Ananda Family News

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter Week

Our Easter festivities kicked off on Palm Sunday with a choir concert following service (and lunch). The choir had had a great time learning several new pieces by Handel, Mendelssohn, and Mozart, some of which have been voted among the top-10 favorites of choirs nationwide. And, of course, there was also a generous selection of Swami Kriyananda’s music, which will some day be on such a list. An extra treat was cello accompaniment to two of the songs, provided by Hiroki, an LWS student. We’ve got some photos of the day here, plus a video of the entire concert for your enjoyment.

Then this past Saturday it was time to stop letting the choir have all the fun. Asha hosted an Easter retreat based around Swamiji’s Christ Lives Oratorio, with everyone singing along. Barbara and a visiting Chaitanya led the singing, and everyone sang melody, both to keep it simple and devotional, and also to more directly tune in to the words, consciousness, and inspiration of each piece. So even for choir members it was a different and special experience. (Photos are here.)

Holy Week culminated in a glorious Easter celebration. One new element this year was a choreography to “Rise in Freedom” (an excellent Easter chant). It was performed by four of our dancers at the beginning of service, but the whole congregation got to join in later on (at least as far as the arm motions were concerned). We also got a performance of “Lightly I Fly” from many of the children and families who have been rehearsing it for us at our Family Services the past couple of months.

Our Easter banquet was held in the temple rather than at the community, due to impending drizzle, but all was bright with delight inside. Entertainment included juggling, violin music, banjo music, stand-up comedy, and the inaugural performance of the Ananda Ukulele Ministry (AUM). Clean-up inspiration provided by David and Karen’s rendition of “Who Will Clean Up?” to Swamiji’s tune of “Who Is Sylvia?” Photos of the entire Easter day can be found here, and if that’s not enough, also here.

In closing, here is the ukulele band’s rendition of an ancient Sanskrit Easter blessing song:

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say 
on a bright Ananda Easter Day. 
That’s the sattwic greeting that we send to you
from the land where yogis pray. 
Here we know that Easter will be full of light: 
we’ll meditate by day and then again at night. 
Mele Kalikimaka is the wise way 
to say Happy Easter to you.

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