What does one do on the Saturday before Easter? It is a strange in between; we know what is coming on Sunday but we left ourselves in the graveyard on Friday night. The Disciples went into hiding but what about us? How do you spend that Saturday?
Well, at Hopewell, there was plenty to do. We would wake up early to help with the little kid's Easter egg hunt. Families would gather at the church to enjoy the good weather and the bright faces of the young ones from the congregation as they searched for eggs all over campus. This meant that people were needed to hide the eggs and help to herd all the tots around so we wouldn't loose anyone. Sometimes there would even be a small Easter bizarre where the Young at Heart group would sell their incredible crafts and baked goods. If you haven't ever eaten a BEC you haven't lived (Hopewell has a fantastic cookbook if you want to find out exactly what I am talking about).
I also had the special role of stuffing the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny was a coveted role (tongue in cheek) and whoever resumed it tended to keep it for a while. I enjoyed helping my friend (who was the reigning bunny at the time) prepare for her morning appearance with children. We discovered that the bunny suit looked a whole lot friendlier if it was stuffed with newspaper.
Pretty soon a shipment of Easter Lillie's would arrive. Anyone who had the time and the patience would help to unload them very carefully and put them in the vestibule. This was probably one of my favorite parts to our Easter traditions. The Lilies smelled like heaven on Earth and the aroma from them filled the whole church in moments once we started getting them inside. I love that smell and anytime I get a whiff of anything Easter Lily scented I am blasted back to this day in the Hopewell Sanctuary.
A few years earlier, it was discovered that some folks in the church had such bad allergies that they would skip Easter Sunday due to the lilies that would eventually grace anything that stood still. To be more hospitable, volunteers, like myself, would pull out all the stamen from the blooms so that the pollen would not be present in the church. You would not believe how yellow your hands would get or how that pollen would somehow end up on everything you had on. Pulling the pollen out of the blooms did decrease their delightful scent a little bit, but it was a small price to pay for folks to join us on these special Sundays.
After all the festivities, we would return home to wait. It was a good idea to go to bed early on this night because the morning would start just before the crack of dawn...