The good thing is that both B and I are Catholic so all the churchy traditions are already set. Lent actually ended yesterday, and I found myself in the comfort of Holy Thursday mass. Today is now one of fasting and abstaining from meat. Tomorrow night B and I will go to the "Great Easter Vigil" mass, which is notoriously beautiful and notoriously LONG. Catholics like their mass to be at that 1-hour mark, but this mass usually goes at least 2 and a half, and it doesn't start until after 8 (it has to be dark out). The length is thanks to 7+ readings and also the privilege to welcome adults into Baptism and full Communion with the Church. Our priest here said if you can sit through a 4-hour SuperBowl game, then stop whining and come see the "SuperMass."
Since moving away from GA, my mom and I have a tradition of calling each other when our respective Vigil masses get out and comparing notes on length, how many people were baptized, and whether there was a sung version of the Exodus reading about Moses parting the Red Sea. I've never seen it danced before, and it's making me uncomfortable just to watch this, but here's the song I'm talking about:
My church back in GA speeds the tempo up and the cantor makes it sound a bit more like a gospel hymn than a Jewish lilt, but whatever. I'm not sure what we're in store for here at our new church, and I think my mom's gonna have my head if I call her afterward since we're a time zone behind now.
When I was growing up, my family always visited our extended family in West Point, GA (on the GA-AL line above Columbus). This was the only West Point that existed to me until I learned about the Army school in NY later in life. My dad has "cousins by the dozens," and most of them congregate in West Point on Easter Sunday. Now, my dad's family is 100% Lebanese, but this side of the family is also ridiculously Southern because all of them were born down here, so the Easter potluck always has the oddest combination of food! Although I didn't think it was too odd when I was younger; it was just Easter food. Here's what I mean:
|This looks like normal Easter Sunday potluck fare, but let's examine further|
|This is kibbeh, or what I call "Lebanese hamburger." It's beef (sometimes lamb), cracked wheat, and pine nuts. Yum!|
|My family doesn't call this by the Lebanese name, just "stuffed grape leaves." My name: Lebanese burrito. Not a fan.|
|Wouldn't be a Southern Easter without fried chicken, right? No Lebanese name for that!|
|My momma's strawberry cake looks a LOT better than my own. I need to pack on the icing this year!|
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the Easter Bunny still makes a visit! And he always hides the basket behind somewhere around the house (usually behind a curtain). B thinks he's too old for an Easter basket, but he's forgetting that the Easter Bunny will be filling his basket with a bottle or two of beer, a small thing of Bailey's, granola bars, and lots of chocolate! How can you be too old for that?
Happy Easter, everyone!