phillip Hcwitt Marioric Rcbmann
Orlanda Brugnola Andrew Hill CliffRecd
Danicl E. Budd H*ry H. Hoehler Christine Robinson
Victor Carpenter Earl Holt Jane Ranncy Rzepka
Gaston M. Carrier Stephen Davies Howarid \fil[am F. Schulz
Bruce M. Clary David A. Johnson Brucc Southworth
Maryell Cleary Andrew lGnnedy Bcts'' Spaulding
Helcn Lutton Cohcn John Knopf L)mr Urgpt
Max A. Coots Polly l*land-Mayer Frank \Tallcer
Roger Corvan Judith G. Mannheim Robcn R \fahh
Joy Croft Ric Mastcn Victoria Veinstein
Greta\7. Crosby Colleen M. McDondd Clarke D.*.y\7clls
John Cummins Michael A. McGee Sydt.y t$Tilde
Lcroy Egenberger Judith Mgr.t Johtt B. \[olf
Richard M. Fewkcs David J. Miller SarahYork
IGren l-ewis FoLy John H"tly Morgan Robcrt L. Zocrhcidc
Richard S. Gilben
ACKNO\JTLEDGEMENTS

I want to expressmy gratitude also to Ellen Dionna for permissionto use her
materialand that of her mother Dorothy ParsonsEasr,FredaCarnesfor permis-
sion to usematerialby her late husbandPaul N. Carnes,Villiam DetVolfe for
permissionto usematerid by his lateson Mark MosherDe\folfe, EvaMorin, for
permissionto usematerialby her late husbandRolandE. Morin, PererLeeScott
for permissionto usematerialby his latefatherClinron LeeScorr,Marilyn Sreeves
for permissionto use material by her lare husbandAddison E. Steeves,Chris
Th"PP,for permissionto usematerialby his lare farherJacobTirpp, Elizabeth
Sillimanfor permissionto usematerialby her larehusbandVincenrB. Silliman,
and to Muriel Davies for permissionto use marerial by her late husband,A.
PowellDavies.

My thanksto the following publishersholding copyrighton the selectionsspeci-


fied for permissionro reprint:
To the Ballou Channing Districcfor "In Praiseof Spring" by Dawn Goodrich
FromLight Me ThrooghtA Meditation Manual.
To BeaconPressfor the quotation from FrederickMay Elior from FrederichMay
Eliot:An Anthohgy,editedby AlFredSriernorte;and for the poem by J^y \Tilliam
Hudson from PrayersofAspiration.
To the Unitarian UniversdistAssociationfor "Prayerar Easrer"by ClarkeWells,
"Placeof cheSkull" by LeonardMason,and "Blessingrhe Blend" byJaneR*pk".

Specialthanksto the followingindividualsfor their assistance:


BarbaraHurchins,
JacquiJames,Eugene\7idrick, John GibbonsandJoanGoodwin.Also,my deepesr
gratitude to SusanVeidner for her office assisrance in preparingrhis book for
publication.The publicationof this book would nor havebeenpossiblewithour
the devotedsupport of Alan Seaburg.It is a memorialof love for his brother.

t
Bibliography
Easter.London:The LindseyPress,1966.
Findlow,Bruce.I Question
editedbyT.H. Gaster.TheNew GoldmBo"Sh.NewYork:Mentor,1964
Frazier,J.G.,
AroundtheVorA. New York:
Nature: Ritesand Ceremonies
Helfiman,E.S.Celebrating
The SeaburyPress,1969
Hewett, Phillip. lYhat EasterMeansto Unitaians. Unitarian Church of Vancouver,
BritshColumbia,Rev.ed. 1987
London:RichardBell, 1961
Hole,Christina.Easterand ltsCustoms.
Newall,Venetia.An Eggat Easter.Bloomington,Indiana:IndianaUniversiryPress,
r97|
1969
JewishHoliday.New York:J.B.Lippencourt,
Purdy,Susan.
ElizabethandWoolsey,
Sechrist, MacRae,l96l
Janet.It'sTimeforEaxer.Philadephia:
New York:HarperCollins,1995
Simon,Norma. TheStoryof Pasoaer.
fusociation
SrarrKing Schoolfor theMinistry.Easter.Boston:UnitarianUniversalist
Department of Education,1956
of OurJoy:A HandboohofJewishFestiuak.New York:Sum-
Vaskow,Arthur l. Seasons
mit Books,1982
Vatts, Nen.Easter:ItsStoryandMeaning.New York Henry SchumannInc., 1950
'Weinstein,Vicroria. Sheis Risen:Reckimingthe Myth of PmephoneasA Rcsunection
Nanatiuefor tVornen. Berwyn,Penn.: Persephone Project,| 997
Variousbullerinsovertheyearsfrom the ReligiousEducationDepartmentof theUni-
and the Churchof the LargerFellowship.
Association
tarianUniversalist

Children\ book
Barth,Edna. Lilies,Rabbits,and PaintedEggs:TheStoryof theEasterSymbols.lllustra-
tionsby UrsulaArndt. NewYork Houghton,Mifflin/ClarionBools,1970.
by StehnoVitale.New York Harper
Fisher,Aileen.TheStoryof Easter.lllustrations
Collins,1968,1997.
Hgnvard,Du Bose.TheCountryBunnyardthelitthGoAshoa.Ilusradons byMarjorie
Flack. New Yorkand Boston:Houghton,Mifflin, 1939.
Zolotow,Charlotte.\Vhenthe \Vind Snps.Illustrationsby StefanoVitale. New York:
HarperCollins, 1962,1995.
Infux ofAuthors

Arakawa,Dianne 16 De\(/olfe,Mark Mosher 15, ll2


Dionna, Ellen 40, l4l
Baker,Karle Vilson 8l Doty, BettyeA. 19,19
Bass,Althea 85
Belletini,Mark 18, 46, 79 East,Dorothy Parsons19, 38, 39
Blades,Leslie 30, 35 Egenberger,Leroy 50
Bowering,JanerH. Eliot, Frederick May 67
34,36,39,49 , l l 7 , l l g , 1 2 0
Boyer,David 7l Fahs,Sophia Lyon 22
Brigham,John \(r. I 13 Fewkes,Richard M.
Brugnola,Orlanda 59 1 5 , 2 5, 47, 66, 97
Budd, Daniel E. 55, 74, I l0 Foley,Karcn lrwis 152

Carnes,PaulN. 30, 93, 99, l0l Gilbert, RichardS.


Caqpenter,Yictor 77 2 9 , 3 2, 99, 97, 107
Carrier,GastonM. 98, 99 Giles, Philip Randall 92
Clary BruceM. 57, 72, l16 Gillis, FrederickE. 63
Cleary,Maryell 101 Godfrey, PeterB. 22
Cohen, Helen Lurton 82 Goodrich, Dawn 4l
Cole, Alfred S. 16, 18, 49 Goodwin, Joen 6, 22
Coots, Max A. 20, 63
Cowan, Roger 95 Harrington, Donald S. 104
Croft, Joy 75 Harris, Mark \7.
Crosby,Greta W. 14 9, 17, 18,74, 96, 144
Crothers,SamuelMcChord 23, 97 Harris, tUf.Edward 73
Cummins,John81, 84 Hewett, Phillip 62, 65
Hill, Andrew 24
Davies,A. Powell Hoehler,Harry H. 93, 96
25,95,96, 1 0 3 , 1 0 5 , l l 3 Holmes, Oliver \Tendell 16
168| INDEX OF AUTHORS

Holt, Earl 80 Rebmann,Marjorie 78


Hosmer, Frederick Lucian 29 Reed,Cliff 104
Howard, StephenDavies I 19 Robinson,Christine 139
Hudson, Jay \Tilliam 87 Rzepka,JaneRanney 65, 108
Johnson,David A. 93
Schulz,\(/illiam F. 8l
K"pp, MaxA. 2l Scoft, Clinton Lee 56, 68
Kennedy,Andrew 64 Seaburg,Carl 2, 35
Knop6J ohn lll Silliman,Vincent 16
Komenda,M"ry Stuart 76 Slap,CharlesS. 24, 63
Southworth,Bruce 20, 109
Leland-Mayer,Polly 17, 126 Spaulding,Betsy 84
Steeves,Addison E. 76
Mannheim, Judith G. 23 Sullivan,\filliam lawrence 113
Mason, l-eonard 3l
Mastcn, Ric 59 Ti"pp, Jacob 32, 38
McDonald, ColleenM. 23
McGee,Michael A. 2l Ungar, Lynn 54, 83
Meyer,Judith 24
Miller, David J. 19 \falker, Frank 88
Morgan, John Hanly 33, 34, 37 \falsh, Robert R. 64
Morin, Roland E. 25 \Teinstein,Victoria 135
Murdock, Priscilla 94 Vells, Clarke Dewey
1 4 ,29,52, 55
Navias,EugeneB. 45 'Weston,Robert Terry 48, ll2
Nelson, CerlJ. 69 \filde, Sydney 102
Nemser,Rudolph 70 \7o1f;,John B. 14

O'Neill, Patrick 24 York, Sarah


4 4 , 53,59, 62, 67, 106
Park,CharlesEdward 100, 105
Perin, GeorgeI-andor 68 Zoerheide,Robert 86
!.
Pomeroy,Vivian T. 102, 108, 147
C^arl G. Scabur& a nativc of Mcdford, I\dA, graduated from Tufis
University (BA. 1943) and Tufu School of Rcligion (8.D. 1945). Hc was
ordaincd a Universalist ministcr in 1945, and scrvcd the First Universalist
Church in Norway, Mainc. Subscqucndyhc was an cditor for Bcacon
Press,and thcn bccamc thc Dircctor of Information for thc Unitarian
UniversalistAsrcciation undl his rctircmcnt in 1985. In l99l hc reccivcd
an honorary D.D. from Meadville lombardTheological School,whcre
aftcr his dcath a scholanhip was crcated by his f"-ily and fricnds. During
his lifctime, Carl wrotc many historical worla induding BostonObscncd
and with his brothcr Alan, Thc Incndibh Ditch: a Biccntcnnial Story of thc
Miilba C-anal Hc dso editcd nurncrous anthologics rnduding thc
popular Grcat Occasions , Thc Commuion Boolc, and a companion
volume to this Fasls/$p1ing book, Cthbrating Christmal Thc UUA
hy-tt"l, Singtngthc Liting Tidition, contains cight of Carl's hymn tcxts.
Hc dicd on Deccmbcr16, 1998 at age76.

Mark W. Harrisl a nativc of New Salcm, IdA, graduated from


BatcsCollcge (BA 1973) the Univcrsiry of Ncw Hampshirc (M.A. 1975)
and Starr Ki.g School for thc Ministry (M.Div. 1978\. Hc was or&incd a
Unitarian Univcrsalistminister in 1979.Aftcr a brief acting ministry in
Shcfficld, England, he scrvedSt. Paul'sUniversalist Church in Pdmcr,
lvIA. Thereafter, he was the Director of Information for thc Unitarian
UniversalistAssociation,and thcn ministcr at thc First Parishin Milton,
lv{A until l996.Thcn hc was callcd to scrvc thc First ParishofVatcrtovm,
lv{A, first in a co-ministry with his wifc Andrea Grcenwood,and now on
his own. Hc is thc 6thcr of four sons:Jocl, [,cvi, Dana and Ashcr. Harris
is the author of numcrous UU pamphlctsinduding'Unitarian Universal-
ist Origins' Hc has alsowritten a hisory of New Sdem, lvlA: Among thc
Dty Bous, and is prescndyworking on a Unitarian Univcrsalist Historical
Dictionary.

Annc Minivcr Prcss


Cambridgc,I\,IA02138

ISBN0-9720896-0-8

llilililltl
ilru[ill
9"780972