Hi, I’m Tara.

What started out as a private blog to document our adoption journey has evolved into my journey through therapy, spiritual awakening and whatever I feel like writing. Without our struggles to build a family, I’m not sure I’d be waking up, and for that I’m grateful.

Secular Easter

This feels weird to me considering my upbringing. 

Easter is the biggest holiday in the Orthodox Church requiring 40 days of fasting. We abstained from meat, 3 times a week and I think one year my mom tried to make us go the whole 40 as pseudo vegetarians. The usually long Sunday services were made even longer by the addition of Lenten prayers. Holy Week brought church on Thursday and Friday night plus a vigil lasting from Good Friday to the start of the Easter Service at 11pm on Saturday night. The Easter Service itself lasted about 2 hours and included a procession around the church 3 times much to the chagrin of nearby neighbors who I'm guessing had no idea what was going on. Imagine you live in an apartment complexes where once a year these weirdos circle the next door church three times chanting and ringing the church bell incessantly. Especially confusing since Orthodox Easter is usually on a different week/month from Western Easter. Since it was now Sunday when we got back in the church, naturally we had to celebrate Divine Liturgy. Another 1.5 to 2 hour service. After enduring 4 hours of church in the middle of the night, we all gathered in the basement to break fast with red eggs and Easter baskets full of food. By then it would be about 4am and time to go home and collapse. 

Everything about the way the Orthodox Church does services is beautiful. The Easter Service especially so with Easter Lilies filling the church, chanting, and the big celebration of breaking the fast. 

But that's where I stop liking it and fundamentally, I don't align myself with any organized religion.  

Easter in my mind is a purely religious holiday. One that I struggle to celebrate in a secular way. Why should X and A get baskets if there's no long church service to endure? Why do we bother celebrating something that isn't necessarily believed in anymore? 

I don't know how or what to celebrate. 

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