Outdoor Easter Ceremony at Triumphant Cross

by Robyn Hatch

Reverend David Yasenka, a moment for prayer

Triumphant Cross Lutheran Church on 171 Zion Hill Road in Salem held a beautiful outdoors Easter ceremony in their memorial garden.  Although it was very, very cold, the ceremony was meaningful with close to 30 people reading along with Rev. David Yasenka ‘The Apostles Creed’.

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.  I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended to the dead.  On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven; he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.”  Amen.

With that, the parishioners headed back into the warm church for the communion ceremony and the rest of the Mass.  What a great way to celebrate Easter!

Zion’s altar

Spring Hat Parade

by Robyn Hatch

Soule held a Spring Hat Parade for the parents.  The first graders made their spring hats for a parade to entertain their guests.  Even the teachers participated, from flower bonnets to a huge balloon hat!  The children were definitely masters of invention — there was a jelly bean hat, a watering can complete with a potted plant, hand-painted designs, sports paraphernalia hats, and scary and crazy hats.  Whatever you can image was present.  The parents lined up for a huge photo op in the gym, and the children ended the day knowing that their hats really reflected a little bit of themselves.

Mrs. Annicelli’s 1st grade class

Lining up for the parade

The parade struts through the classrooms

Walking With the Cross

by Robyn Hatch

A yearly event happened on Good Friday, up past St. Joe’s, past Kelley Library, and up into Salemhaven and beyond — the walking with the cross.  If you are of Catholic Faith, the understanding might be better, but this event for any religion was a car-stopping event not to be missed.  The parade started with a priest from St. Joseph’s and the line got longer as the march progressed.  There were readings and chants as the walk continued.  The huge cross was carried across the street and up into St. David’s parking lot where Reverend Carolyn joined in.  Reverend Carolyn explained that this signified the Stations of the Cross, and more readings followed.  Again, regardless of your religion, this is something that is a wonder to see.  There was a certain feeling that came over many as the cross passed in the street — something surreal and mystical.  Easter now has a different feeling.

Father John Michalowski, of both St. Joe’s and Mary Queen of Peace, leads a prayer.

The walk progressing to St David’s

Easter Sunrise Service

by Robyn Hatch

For the second year in a row, a joint Easter Sunrise Service took place at the gazebo on the Town Common in Salem.  The First Congregational Church of Salem and the Ararat Armenian Congregational Church, also of Salem, put together a great ceremony combining both religions.  Sara Gilman and Danny Peters read the scriptures while Christ the Lord is Risen Today was sung.  A Prayer of Praise and The Lords Prayer were recited by a crowd of about 30.  Even though it was incredibly cold for April, the crowd was festive and proceeded to the First Congregational Church after the ceremony for hot coffee and a breakfast.

Reverend Jessica McArdle, leading the music

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