Searching for an appropriate vintage Easter postcard to post today, I kept running across the term “Eastertide.” That is not a term with which I am familiar. Are you familiar with Eastertide?
A search of the term on Wikipedia tells me that it refers to Easter Sunday and the 50 days that follow, which it states is also considered Easter time. It lists Eastertide traditions such as Easter Sunrise services, Easter egg hunts, etc.
Thinking of the Easter Sunrise services, reminded me of two services I used to attend. One was hosted by my Aunt Vera who invited the entire town to her pasture for a service. Across a large lake actors and animals performed in full view of the guests on the other side of the lake. Hundreds of folding chairs were set out for the crowd. Communion was offered. As a young girl, I remember going. We had to take towels to dry the wet, dew covered metal chairs. We also had to take sweaters, coats and/or blankets because it was always cold. At some point Aunt Vera stopped hosting the service. So it only lives in the memories of those who participated in one way or another.
The other Easter Sunrise service I remember was during college days. It was held by the small lake on campus. I think it was held twice while I was in college, once on the bank of the lake and once on a platform connected to the Performing Arts building that overlooked the lake. Both were cold and mostly student led.
I don’t hear of community-wide Easter Sunrise services anymore. Maybe they are long forgotten and now sponsored by churches. The memories of the ones I attended have stuck because they were different. Exposure to different settings, denominations and ways of holding services helped to imprint the services in my mind.
However you choose to celebrate Easter time and Eastertide, I hope it is a joyous experience filled with family and friends and thoughts of Jesus and the resurrection.