Now that I’ve recovered from this year’s jelly bean and deviled egg induced coma, I am ready to share an Easter story from the past…
I’m just going to get the “eew” part of this story out right now, I threw up in church. Ok, not in church but right on the front steps. Here’s what went down:
My ex-stepdad was Greek Orthodox Christian and he was somewhat religious, as was my mom, meaning they went to church on the “important” occasions. Which really was only Easter and funerals. The first time we attended an Easter service was pretty intense. It was a midnight mass that involved lots of standing and chanting in different languages, a droning choir that sang ominous songs, and a march around the building. I was probably 10 or 11 when we did this for the first time.
As the priest went on with his service he had a metal incense burner that hung on a chain. He swung it around the pews and aimed mostly at the front seats, right were our little family sat. All this standing and sitting and chanting and languages and incense was really getting to me. My head was swimming after what felt like hours of this treatment. I felt woozy, nauseous, numb. All of a sudden I couldn’t keep my insides contained any longer, I turned to my mom, who was sitting in the pew behind me, and whispered “Mama…I don’t feel good…”
My face must have looked green or maybe it was the way I sounded because she immediately took me by the hand and rushed me outside, all of a sudden I felt an uprising within myself. Just as we put our feet on the ground right outside the church doors I unleashed the contents of my stomach onto the front steps of the church. I think my mom was stunned. All she could say was “You couldn’t wait for the parking lot?” I was just stood there surprised and feeling a little dizy. The rest of the night is a blur to me. I wasn’t even old enough (nor had I done my first communion) to partake in the wine!
I can’t remember if we had already done the procession along the outside of the building yet, it would be very terrible if everyone had to step across my puke. I suppose a little puke on your shoe is nothing compared to the sacrifice Jesus made right?
We continued to go to this church for Easter midnight mass for a few years after this initial incident. I didn’t puke again, and I made sure to sit far away from the Priest’s wild incense tossings. The ominous choir was made up of some feeble looking old folks. They had quivering voices and they made Easter sound very scary.
They sang: “Christ has risen from the dead. Trampling down DEATH by DEATH. And from the tomb beeestooowing…”
The Priest and his languages, oh man. I think he spoke in Greek and Latin and Spanish and English. It was pretty confusing. He would say something that sounded like: “Kristos Enestos” Is that Greek? Latin? I assume it means “Christ has risen” or “Christ is with us” I have no freakin clue.
All the while bloody, sad and terrify pictures adorned the walls. Women crying and kneeling at the cross while a tortured Jesus hung limply. Crying women at the opening of a cave. No bunnies or flowers or baby chicks. It really opened my eyes to the true meaning of Christmas. I mean Easter!
There was always a feast at the end. When the priest started throwing around the word “feast” my ears would perk up. That meant it was almost over. It would be over and we could sit down once and for all and feast!! Everyone would bring an Easter basket full of breads, meats, cheeses, and eggs. There was always a basket full of red eggs. I am not sure what the red symbolized. Perhaps blood? It would make sense, seeing as the holiday is about torture and sacrifice.
Happy belated Easter everyone!!