A range of traditions honor Passover, Ramadan and Easter this week. Easter morning brings back memories from my Lutheran childhood, dragging myself out of bed for a sunrise service thirty minutes away in the Huachuca mountains of southeastern Arizona. April mornings in a dry, desert climate at 4500 feet meant we needed warm layers, hats and gloves. I never minded this annual outing even as our congregation sat on hard, folding metal chairs balanced on an uneven patch of rocky, dusty soil. Sunlight warmed our songs of celebration joined by oak, pine and palo verde trees.
My most memorable Easter sunrise service came my freshwoman year in high school, when our German club brought a dozen exchange students to the Grand Canyon for the long weekend. I certainly didn’t appreciate whoever’s grand idea this was at the time, but now bow to whoever succeeded in gathering a busload of teenagers to wake up before sunrise to experience such a wondrous moment.
For many years after my brain injury, the most comforting music during particularly overwhelming settings (airports, restaurants, traveling in the car) was Renaissance choral music sung in Latin. Imagine the undulating arc of a Palestrina chant and you can appreciate how this infinite rhythm rocked my disrupted brain to peace.
Click here for a wonderful 3H sacred classical choral Easter compilation on YouTube. I’m listening to it now as I finish this up to mail to you!