Wednesday, April 23, 2014

rites of spring: happy easter!

Holy Week has just finished in the Latino neighborhood where we are, and while we chose to have a quiet Easter, we celebrated our own rites of spring for the holiday.

Catholic tradition is rich with ritual celebration and elaborate rites full of pomp and props often flavoured by older faiths and beliefs.

Someday I will write about the feast of St. Blaise, patron saint of throats. But for now, we focus on a holiday many Roman Catholics consider more important even than Christmas.

It was an intermittently sunny day when we set out for the church - not the well known landmark in the background, but a newer and brighter one with an involved and active community.

We were directed to the open courtyard where the ceremony would take place. Palms lay piled on a table, waiting to be blessed.

The priest blessed the congregation too, pausing several times to sprinkle holy water over everyone. Then there was a short brisk procession into the church to begin the Mass.

Palms are renewed this time every year. It is a practice to plait the newly-blessed fronds into branches, braids or crosses.

Our amateur efforts now hung in our entrance corridor - over the fire extinguisher - to bless and protect our home.

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