Easter holiday spiritual, joyous time for Anniston residents
by Patrick McCreless
pmccreless@annistonstar.com
Mar 31, 2013 | 5838 views |  0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A cross is seen through a cherry tree outside Church of St. Michael and All Angels in west Anniston. (Anniston Star photo by Bill Wilson)
A cross is seen through a cherry tree outside Church of St. Michael and All Angels in west Anniston. (Anniston Star photo by Bill Wilson)
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Judy Allen pushed a cartful of white lilies through the sanctuary of Grace Episcopal Church in Anniston. She had just finished participating in Holy Saturday service, the commemoration of Jesus’ entombment after the Crucifixion, and was helping decorate the church to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection.

“It’s something I really enjoy doing on this Saturday is decorating the church and bringing it alive again,” said Allen, of Anniston. “Taking that penance and renewal commitment alive for Christ, there’s something about it that makes the spirit come to life.”

During the hustle of daily life, for some Anniston residents, the Easter holiday is a time to slow down and reflect with thoughts of family, faith and the joys of life.

“I do enjoy Holy Week and I do enjoy the spiritual journey we make ... reconnecting with who we are, where we come from and how we should relate to our community,” Allen said.

Carrying a bucket full of white daisies and baby’s breath for the church Saturday, Jane Wood of Anniston had thoughts of Jesus.

“Even though the world is busy, you try to calm down and remember how our Lord died for us,” Wood said.

Wood said that during the Easter season, she also has thoughts of her mother taking her to church as a child.

“On Good Friday, I remember as a child we would be at the church from noon until 3 p.m.,” Wood said.

Don King of Anniston said the Easter holiday brings up thoughts and feelings of love for the church and Jesus, but also thoughts of family.

“You always see the church almost full this time of year,” King said. “It does bring family together ... it’s a good oneness with family. But the main thing is a closeness to God.”

For Lee Shafer, priest at Grace Episcopal Church, Easter and the week leading up to it bring a mixture of emotions, from the somberness of the Last Supper and Christ’s death to the joy of his Resurrection. She also has thoughts of her family, who celebrated Easter more traditionally since her father and grandfather were priests.

“When I grew up and learned people hunted eggs at their home, it came as quite a shock,” Shafer said with a laugh.

However, in recent years, with Easter has come thoughts of concern that the holiday is becoming too commercialized, Shafer said.

“I was shopping for Easter for my kids and it was really troubling how Easter has become like Christmas, a more secular thing,” she said. “We need to remember this is a celebration of the Resurrection.”

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.

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