we went to the easter service at the first parish in cambridge, unitarian universalist, yesterday morning. i've only been there once before, and it is always interesting to see how differently churches conduct their services. it was a multi-faceted combo of spring welcome, mozart's 250th birthday, passover, easter, and the international celebration of rebirth.
a highlight included a visit from the easter bunny. replete in white fuzzy mascot-like costuming (see the latest cover of the weekly dig for a matching example), he shimmied through the pews of the congregation, as the ministers readjusted their robes and five-year-olds dressed in brooks brothers head-to-toe (somehow) climbed over the floral-dressed-moms with their chocolate eggs and bunny well-wishing.
it was, to say the least, surreal. however, i do admit the kids were crazy happy to see the easter bunny. i think they would also be going wild over santa claus in the fellowship hall as well, handing out treats and jollily cradling a baby jesus. strange to me, yes, but i'm just seeing if i can wrap myself around the idea of inclusivity. any unitarians out there who wish to enlighten? would love to hear about the mission from all sides.
but, in a spirit of levity, below is some text (verbatim) from the printed program. it's pretty amusing.
easter egg hunt instructions
if you brought eggs and/or candy, hand onto them. they will be collected during the service by a surprise visitor.
if you plan to participate in the easter egg hunt, you will be dismissed from the meeting house during the final hymn. please go through the parlor and in the back door to the chapel. you will get instructions for the egg hunt in the chapel and then be dismissed from there to the burial ground.
do not go directly from the meeting house to the burial ground or you will not be permitted to participate in the hunt.
the hunt will take place in our historic graveyard. as such we need to be sure to be very respectful of the place: not jostling gravestones or leaving trash like candy wrappers in the area.
adults: please help the kids remember this in their excitement.
there is plenty of candy for all, but sometimes the big kids are able to collect much faster than the little kids. if you find that you are collecting a lot of eggs and candy, why not share yours with someone who has not gotten so much. remember that as UUs we are concerned about caring and sharing.
parents: if you see any young kids having a hard time finding any candies, please see one of the easter bunny's helpers and they will rectify the situation.
jory has some extra baskets if you need one, but be sure to return it to her after the hunt. she also has plastic bags to collect your goodies in. if you would like to empty your plastic eggs of candy and leave the plastic eggs in the baskets in the hall library, they will be recycled in future years. it is helpful to place eggs [sic] halves back together before placing them in the baskets as it can be very challenging to find their mates afterwards!