Eagle Archive: Reflecting on Easter with grace and peace

Happy Easter. Grace and peace to you.

In Carroll County, the celebration of Easter has always had an emphasis on the religious aspects of the holiday. However, childhood thoughts of Easter in Carroll are also filled of memories of community Easter egg hunts and other community activities.

Some 65 years ago, the Venture Club of Westminster sponsored the annual hunt on Easter Sunday on the Westminster Playground. An article in the now defunct Democratic Advocate on March 26, 1948, offers an example of how various aspects of the community got into the Easter spirit: There was a concert by the Westminster Municipal Band; an invocation by Father William T. McCrory, assistant pastor of St. John Catholic Church; and City Councilman J. Albert Mitten served as master of ceremonies.

For those of us who grew up in the church, Easter marked the opportunity to wear our "Easter Sunday Best" clothes.

Another childhood memory is that all the church services and activities during Holy Week and Easter were observed with strict pomp and ceremony — as dictated by the ecclesiastical liturgists in the congregation.

I learned at a very young age that the difference between a terrorist and liturgist is you can negotiate with a terrorist. For those unaware of ways of the church, a liturgist is sort of like a "parliamentarian" — with an edge.

For example, during church services, in the "Introductory Rite," the pastor or cantor will say, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." The congregation responds, "And also with you."

However, if you go back to original Latin, the response is "et cum spiritu tuo," which means "and with your spirit."

I learned in my Religion III class at Elon College that one does not question the translation. I once asked Professor Dr. James H. Overton why the translation was wrong, and received the following response: "Because that is the way it has always been Mr. Dayhoff. Do you have any additional impertinent questions to share with the class today?"

It was then that I realized that the fear of liturgists that I had learned as a child was real.

By the way, for those following along at home, the story of Easter — the Resurrection of Christ — is told in Matthew 28: 8-20, Mark 16: 9-20, Luke 24: 13-49, John 20: 11-21 and Acts 1: 1-11.

However, my favorite version is 1 Corinthians 15: 3-9, because it was written by my favorite writer, Paul of Tarsus, only a few years after it all happened in 33 A.D. St. Paul usually began his 14 epistles in the New Testament with the Hellenistic greeting, "Grace and peace to you."

And also with you.

When he is not studying his old Latin textbooks, Kevin Dayhoff may be reached at kevindayhoff@gmail.com.

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