Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Easter Bunny

On Friday I received an email from a good friend with the picture on the left attached to the mail. The caption was “Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Easter Egg Hunt is canceled this year”.

I laughed and thought to myself that my friend, as I do, has that Gary Larson (The Far Side cartoonist) sense of humor.

When I was a child we didn’t have Easter Egg Hunts. I had seen cartoons on television where a bunny rabbit would be running around and hiding the Easter Eggs. This action usually took place in a wooded area with high grass and shrubbery. My old Chicago neighborhood had none of this. One year I suggested to my Dad that he take my sister and me to a nearby Forest Preserve to look for the Easter Bunny’s eggs. That’s when I learned that there was no such thing as an Easter Bunny. Next, I thought, Dad would be telling me that there was no Santa Claus.

We colored our eggs on Good Friday. We used small pieces of tape to make the sign of the cross on each egg before we put them into the dye (my sister says that this is now done with wax or a white crayon). Every egg would have a white cross on it when we were finished with coloring them. My Dad would say that this symbolized our love for our Lord, Jesus Christ.

On Holy Saturday, we would fill baskets with meat, bread and the colored eggs and take them to the Church to have them blessed. After a short mass and benediction, the Monsignor would say something in Latin, which none of us really understood. He then sent the priests out with a scepter type devices, that they dipped into Holy Water, to splash on our baskets filled with food. He would then say something in English, asking us all, too, in charity, remember all those who suffer want and hunger. They then passed the basket for donations.

My Dad would fast on Holy Saturday. I never did understand the reason for fasting. I occasionally fast now, but it is for health, not religious, reasons.

The Feast of Easter was always one of my favorite days. After Church we would gather at my Grandmother’s home and the food was out of this world delicious. Almost better than the food that the neighborhood Italian families would have for the Feast of Saint Joseph on March 19th.

Very fond memories, Happy Easter.

The Beach Bum

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