Monday, March 29, 2010

monday memory: tradition

We were wondering on the way home from church yesterday if we would still have snow for Easter Sunday this year.  We had a pretty snowy winter this year and there are some pretty big piles still hanging around in shadowy places and parking lots and our side yard.  

And it's certainly not unusual to still have snow this time of year in the northland. 

Kathryn, Marissa, Jamie, Ashlee
The girls shed their coats for this chilly Easter Sunday picture.
Easter 2007

I have a lovely little collection of memories in a series of pictures I took on Easter Sundays at Valley Christian Church.  I used to gather the girls (as many as I could herd) on the platform at the front of the sanctuary to get a snap of them in their Easter dresses.  One of my favorite includes Sam Caton (and his curls!) in the middle of the group - he was maybe about two.  I love to look at these annual pictures and watch the beautiful girls growing up.  In our 19 years in one church, we watched children who are forever kindergarteners in memory grow up, graduate high school, college, get married and have their own babies.  

Yesterday Jamie and I were remembering our Palm Sunday tradition of giving each of the children palm branches - yes, real ones - and having our own little procession at the beginning of the Palm Sunday morning service. The adults provided the marching music:  usually a hymn like "Hosanna, Loud Hosannas!" or later perhaps "Shout to the North."  It turns out this is one of my children's most favorite things of all time.  They were disappointed to "grow up" and and be too big to march.  The girls even snuck in sometimes by volunteering to help lead and "herd" the little ones.  One year in a fit of liturgical passion, I even saved some of the Palm branches to burn for next year's Ash Wednesday service (not something that became an annual event in our nondenominational Christian Church).  I'm pretty sure the adults loved the annual procession as much as the kids - even in the toughest fiscal times, we found the cash to buy the real palm branches for the kids.  I seem to remember one year in our smaller sanctuary giving branches to the adults too and inviting them to participate.  Again, didn't make the annual tradition.   ;-)

I'm often surprised at the things that are important to my kids - like the Easter picture or the Palm Sunday palm fronds, colored eggs and Easter baskets.  These things that act like hooks upon which we hang our shared memories.  Things that cost us so little but which in time are priceless.

Here's to making new traditions.  Like 1st Sundays out to lunch, Good Friday services, family movie nights and predicting snow for Easter.  Our car was a unanimous "yes."  In one short, tradition laden week we'll know.


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