• Tag Archives Easter
  • Good Friday Reflections

    Today is one of the saddest, yet also one of the happiest days for Christians: Good Friday.

     

    The name itself seems a paradox. We commemorate Christ’s Crucifixion, a day of unimaginable brutality, betrayal, denial and despair. On that day the sun disappeared, the earth shook, and God Himself was taunted and mocked by His own creations.

    So how can it be called “good”? It is good because He Himself lay down His own life, for us, so that we may rise again with Him.

    We will never be in darkness. We who follow Christ will be in the Light for all eternity. This is why today is good.

    At the Good Friday Celebration today, we venerated the Cross. During the veneration we sang one of my favorite hymns– Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord).

    The following version of this American Spiritual, sung by Johnny Cash, is quite beautiful. The legend behind the song is explained by Cash.

     

     

    Were you there when they crucified my Lord? (Were you there?)
    Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
    O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!
    Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

    Were you there when they nailed him to the cross? (Were you there?)
    Were you there when they nailed him to the cross?
    O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!
    Were you there when they nailed him to the cross?

    Were you there when they pierced him in the side? (Were you there?)
    Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
    O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!
    Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

    Were you there when the sun refused to shine? (Were you there?)
    Were you there when the sun refused to shine?
    O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!
    Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

    1899 Old Plantation Hymns

     

    There is also this version, with scenes from The Passion Of The Christ, Mel Gibson’s film portraying Christ’s crucifixion. (Click only if prepared to see a realistic portrayal).

     

    I used to watch this film every Good Friday, but I no longer do. I find it difficult to watch such suffering right now, with all the brutality in the news each day.

    I just pray for God to be with all who suffer. He knows the pain of each person intimately. And He is Risen.

     

    Wishing everyone a Blessed and Happy Easter.

     

     


  • Guest Post: Author Kyle Andrews on Nancy Reagan, Miracles & the America We Love

    Kyle Andrews is a friend and fellow author. I’m pleased to have him here on D Street. Please check out Kyle’s books at the links below, and enjoy this tribute to one of the Greatest First Ladies in American History. 

     

    _______________________________________________________________________


    Ladies and Gentlemen, the Next Voice You Hear…

     

    Back in the 1980’s, when I was a little boy, my family took a trip to Washington D.C. It was a memorable trip, with monuments and memorials, and the fire alarm in our hotel going off, terrifying me. It was also memorable because we celebrated Easter in D.C. that year.

    To this day, my mother kicks herself for not knowing about the Easter egg hunt at the White House, and the missed opportunity to meet President and Mrs. Reagan. It would have been a great picture and a great memory.

    Despite missing that chance, Nancy Reagan did eventually become part of an Easter tradition for my family. Every year, we watch one of her movies from 1951, called The Next Voice You Hear.

     

    The movie is about an All-American family, named the Smiths. The husband is a hard working man, tightly wound and trying the best he can to provide for his family. They live in a modest home. He drives an old car that barely works. Their son is a good kid. And the wife, played by Nancy Davis, is experiencing a troubled pregnancy.

    We follow the family through a strange, global experience. The voice of God comes over the radio and speaks to the people of the world. Each person who hears this voice hears in their native language, while we the viewing audience never hear the voice at all.

    The story doesn’t center around the global impact of this experience. There are no riots. There are no people jumping off of bridges. What we see is a quiet story, as people go about their lives having heard this voice. Is it a prank? An advertisement of some sort?

    The voice comes back the next night, and the night after that. Disbelief turns into fear, causing people to react poorly. And at the heart of it all, there is this one generic family. They have no choice but to continue with their lives, going to work and school, and fearing for the safety of Nancy’s character and the child that she’s carrying.

    The movie thrives in the small moments. There is one particular moment as Joe Smith pulls out of the driveway, later in the movie. After receiving multiple tickets for backing out of his driveway at dangerous speeds, John decides to take things a little more carefully. As a result, his car starts more easily. His mood is better because of it. The viewer who pays close attention will realize that this small change in his daily routine actually saves a couple of lives, though this fact is never highlighted in the film itself.

     

    The Next Voice You Hear is a great movie to watch on Easter, because it reminds us of the small miracles that surround us every day. It teaches us to slow down and appreciate what God has given us. Today more than ever, I think we could use that lesson. If you have a little bit of free time this Easter, I suggest putting down the cell phone, gathering the family and enjoying this unsung classic together.

    Nancy Reagan has died at the age of 94. Most people will remember her for her work as the First Lady, and her marriage to Ronald Reagan. But before all of that, there was Nancy Davis. An actress whose name wound up on the Hollywood blacklist by mistake, because another actress had the same name.

     

    Rest well, Mrs. Reagan.

     

    ______________________________________________________________________

    Connect with Kyle at the links below, and please check out his upcoming novel, Freedom Hate.

     

    www.AuthorKyleAndrews.com

    Kyle@authorkyleandrews.com

    @starlettenovel

    facebook.com/authorkyleandrews

     

    Freedom/Hate (available now for pre-order) – http://amzn.to/1UT99HK

     


  • He is, indeed, Risen

    Easter Blessings to each and every person who happens to read this. What a lovely day, alive with hope, promise and beauty. How different things are after three short days.

    11081201_1147662048593186_3066536045772884218_n

     

    Gospel JN 20:1-9

    On the first day of the week,
    Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
    while it was still dark,
    and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
    So she ran and went to Simon Peter
    and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
    “They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
    and we don’t know where they put him.”
    So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
    They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
    and arrived at the tomb first;
    he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
    When Simon Peter arrived after him,
    he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
    and the cloth that had covered his head,
    not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
    Then the other disciple also went in,
    the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
    and he saw and believed.
    For they did not yet understand the Scripture
    that he had to rise from the dead.

     

    On Friday we were sad as we reflected on Our Lord’s suffering on the Cross. But by His Holy Cross He has redeemed the world. This year, when faced with sadness, hard times or disappointments, try to realize that such things, as difficult as they are, are temporary. We have the promise of Life as shown by the Risen Christ.

     

    VICTIMAE Paschali
    laudes immolent Christiani.
    CHRISTIANS, to the Paschal Victim
    offer sacrifice and praise.
    Agnus redemit oves:
    Christus innocens Patri
    reconciliavit
    peccatores.
    The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb;
    and Christ, the undefiled,
    hath sinners
    to his Father reconciled.
    Mors et vita duello
    conflixere mirando:
    dux vitae mortuus,
    regnat vivus.
    Death with life contended:
    combat strangely ended!
    Life’s own Champion, slain,
    yet lives to reign.
    Dic nobis Maria,
    Quid vidisti in via?
    Tell us, Mary:
    say what thou didst see upon the way.
    Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
    et gloriam vidi resurgentis:
    The tomb the Living did enclose;
    I saw Christ’s glory as He rose!
    Angelicos testes,
    sudarium et vestes.
    The angels there attesting;
    shroud with grave-clothes resting.
    Surrexit Christus spes mea:
    praecedet suos in Galilaeam.
    Christ, my hope, has risen:
    He goes before you into Galilee.
    Scimus Christum surrexisse
    a mortuis vere:
    Tu nobis, victor Rex miserere.
    Amen. Alleluia.
    That Christ is truly risen
    from the dead we know.
    Victorious King, Thy mercy show!
    Amen. Alleluia.

     

    Victimae Paschali is the Sequence for Easter Sunday. At one time there were many sequences in use, but the Council of Trent abolished all but a few. Today only four are used: Victimae Paschali (Easter), Veni, Sancte Spiritus (Pentecost), Lauda Sion (Corpus Christi), and Stabat Mater (Our Lady of Sorrows), of which the first two are obligatory and the later two are optional. Victimae Paschali is usually attributed to Wipo of Burgundy (1039), chaplain of the German Emperor Conrad II in the 11th century. It has also been attributed to Notker Balbulus (10th century) and Adam of St. Victor (13th century).

    Following it is prayed in Latin.

     

    Today, while enjoying time with family and friends, be happy. He, who loves each of us as if there were only one of us, has, indeed, Risen.

    easter-religious-17