[soul food] celebrating easter together
Eric and I grew up in very dedicated Christian families but in different churches--I in a Catholic church and he in a Southern Baptist church--so when talk of marriage started working its way into our conversations about six years ago, this became a natural point of concern. How does a marriage work between two people with such different spiritual backgrounds? Before we were engaged, we spent quite a few months trying to reconcile the differences in our beliefs, until we finally realized that we could be united in the common belief in Jesus Christ as the center of our Christian lives. For us, that was a sufficient foundation to build a life and a family. Since then we have learned to build our spiritual relationship on mutual respect for each others' beliefs, attending both churches together on alternating Sundays. As Easter is the biggest celebration in the Catholic church, I had a very difficult time this year trying to decide where I wanted to be on Easter so that I could be fair to both my own beliefs and to the commitment that Eric and I had made to act as a unit regarding our church life. Eric is very accommodating with me, so he let me make the decision. Ultimately I decided I wanted to celebrate Easter at both churches. It seemed the only right thing to do. The Catholic church holds a beautiful Triduum Mass celebration (services on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday), and I had been interested in attending in many past years but never had made the time. This year I made the time to go all three nights. Eric and I attended Easter Vigil together at the Catholic church, then on Easter Sunday we attended service at the Presbyterian church, where we've found another faith community, and participated in the choir as well. I could not have hoped for a better celebration of the Lord's resurrection! Being able to honor this holiday together in both of our respective churches was incredibly unifying and allowed us to focus on the real reason for the celebration: The Resurrection! It was a moment to remind me of the true foundation of our spiritual life. The mutual respect we have for each other's faith has never made either of us feel that we had to change, only shown us how much we can share.
I truly hope everyone had a very happy and blessed Easter!