Sunday school, Junior Choir, pageants, holiday services—I loved them all! My sister and I wore blue robes and sang in the Junior Choir at our little church in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, our home town, a suburb of Montreal. One Christmas, my sister, brother, and I put on a pageant for our parents and grandparents. Our brother played Santa. He wore baggy red tights and a sweatshirt. He was a skinny kid and everyone laughed when he appeared in the baggy red tights. He laughed too!
We moved a couple of times in my childhood. With each move, we found a new church. I remember babysitting little ones while their parents attended service. In high school, I really enjoyed the youth group.
Dad claimed that he didn’t go to church because he couldn’t sing. Mom made sure we went to Sunday school and participated in activities we enjoyed. I don’t recall any coercion. However, I do recall vividly one Easter when I was about 14. Our church announced that there would be a sunrise service early Easter morning. My decision was easy—I had to go! I picked out a favorite flowery, spring dress. I can still see it today! As my family slept, I managed to get up, get ready, put on a light cardigan, and sneak out. It was about a mile walk to First Church Amherst. I was very excited in anticipation of a beautiful service during sunrise on Easter morning.
As I approached the church, I saw families gathering in the parking lot. There wasn’t another pretty Easter dress anywhere! I soon learned that the sunrise service would take place outside on a hilltop outside of town! How did I miss that part of the announcement? I have a vague recollection of someone offering me a warm coat and a ride to our sunrise service. As disappointed as I was in myself, the service on the hilltop as the sun rose on that Easter morning was beautiful and unforgettable to this day.
Happy Easter, Everyone!