Our teens (there are five of them) wanted to have a bonfire in the parking lot (it's not paved, just dirt) during the night before Easter. I agreed that we'd do it if it were an adaptation of the Great Vigil. We started in the parish hall (undercroft) with drumming circle in the dark, to gather our selves. Then we lit the sacred fire in the fireplace and from that the Paschal candle and on to the Exultet. Then each person lighted a candle from the Paschal one and took their candle outside to light the bonfire where the great stories of our faith were told, one for each hour. At five am we renewed our baptismal vows and then at six (sunrise) we celebrated Eucharist. In the early part of the evening (9-midnight) we had a few more teens participating. In the undercroft were snacks and warm cider and a few things to do like folding origami cranes. Outside on the lawn was a labyrinth ringed with votive candles. Someone took picures of the labyrinth and the fire and I will post a picture here after I get a copy. I was there for the liturgical bits at the beginning and end and told the first story (creation). It was chilly and we had a clear, star-filled at the beginning of the night. In the morning snow fell gently on us while we had communion. A woman who was staying at the mountain for skiing heard that we were having communion at six and joined us as did the parents of one of the boys.
Only one of the teens kept awake all night. I went home and got about five hours sleep between 11 and 4. The rest crashed into their sleeping bags at various wee hours. The adult who stayed all night with them is a candidate for holy orders. We expect he will be ordained a deacon this summer. He's also the father of three of the teens. Last year, since Easter was so early and there was so much snow, I said no to this, there really wouldn't have been a place to put the fire.
The altar was beautiful with lilies and red tulips. The preludes included my recorder solo "I know that my redeemer liveth" accompanied by our musician, whose piano solo was "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" and then of the choir members sang "The Lord is my shepherd." We had a lot of children for a change. Grandchildren came up to see their grandparents and the families of the two children I baptized last year were there too. It's nice to see the church so full. It's too bad there isn't work near here and yet it's also nice there isn't. This really is a vacation area and it's hard to think of any kind of industry that would fit. Soon the summer people will arrive and our numbers will go up again.
I was invited for a nice Easter dinner of lamb. Played a game of cribbage with a young man before dinner, and won. Then Izzie (who enjoyed the scraps of lamb very much) and I walked home and I had just gotten comfortable when the phone rang and I had one of my long, but enjoyable conversations with a dear friend. So that dear readers was my Easter.
Alleluia, Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia.