A Markel Family Easter

I’ve shared a lot about what Markel Family holidays look like over the last few years, but I don’t think I’ve gone into any detail about a Markel Family Easter yet. It’s definitely a big event…while most of our holidays are celebrated over two (and occasionally three) days, a Markel Family Easter is a four-day event, because the Great Triduum cannot be separated from Easter Sunday!

Our observance of the Triduum always begins on Holy (Maundy) Thursday. Because the children were singing with their choir in St. Louis, we were not at our home church, but at one of our sister congregations. It was a beautiful service!

We were feeling especially ambitious on Good Friday. We started the day at another sister congregation in Waterloo, where we participated in a Karfreitag service, which is a German Good Friday service. We may not have understood all of the words, but the meaning was clear!

We then attend the Chief Service with our congregation, where we were privileged to receive the Lord’s Supper.

And that evening, we were back in St. Louis, where we again participated in the Chief Service, but this time with Schalk’s “The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. John” sung by the choir.

Much of Holy Saturday is a day of preparation, where I attempted to make as much of our Easter meal ready as possible. I baked bread and made a cake, and trimmed the lamb for our dinner. Once all that was done, we turned our attention to our big Holy Saturday tradition…the making of the Paschal candle for the year:

We then took our candle to the Great Vigil of Easter, my favorite church service of the whole year, at another sister congregation, where we had it lit for the first time at the beginning of the service. This is definitely my favorite church service of the year, and it’s always over far too quickly. We did stop for hot fudge sundaes at McDonald’s on the way home, as we have for close to a decade, though, to keep the celebration going!

And that brings us to this morning, where we were up very early on the first day of the week for the Easter Sunrise service.

Bunny was not only the acolyte but the crucifer!

After the service was one of my favorite breakfasts of the year…our church makes great biscuits and gravy!

I have to take pictures after breakfast:

And then it’s time for the Divine Service. We were privileged to serve on the altar guild this morning, and we took extra care trying to make sure things were just right for this festival of festivals!

All four of The Bigs were able to assist in this service. Moose and Ladybug were acolytes and torchbearers, Bunny carried in the much-missed Alleluia banner, and Turkey was the crucifer:

After church and lunch at home, I got started on our Easter dinner:

This recipe for lamb stew was started on the stove top, and then finished cooking in the oven:

We had some beautiful new tables linens this year courtesy of my generous in-laws. The children loved being able to choose their own napkin color! I loved how spring-like the table looked!!!

Our dinner of lamb stew, homemade French baguettes, cherry Jell-O “salad”, and sparkling apple cider was a fairly simple holiday meal in some ways, and yet it was something everyone wanted and something I don’t usually make, so in the end, I think it was the perfect holiday meal!

Did I mention it was also delicious?

For dessert, we had a sponge cake soaked in lemon syrup, filled with lemon curd and filled and frosted with a lemon mascarpone cream:

It was also delicious!

It has been a busy, reverent, exhausting few days. But I wouldn’t want it any other way, and I’m so happy to celebrate our Lord’s resurrection the way we do!

Chickadee Thursday

Chickadee is still learning how to read, but even without knowing all the words, she’s gotten really good at following along in the bulletin at church, like she did tonight for the Maundy Thursday service (don’t worry…I took the picture well before church started, while her older siblings were warming up with their choir!):

And a bonus picture from our visit to Rural King earlier this week…Chickadee got to hold a bunny!

Maundy Thursday

Too soon we rise; the vessels disappear;
The feast, though not the love, is past and gone;
The bread and wine remove, but Thou art here;
Nearer than ever; still my shield and sun. “Here, O My Lord, I See Thee Face to Face” verse six

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Maundy Thursday

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

Maundy Thursday, the Day of Commandment (Dies Mandati), most properly refers to the example of service given us by our Lord and the directive to love as we have been loved (John 13:34). Yet we must not forget the command given in the Words of Our Lord to “do this in remembrance of Me.” This day, with its commemoration of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, is set off from the rest of Holy Week as a day of festive joy.

The Jesus Tree–Forty-Two

Today’s readings focused on Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. We read the accounts in three Gospels: Matthew 26:30-56; Mark 14:32-52; and John 18:1-12. This was one of the few occasions where we actually could have read the story in all four Gospels, because Luke 22:39-46 also recorded this event. In retrospect, I really wish I had also read the Luke passage out loud, as well, because it has a detail that none of the other Gospels include–that an angel comes to minister to Jesus in His agony in the garden. The children and I really like comparing the differences that are recorded in the Gospels, and this would have been a great one to discuss!

The Jesus Tree–Day Forty-One

I can’t believe we only have one week of readings and symbols left! When we started this project, it seemed like it would take forever to get to Easter, but here we are in Holy Week already…time goes by too fast!

Today’s readings focused on Jesus instituting the Lord’s Supper. Again we read from three Gospels: Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; and Luke 22:14-20. The words in these readings were very familiar, as we hear them in church every Sunday that the Sacrament is celebrated. The Luke reading  was probably the most different of the three, even mentioning a second cup in the Passover meal, but the Words of Institution were still familiar!