Easter Monday – Christ Is Risen!
Easter Monday, though not widely observed in the United States, is a day to gather again for worship centered on the Resurrection Gospel, often with a water element evoking the baptismal identity of the followers of Jesus. Gertrude Mueller Nelson remembered in raising her family that they would often take a “well day” off work and school on Easter Monday. After morning Mass, they would head outdoors. They would visit a local body of water – a river, lake, stream or the marshes – to remember the waters of baptism, take a walk in nature to remember the walk to Emmaus, and witness the transformation all around in the new green of springtime.
Our “stay-at-home” reality on Easter Monday in 2020 could encourage the “walk in nature” of Mueller’s memory, but this day’s high winds and dropping temperatures are perhaps more evocative of “sheltering in place . . .”
Friends in Christ, it is Easter, a season of 50 days that concludes with our celebration of the Day of Pentecost on May 31. The season of Easter invites our ongoing springtime acclamation of, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” and the celebration of God’s revelation in Christ Jesus, of a love that conquers death. In this year of pandemic, our joyous acclamation is most certainly a medicine we need to receive and share.
In keeping with that aspiration, I share with you this Easter Monday four brief YouTube links that bring bursts of joy as Lent has ended and Easter is begun, “virtual” recordings made in this time of distancing. The first was a gift of members of the Trinity Choir, shared as a call to worship yesterday. Click below to access a shared performance of “Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia!” that opened our Easter Sunday festival liturgy at Trinity:
I also share the following gift from the Grand Rapids Symphony and Symphony Chorus, a performance of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus,” from their homes to ours, released during Holy Week:
I would offer one more musical gift, not Easter in its focus, but one of the first of these “virtual” releases that I encountered early in the closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is from the quarantined students of the Berklee College of Music, with a song that hearkens to my childhood, Hal David and Burt Bacharach’s “What the Word Needs Now is Love.” This link was shared with me when we were just beginning to imagine a way forward while sheltering in place:
Finally, an Easter greeting from Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, sent out last Thursday in preparation for our celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord:
Beloved community, I pray that the joy of Easter morning lingers this Easter Monday and throughout the season of Easter and springtime for you and yours. May we find hearts to celebrate new life in this time of uncertainty and unaccustomed isolation, that we may be bound together in creative love even in our separation.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Bob Linstrom