Wish to brief a bit about the Lent days and the Easter we celebrated.
The Lenten season started with Ash Wednesday . Many people choose to remain vegetarians throughout the season. Actually I planned for a more silent Lent season with meditation and prayer. I had a theme called Sufferings of Jesus. Surprisingly I was able to concentrate more on the 'Stations of Cross' (the Fourteen stages from which Jesus was accused , suffered and crucified) on those days.
This 'Stations of cross' prayer has a lot of meaning , recommended for people who wish to view the worldly things with a good perspective.
The holy week started with the Palm Sunday (on 04-05-2009).
We got some palm leaves as a symbol of greeting and welcoming Jesus. It is a custom to make crosses out of them to keep inside the house for an year.
The next year we have to return them to the Church, where the dried leaves are burnt to make ashes to distribute on Ash Wednesday.
The day before Good Friday is called the 'Maundy Thursday' and it refers to Holy Thursday, when Jesus instituted the Eucharist (holy bread and wine representing the body and blood of Jesus) at the last supper, and also commemorates the washing of the Apostles feet, the word Maundy comes from the Latin word Mandatum which means commandment,Jesus said to His Apostles `A new commandment I give you,Love one another as I have loved you`.
On Good Friday, we had fasting till afternoon and had simple meals after that.
I prepared 'Koottan Choru' (a one pot meal) and Paruppu thovaiyal (fried dhal chutney).
Then we went for a small drive and I bought the marshmallow candies shaped like chicken along with Jelly bean eggs and marshmallow bunny to decorate the Easter cake.
Then attended the Good friday Mass with 'Stations of cross', a procedure / representation staged by the school children of St.Cecelia Church. That was a wonderful presentation by the kids. Everyone applauded the troop.
The we came home by 10 Pm , had mild dinner and slept.
The Saturday is the day of expectation and to bless the food in Church. In India we won't go for a blessing of food. I ran very late on cake decoration and cooking. I was not able to finish cooking 11Am . So we didn't take it for a blessing. Simply Prayed with the prepared food in our house itself.
The menu was chicken kulambu, authentic Chiken fry, raitha, rice and carrot cake. other recipes will be coming soon:)
Thanks to Premy's cake for her wonderful cake decoration ideas. They were very useful for me.
In the night , we attended the grand Easter Mass in the St. Cecelia Church of Iselin. That was a lovely Mass and the church was decorated with white flowers and the resurrected Jesus. There was a Baptism ceremony in the pond , while everyone of us confirmed the faith again. Then we returned very late at night.
The next day , that is on the Easter day we visited the orchid show in the Botanical garden, Bronx, NY. The travel was very tiresome , had to take 3 trains and a bus to reach the show. Car parking , toll and traffic were enormous .so we chose to travel by public transit. It was a very worthy journey ,as I was able to relax and enjoy the views:)
Reached the show by noon. It was very very spectacular one, a rare show and a must to see. I have never seen such a vast collection of orchid flowers in one place. The garden was so big and the freezing breeze restricted us to explore other places.
Yet enjoyed the Easter day in the NY and came home for a goodnight sleep.
Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead!