I attended the most amazing Easter Palm Sunday service in at St. Bartholomews in Manhattan yesterday. It was an Episcopal service and the most moving I have ever experienced. I am on a spiritual journey and have been for some years now, since leaving the Mormon church a few years ago. On Sunday, I was reminded of why it is that I love Easter and why I missed it during the 23 years away in the Mormon church. I witnessed the most amazing choir, children included, that I have heard since leaving Salt Lake and my beloved Cathedral of the Madeleine Catholic children's choir.
The edifice itself was beautiful - incredibly ornate and not too far from the historic St. Patrick's Catholic church where I wanted to go and light a candle for a friend, but was not quite able to make my gimpy knees walk far enough, or mount more steps for the day.
I took the palms that were offered to me and stood and paid homage to the priests, male and female as they entered and exited the sanctuary. I am sure that one of the reasons I left the Mormon faith is because women do not have the opportunity to hold the priesthood and become priests and deacons, as in other religions.
Yesterday as I went to my new gym for my daily swim, I saw a sign posted in the elevator. The facilities hours are going to be changed to accomodate "Easter" plans for employees with families. I was frustrated and saddened to see that even here in Westchester, New York, home of so very many of my Jewish friends and brothers and sisters, we are not sensitive enough to include Passover when we speak of Easter.
This is such a sacred time of year. Secular for many, granted, but devoutly spiritual for others of us. For the first time in a long time, Passover and Maundy Thursday come at the same time. Christians and Jews will be united together in their celebration of this, the most solemn time of the year.