It’s Easter weekend. As a child, my Dad would always get my Mom a hyacinth before Easter. I’d walk into the house and didn’t even have to see it to know it was there; the fragrant scent filled the air. I was raised Catholic, and this holiday was a huge deal for us. Lots of church time starting on Holy Thursday. Good Friday meant many more hours of church, along with fasting and no TV. I remember many businesses would be closed. Holy Saturday was a reprieve from services. But it was when we’d have our Easter meal, an aromatic ham, with that brilliant hyacinth as the centerpiece on the dining room table.

Now, Easter Sunday. That was a day. The day. We’d get dressed in our finest and head out early to church. You had to get there early if you wanted a seat (a seat, not just a good seat.) Easter was one of the days the Submarine Catholics came out. Our neighbor across the street was one of those. My friend and her Mom would attend services regularly, but Mr. Ray would only come for Christmas and Easter. Oh wait. You don’t know what a Submarine Catholic is? They are the people who only surface at church twice a year. They are the reason it was SRO on those days. We’d be jammed into the pew. The altar would be flooded with glorious flowers and Spring decorations. Sometimes, the priest would bring out a live lamb, or bunnies, or chicks to accompany his sermon with a flourish. After mass, we’d spend the rest of the day traveling to visit relatives, and indulging in traditional Easter foods.

As we got older, Good Friday meant no school, or no work. It was a great reason to go out to Happy Hour, though. Church slipped away. Grandparents and Great-Grandparents passed away. And, while I still have a Faith, those past family customs are no longer practiced. So, however you are celebrating this weekend – whether at the bar, with family, or a quiet day at home – I hope you have warm memories to reflect upon. And that you remember to keep the Faith…






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