Ananda Family News

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Festivities

Easter season actually kicked off last week with Palm Sunday, but this weekend was the really busy one. On Good Friday we had an evening service, in which David and Asha got us caught up on the Easter story up to that point (leaving the thrilling conclusion for later, of course). It also included numerous musical selections from Swamiji's Christ Lives! oratorio, and a purification ceremony.

[Side note: You may have noticed the new image of Jesus on our altar recently. It's been up for a few weeks now, but has been more noticeable recently with the larger version also on display this week. If you're curious about it, it's an artist's rendition based on the shroud of Turin. Swami Kriyananda quite likes it (as do others), and Asha has pointed out how well the eyes match Yogananda's.]

On Saturday morning we had the annual Easter Oratorio retreat. This wasn't a performance, but more of a spiritual sing-along for everyone to join in, regardless of singing experience (words and music provided). We all sat right up by the altar, facing the large picture of Jesus, and sang the Christ Lives! oratorio all the way through. There were a few breaks for meditation and for Asha to share some commentary. It was a lovely way to experience both the music and the story.

And then Sunday, of course, was the big day itself. Asha finished the Easter story during service (spoiler: the hero lives!) and then we transformed the temple into a banquet hall. Shanti and Sharmila, I believe, were the main coordinators of what was probably a massive number of cooks and other volunteers, who turned out a gloriously tasty and nourishing Easter brunch for us all.

We rounded off the festivities with a short play: an adaptation of P. G. Wodehouse's story "Jeeves and the Impending Doom." As these reader's theater things go, it was actually fairly elaborate, involving tennis, boat rowing, and wild swan wrangling. Some of that is not trivial to do while simultaneously reading from a script. I happened to be playing the part of Bertie Wooster, so I can only give you my perspective, which was that it was great fun from up there on the stage. But it seemed to go over rather well from the audience end of things, too.

More Easter pictures can be seen here, courtesy of Karen. Happy springtime, everyone!

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