Monday, April 6, 2015

Mosaic Easter Monday

2015-04-05 Easter Day1

On Easter Eve I wrote a little bit about some of our non-religious Easter traditions; but of course to those of Christian beliefs, Easter is above all a Church Feast – the most important of them all.

How many services are held varies from one church to another, but in some of the bigger ones you may be able to follow the drama of Easter all the way, step by step – on Maundy Thursday an evening mass with the holy communion (Last Supper), on Good Friday  a “stripped down” and low key service with focus on the Cross (minimum of decorations, and often no musical instruments used but the human voice), on Easter Eve a Midnight Mass (starting in darkness and then candles and flowers and decorations brought back in, and renewal of baptismal vows), on Easter Day a joyful and almost bombastic service or mass with lots of music, light, flowers to celebrate the resurrection; finishing off on Easter Monday with an Emmaus mass (in memory of the disciples meeting the resurrected Jesus on the road to Emmaus, and recognizing him as he breaks bread and eats with them).

2015-04-05 Easter Day2a

In the past, I have on a few occasions taken part in the whole flow of Easter church services – which can be a very powerful experience. Nowadays I usually end up with a compromise, just going to one or two. But I always have the whole context in mind. (Going to a Good Friday service, for example, you really should keep in mind that it’s only Act 2 – or whatever – out of the whole play. Neither the beginning nor the end.) 

This year, I went to one church for Good Friday, and to another on Easter Day.

On Good Friday, I went to the oldest church in the town centre (link to an old post), where a friend of mine sings in the choir. They are a church (belonging to the protestant Church of Sweden) that always offers the whole series of traditional Easter services as described above. So on Good Friday, the choir sings acappella, and there is no other instrument used to accompany the hymns either. It’s solemn, and contemplative. But also beautiful, if you’re in the right mood to appreciate it. (I was.)

DSC_0019_1-002

My photos in this post, however, are from the church that I went to on Easter Day; also belonging to the protestant Church of Sweden, and the biggest church in my town (built in 1903-06). They have a huge organ seated on a balcony at the back of the church (I have blogged about that too before, for example here).

DSC_0021_1

With the help of modern technology, images of the choir singing up on the organ balcony were projected onto white walls at the front of the church. (And lyrics of the hymns and prayers to be sung and read by the congregation were also shown there).

DSC_0019_1-001

It was only at the very end of the service, during the postlude, that people stood up and turned backwards, looking up at the choir… And it was then that I took the opportunity to sneak out into a side aisle and take some pictures with my mobile phone. (All the photos in this post were taken with my phone.)

DSC_0024_1

On my way home, I passed over this bridge where the railings had been decorated with twigs, flowers and feathers.

DSC_0025_1

Linking to Mosaic Monday

12 comments:

  1. Look at all those different organ pipes! They are a piece of artwork themselves! So the projection showed the choir in the front and no one had to crane their necks? What an awesome experience this whole thing must have been, I wish I could have gone. That is so cool! In some ways, your Easter seems more meaningful then ours. I love the feather and (catkins?)

    ReplyDelete
  2. i would be flabbergasted at the beauty in both the churches. the churches I was raised in, the ones my daddy was pastor of, were very plain, no decorations. just white walls and hard benches and plain windows. yours are works of art.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A gorgeous old church, and well attended. Our church only has a service Good Friday and Easter Sunday and I attended both. Like Sandra above, ours is a plain building but with padded chairs instead of pews.
    The spring bridge decor is pretty, especially with the feathers.
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have been going to churches of different denominations in the past, including one which did not have a church building of their own at all but was held together by the fellowship as such (they hired community centres etc for bigger meetings, and relied on home groups for other things). I don't consider one kind of church or worship necessarily more right than another. There are many circumstances in life that may affect what we prefer.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The churches are beautiful..the shot of the choir is awesome.. The bridge decorated is lovely too. I am glad you had a great Easter! Have a happy week ahead!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I do not belong to any organized religion anymore since I've been 16 years old, but grew up with protestant (Evangelical) traditions. For several years during my teens, I was part of our community's church choir and enjoyed that very much; I've even thought about joining them again in the past two years or so.
    At my flat, depending on how the wind blows and how noisy or silent the neighbours are, I can hear the bells from at least 3 different churches in Ludwigsburg. The closest is a Catholic one, which usually serves as my "alarm clock" every morning at 7.00. From Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday, the church bells do not ring at all, with the exception of midnight mass on the night from Saturday to Sunday and at some stage during the day on Easter Monday. I was glad to hear everything back to normal this morning at 7.00 - I miss "my" bells when they do not punctuate my hours and days!

    The decorated bridge railings are very pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard of people living close to church bells thinking them a nuisance... Good for you that you don't feel that way! :) I don't hear the church bells from town where I live, but with the balcony door open, I do sometimes hear the bells from a chapel in a cemetery in the other direction. But they only ring in the daytime, when there is a funeral.
      I was in a youth gospel choir for a while in my 20s (in the church I belonged to then), and we had a lot of fun. But I was never all that good really - definitely not solo artist material, and more "serious" choir singing not my thing either. Nowadays I'm content to just listen, and maybe sing along in a well-known chorus or hymn...

      Delete
  7. Visiting from Mosaic Monday....I love the different Easter traditions from around the world...the bridge railing decorations are so lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for writing this lovely post, I enjoyed it immensely.
    It was good that you were able to experience the Easter season at two different churches, I like that idea.
    I also like that the words for the service were projected on the wall, so much better than printing programmes and walking with a hymnal.
    Actually most folks in my church congregation are now using their tablets to access the Bible readings and the hymns for the service....technology has surely taken over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that's something I've never yet seen Virginia (people using their tablets to access Bible and hymns during the service). But then it strikes me I'm not really up to date with the praxis in the 'free' churches here these days (and in recent years I've only been going to the Church of Sweden which is more conservative when it comes to liturgy etc).

      Delete

Communication is what makes blogging fun :)
... but spam comments will be deleted!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...