In an attempt to get some “real church” in for the Easter season, Partner and I went to an Easter vigil at an Episcopal church last night. It was a doozy of a service. It went for hours, encompassed two baptisms, involved both a pipe organ and handbells, and came with those little candles that I associate with Christmas Eve services. I particularly liked the swinging yo-yo of incense- Partner said it wasn’t really a yo-yo, but I didn’t see any proof of that.
People who convert to Quakerism often have high church roots; meetings are full of wayward Catholics, confused Lutherans, and disaffected Presbyterians. Accordingly, sometimes Friends get liturgy-sick, so to speak, and trundle off to watch their familiar brands of Christian prance about in funny hats. I haven’t spent much time in any congregation like that, though, and don’t look up Episcopals to satisfy my gold lamé nostalgia. The funny outfit that the leader of my childhood church wore, in contrast, was an orange and green sports coat with extra wide lapels, which I think his wife eventually took away from him. There may have been a vest that went with it, but no church council would ever have approved.
I get nostalgic, though, for Jesus. I love my Quaker meeting, but I get lonesome to hear the whole story. The Episcopal Easter Vigil started with Genesis and ended with Alleluia- it doesn’t get more complete than that.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his mercy endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of Lords, for his mercy endures forever. Amen.