Death by Peep?Posted: April 6, 2010
More reflections on Easter Day…Following our 9:15 am liturgy we hold an Easter Egg Hunt on the church’s front lawn. This is nothing unique among churches, of course, although some clergy/congregations see this as anathema or worse. Something about being pagan in origin (as opposed to a vast number of Christian traditions that have been overlayed over pagan ritual including the date of Christmas!). Nothing like sucking the joy out of Easter.
I’m of the mind that, as long as the hunts are done in the context of the resurrection (ie. we just came out of church), they’re great fun. Who doesn’t get jazzed seeing the thrill of discovery on the face of a four-year-old?
Anyway, this particular Easter Egg Hunt is pretty popular in Hingham. We set the younger kids up in the Memorial Garden and they toddle around with great glee. It’s a relaxed affair with parents helping out their kids while chatting with one another.
The hunt on the front lawn is quite another matter. When the signal is given hordes of elementary school-aged kids race for the eggs. The lawn is on a downhill slope so it adds a slight element of danger. As I witnessed this for the first time on Sunday, one image came to mind: The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. I was just glad I didn’t get trampled by a bunch of well-dressed children or gored by a wayward Easter basket. Death by Peep is not how I want to exit this mortal life.
I’m thinking that next year I should find a ceremonial way to start the hunt. I’m not sure how it started this year — I think a parent yelled “Go!” or something. I might invest in a Paschal Air Horn though perhaps Sanctus bells would better fit the tenor of the day.
I was glad to see that the kids were all very respectful. We gave them a limit of three eggs to make sure everyone got enough. This was not the competitive blood sport I’ve seen at some “community eggs hunts” in years past. Thanks be to God.
I fully expect to find a few leftover eggs sometime in mid-July when the contents have melted into a gooey mess. It happens every year — especially when teenagers do the hiding. But what better way to be reminded of the resurrection than by a melted Peep/jelly bean combination in the heat of the summer?