I went to St. Mark's Lutheran Church this a.m. for Easter service. It was great. I kept singing that "alleluia" song in my head yesterday - you know the one - plays at Easter time - the "Christ the Lord has risen today" one - and I wanted to hear it and sing it in a room full of people, and I knew they'd play it at the service. It's a guarantee. And they did. It was the opening procession song. Loved, loved it. And then they played all kinds of other "alleluia" songs - Easter's such a time of spring and cheer - and they had trumpets and a timpani drum and a chorus that sang "Hallelujah" from Handel's Messiah ("King of kings, and Lord of lords...") ("forever, and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah...")
So great. I sang loud, hopefully not too badly, and definitely as part of the whole congregation. Best stuff ever. I like Christmas music too - certainly there's more of it - but those alleluia songs at Easter time are just full of life.
Easter's a favorite holiday of mine, especially as years progress and I appreciate better the rebirthing in the spring, and after dark soul nights. It is what alchemy means - the burning away - the phoenix - dying from the old and birthing into the new... It is the four-plus-one formula of alchemy - the tomato seed churning in the hothouse (with earth, air, water and heat - the four elements - urging it into fruition) - it is Ezekiel's chariot - the Jerusalem Cross - with the hands, the feet, the crown of thorns and then the piercing in the side... to birth the Sacred Heart...
I do place faith in Jesus' story - how the whole set-up, the whole ordeal was for us - that sacrifice - and that any dark night of the soul that I may travel is made easier because of that day on the cross. I also believe that we can learn from that story, understand our own burdens and joys from that perspective, grow from there.... And so being there at the church this morning - with all those Northern European descendants smiling at me, looking like my grandmother probably does this morning, accepting my attire (I probably dressed a little too casually) (my grandmother would not have approved!) - it was perfect. I don't think I could have found a better place to be.
photo credit: sleepyneko, found here