Remember the Easter traditions of your childhood? Boiling and dyeing eggs, finding the hidden basket you’ve had all your life, the Easter egg hunts? Shopping for a spring outfit, with coordinated shoes, white gloves, and maybe a new purse? Or in leaner times, moms busily sewing dresses for daughters? And the church service, with the family scrubbed clean, in their Sunday best, gathered together in the pew? The reverence of the sacramental communion, as in the Last Supper? And the preacher on tiptoes trying to do justice to the day? Or, my favorite, the family dinner with everyone gathered around a table with all the leaves inserted and on their best behavior because there are guests? Times change, but we cherish these traditions.
Our Easter family gathering now is a potluck ham dinner. The Beautiful Wife will fuss over how to set the table. I’ll cook my extra-special scalloped potatoes and applesauce (you can find the recipe by searching “Skip’s Homemade Applesauce”). It’s a problem when the scalloped potatoes make a mess in the oven; each year I promise the BW to do better. While food is cooking the older grandchildren hide eggs in the backyard for their smaller siblings. They give the very youngest a head start. (I hide the eggs for the older kids, but may find some months later while weeding.) Later we’ll adjourn to the patio for the egg roll contest, updating the bracket as eggs break. It’s special because the youngest children have just as good a chance of winning, which brings them much joy. There’ll be a lot of shouting.
After dinner, we’ll share what Easter means to each of us. The room will grow quiet as we plumb the depths of our hearts, straining to fathom the mysteries of God. We dimly comprehend that Eve—daring to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil—did something vital to enable our mortal journey. And we understand that Jesus, in Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary, performed a necessary act of redemption for all. Our ability to grasp the dimensions of this gift is limited by our humanity. But on this day, we especially revere the Savior’s great atoning act. And we resolve to be worthier of this infinite gift.
If it’s in your heart to go to church this Easter, Laguna services—some beginning today, Good Friday—are listed below.
Skip fell in love with Laguna on a ‘50s surfing trip, and is the author of “Loving Laguna: A Local’s Guide to Laguna Beach.” Reach him at [email protected]
Places to worship (all on Sunday, unless noted):
Baha’i’s of Laguna Beach—contact [email protected] for events and meetings.
Chabad Jewish Center, 30804 S. Coast Hwy: Community Passover Seder, Friday 6:30 p.m. (prior RSVP required); services Sat. 10:30 a.m., Sun. 8 a.m.
Church by the Sea, 468 Legion St., 9 & 10:45 a.m.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon): No local services due to the semiannual General Conference, which can be viewed at 9 a.m. and 1 a.m., Saturday and Sunday, on Cox channel 150.
First Church of Christ, Scientist, 635 High Dr., 10 a.m.
ISKCON (Hare Krishna), 285 Legion St., 5 p.m., with 6:45 feast.
Jehovah’s Witnesses, 20912 Laguna Canyon Rd., 1 p.m.
Laguna Beach Net-Works: Good Friday “meet your (homeless) neighbor” barbeque, 12-2 p.m. at Heisler Park (picnic area, Cliff Drive near Myrtle; attendees invited to bring food). Easter Sunday service 10 a.m. at Woman’s Club, 286 St. Ann’s Dr., preceded by 9 a.m. breakfast.
Laguna Presbyterian, 415 Forest Ave: Good Friday service at 7 p.m. Sunday Easter services at 8, 9:30 (middle and high school students meet in youth center), and 11 a.m. (There’s a special program for K-5 children at the latter two services.)
Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Ann’s Drive, 10 a.m.
United Methodist Church, 21632 Wesley: Good Friday service at 7 p.m. Easter Sunday 6 a.m. sunrise service on Main Beach. The 10 a.m. worship service at the church will be followed by an egg hunt.
St. Catherine of Siena (Catholic), 1042 Temple Terrace: Good Friday services at 1 and 7 p.m. (latter in Spanish), plus a 7 p.m. service at St. Catherine’s School, 30516 S. Coast Hwy. The Saturday Easter Vigil is 8 p.m. Easter Sunday masses at 7:30, 9:30, 11:30 a.m., and Spanish service at 1:30 p.m.
St. Francis by the Sea (American Catholic), 430 Park Ave: Good Friday masses at 12, 3 and 7 p.m. Easter Sunday masses at 9:30 and 11:15 a.m.
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 428 Park Ave: Easter Sunday Vigil 5:30 a.m., Festival Liturgy 10:30 a.m.
Unitarian Universalist, 429 Cypress St., 10:30 a.m.