Its that time of year again when the village celebrates the week between Palm Sunday and Easter. Its a tradition for the school to cancel all extra curricular activities so students and teachers can attend all Holy Week services.
We have one Catholic Church, a nondenominational church, and at least two off shoots who meet in people's homes. The village strongly believes everyone should not be distracted by gym nights, sports practices, spelling bees or any other normal activities.
The Catholic church only has a priest visit once every 8 or 10 weeks but the church makes sure there is one for Christmas, and Easter. Otherwise, the local deacons handle all services. I believe the nondenominational church has a lay minister to handle all services. Once in a while, they end up with a visiting minister from their parent church. The other two groups, are run by lay ministers but one group has a speaker travel in from one of the villages down the road.
No matter the individual philosophies, they all want school to cancel all activities and the school is happy to do so. When I first arrived, the school expected us to work on Good Friday but over time, they began giving the day off because too many workers took the day off to attend services. The district couldn't do much about it because legally these workers were practicing their religion.
The churches in town tend to have services for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. I believe the Catholic Church has a Virgil going from Thursday to Sunday to represent the three days before He rose. I believe the other churches celebrate Palm Sunday and Easter but schedule extra bible studies focusing on events of the week.
On Easter Sunday, after all the services are over, the city usually arranges an Easter egg hunt somewhere in town. Usually, there is still snow on the ground so the eggs get buried in snow with just a bit of color showing. When I first came, one of the teachers organized an Easter egg hunt in the school library. She'd stuff plastic eggs with candies and small toys, spread them around the library for kits to find. They'd take the goodie out and return the eggs to her so she could use them again the following year. When she left, the city took over.
It's been this way the whole 13 years I've lived here and I expect it will continue the same way for the future because the church plays a huge part in the daily lives of those who live here. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.