REMEMBER, WE WERE NOT RICH, WE THOUGHT WE WERE MIDDLE CLASS BUT BY TODAY’S STANDARDS, WE WERE POOR, ACTUALLY, MY PARENTS WERE VERY SMART WITH THEIR MONEY, AND WE NEVER WENT WITHOUT THE THINGS THAT WE REALLY NEEDED. SO THIS WAS OUR EASTER:
First we observed Lent and from my earliest memories, we did not eat meat on Fridays, we gave up something, usually candy, and definitely movies and entertainment, and we said our Rosary every night during Lent. That may sound like a real drag to some, and, of course as kids we really didn’t want to kneel down after supper for 20 minutes every night, but my parents said: “We will say our Rosary together as a family every night during Lent, to prepare ourselves for Easter, so make your plans around the Rosary.” And so we did every Lent until I left home to go to college.
We ate supper at 5PM, and cleaned up the kitchen, my father got home at 6PM and had his supper, we cleared the table, and knelt down around the kitchen table, using the chairs for support and said the Rosary. Looking back, it made us feel like we were all an important part of the family. We are talking all age kids, the really young got to sit on the chair, and if they were to young to say their prayers, they had to be quiet, but we were a FAMILY.
On Thursday, during Holy Week, there was a special Mass at night which we all went to if we were old enough. Friday afternoon, Good Friday, was The Way of the Cross at 3PM which is the time that Jesus Christ died. Believe it or not, we used to go to school until 3PM even in high school, and the public schools let the Catholic kids and Protestant kids out early to go to church services. WE called it respect for Religious Freedom.
Saturday noon when my father came home for dinner, he always brought us Easter Cards. They were big, like a foot tall and 6″ wide. We looked forward to getting them from him every year.
Saturday night was another long Mass that began with one candle being lit and the candle light spreading all over the church. There was a lot going on Sat. night and everyone old enough went.
Easter Sunday we came down stairs to find Easter Baskets, not big ones, but medium sized ones, nicely decorated with some really good candy. And since we had given up candy for Lent, it didn’t take us long to dive in. Then we ate breakfast and headed to Easter Mass as a family, all aged kids go to go as a FAMILY. (When I got older, in high school, I used to sneak down and add some candy to the collection and leave some for my mother and father. I imagine they knew, but they always acted surprised).
WHEN I was growing up, it was always about Family, and Easter was about Jesus Christ rising from the dead, beautiful music in church, everyone dressed in their best clothes to celebrate Easter, and then when we came home, my mother began fixing dinner. We always had company for dinner, so Easter was an all day celebration. I also think, we were allowed to go to the movies on Easter afternoon, and because lots of people gave up movies for Lent (after all, we were preparing for the Resurrection and did not celebrate during Lent) and going to the movies was a privilege and a celebration, the movies on Easter usually were very special.
THAT’S MY MEMORIES OF EASTER, MY MOTHER AND FATHER AND FAMILY.