You are currently browsing the daily archive for April 29, 2008.

This was our second year for baptisms by boat.  Back in my day (which I realized is nearly 20 years ago!) we were baptized off of the pier in the pond, with the priest kneeling on the pier and us about to be newly-illumined holding onto the side as we tested the murky bottom of the pond.  The pier fell apart, and was not replaced (I assume) because we want to restore the natural wetlands.  For a few years we had a really lame solution – taking a big tub out to the side of the pond and baptizing adults there.  Frankly, it was sad.  Having been a pond-baptism myself, I believe in the importance of suffering through some algae to reach a state of illumination.  I’m not sure the holy fathers would agree with me on this…At any rate, the solution reached last year was to launch out a priest and a subdeacon in a boat, with a rower and perhaps someone else for ballast, so the priest doesn’t end up in the water when he reaches over the side to dunk people.  This makes for very entertaining watching from the shore.

I did an hour of vigil on Saturday morning, so I was hanging around the church waiting for the service, with a chance to appreciate the suddenly-warm weather and watch the boat arrive.  Then we went inside to begin the liturgy, and then back out to the church steps to begin the baptism process.  Since I don’t remember my own baptism clearly (being 7) I love to attend other baptisms because I feel like it rubs off.  I get to relive the experience and understand the words that I didn’t quite grasp when it happened to me.

I also got to admire our bells and notice for the first time that there are icons on the two largest ones.

Then to the pond, where the water is blessed and the boat launches.

Last year was chilly, so we had great sympathy for those heading into the cold water.  This year the sun was deliciously warm and lost our sympathy.

There were eleven baptisms.

Then back inside, for the bay leaves and the banging pots and pans and the chrismations, and finally the port and fruit and nuts in the church.  I don’t like to take out my camera much in church, but here is a picture from after last year’s Agape vespers, when it was rainy and chilly and we didn’t tramp across the lawn.

Easter weekend always feels like one long day – staying up till 4 am will do that to you, although 4 is nothing compared to the year Annie and I stayed up till dawn.  That was all of what, three years ago?  Yet I feel so much older and wiser.

Things kick-started with my egg dying on Thursday afternoon.  It’s been untold years since I dyed an egg, but in those days it was all gentle pastels and little kits and those little wire contraptions to lower the egg into the dye and gently lift it up again.  We used to do hard boiled eggs and blown eggs, which we hung on an egg “tree” – a branch from the pink flowering tree in the backyard.  My parents probably still have cartons of those blown and dyed eggs in with our old Easter baskets and such.

This year it was red eggs, traditional for handing out at the end of the midnight service.  You start out with brown eggs (otherwise you end up with hot pink, not red eggs, or so I’m told) and a packet of the most intense dye you’ll ever see.  I think it said it would make enough to dye 50 eggs.  I only did 24.  I was also careful to wear red in case of splatters.

That’s my large stock pot, full of dye.

Here’s the “before” shot:

I spent a lot of time getting distracted by taking pictures of the eggs.  Not only are eggs delicious, they are also lovely to behold.  I only wish I could have used some of Kate’s egg excess, but alas she is far away.

Here’s “after”:

This was before they were “lightly polished using oil and a cloth” while I watched The Namesake.  By then it was dark and the lighting wasn’t as good.  I wonder if the oil polish helps to stop the dye from rubbing off on your hands, or if it’s just for shininess.  I got an unpolished egg from the basket on Pascha morning, so I was unable to test that theory.  I certainly ended up with dye on my hands.  Fortunately my kitchen didn’t turn too pink in the dying process, although I imagine my drain will never be the same again.
I love red.

April 2008

Flickr Photos