oh those bells!

     When I was growing up, we lived two doors from a church.  We lived in its shadow, literally and figuratively.  Holy Week was very solemn, focused on the sufferings of Christ. There was no running around or yelling or loud anything.

On Holy Thursday, we had a service and then the altar would be stripped bare.  All linens, candles, any adornments of any kind were removed.  And there was silence.

No bells were rung, nor music of any type played or sung.

No television or radio in our house.

On Good Friday morning,the church was open, and people would come to meditate on the passion of Christ and worship. We remembered Christ’s journey to the Cross later in the day.

The silence and the starkness are what I remember most. The church, dark, quiet, a tribute to the sufferings of Jesus, was such a change from bells ringing three or four times a day, people laughing and chatting after a service.

On those days, there was no talking, no laughter, only the sobering thought of Jesus dying on the cross.

On Saturday, still silent.  Now in the church was a statue of Jesus in his death, arranged as if in a tomb filled with flowers, beneath the altar.  The fragrance of hyacinths and lilies filled the air.

By Kor!An (Корзун Андрей) (Own work)

Then, Sunday morning, we woke up while it was still dark, got dressed in all our Easter finery- hats, gloves, patent leather shoes.  My dad made each of us a corsage (it was the custom at the time).  And we went to church for six o’clock Mass.

Nothing, oh nothing, can thrill my soul like what happened next. I would just be holding my breath in anticipation. The priest would intone the first line of this one Polish hymn….and all the church bells started ringing , the organ swelled and the choir & congregation burst into the rest of the song.  The silence ended; music restored.

When I think of the Resurrection, I have to think that in heaven that day when Jesus arose from the grave, that bells were ringing, angels singing, in ways we can’t even imagine.

Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed.

That is one of my favorite moments of Easters past.  What memories of Easter do you cherish most?

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13 Responses to oh those bells!

  1. Mike Adamson says:

    Wonderful word picture of your anticipation and satisfaction. Even at that age God was doing something in your heart.

  2. Roni says:

    My favorite memories are sharing those days with you… Then coming home, plinking eggs, and eating coconut cream eggs… God is so good and we have been richly blessed by Him.

  3. Peggy Tikson says:

    Andrea —- Loved this –my sister and I were reflecting –Easter is not the same for us –if the Church we are currently attending doesn’t sing…”Up from the Grave He arose” —

    Love your walk with the Lord and all you give to those around you just by watching you walk with the Lord

  4. I’ll treasure the memories we made today, worshipping together among the majesty of His creation, in the midst of community, aswll as in the privacy of our soul.

  5. Pat Mueller says:

    You describe the scene in breath-taking detail! Thank you for taking us back with you to those holy moments, infused with joy!

  6. Loved your post Andrea!!! Made me smile, the anticipation of Easter am and dressing in the Easter finery! 😀 My mom loved it too! So fun to see how God prepared you and your heart for Him!! Love to you!!! ❤

  7. Sus Schmitt says:

    Andrea, Good Friday was a memorable day in our church. We had a service from 12 to 3. The time was divided into seven mini-services with seven pastors from the community each giving a sermon on “The Seven Last Words of Christ.”

    Easter, like you, was patent leather shoes, an orchid corsage, nice dress, gloves, and an Easter bonnet. We had the usual Easter egg hunts, baskets, and a family meal.

    For our children, I fashioned a tomb out of papier mache. We laid a little, wrapped Jesus figure in the tomb on Friday. On Sunday, the heavy stone was rolled away, the empty grave clothes were in the tomb and an angel stood outside. So, in addition to looking for their hidden Easter baskets, the children looked for “Jesus” that Daddy had hidden somewhere in the house.

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