Easter Sunday is the Christian Church's greatest day since it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus after having died and been buried on Good Friday. This is a time for celebration for Jesus has been resurrected!

The celebration took the form of worship in Boca Raton, FL. Our priest, Louise Linder, spoke about Easter, beginning with Holy Thursday (which does not have much to do with Sweden's fun tradition of Easter witches and flying to Blåkulla …), that has to do with the "new covenant." On this day Christianity recognizes that Jesus instituted Holy Communion (Eucharist) when he celebrated the Jewish Passover meal with his disciples that night. The name, Skärtorsdag (Maundy or Sheer Thursday), comes from Jesus having washed the disciples' feet before the meal. “Skär” in old Swedish means "pure."


Friday arrives marked by sadness since it was long and difficult for Jesus. The worship on Good Friday (Long Friday in Swedish) is a unique worship, where all expressions of joy have disappeared. Jesus was crucified and died on Golgotha outside Jerusalem.
Holy Saturday (Easter Eve) is an "empty" day because Jesus was in the tomb and the disciples locked themselves indoors in fear of those who were behind the execution.
Early on Sunday, the women went to care for Jesus' body before the sun had risen, as was the custom. But when they arrived at the tomb, it was empty; the body was gone. Jesus had risen. Jesus has risen. Christ has risen! Yes, he has truly risen. Those were Louise’s words on this day.

It was not just that we celebrated Easter Sunday, but we also had a visit from the Ambassador of Sweden in Washington, Björn Lyrvall, during the service. He was there with his wife and their three children. The sermon was not a normal sermon — Louise asked Björn to come up and converse with her. And, if you know Louise, you know there are no ordinary questions like "Where did you grow up?" "How many siblings do you have?"
It was "What is the meaning of life?" "What do you think happens when we die?" "What do you think about us continuing to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Sunday after Sunday?"

In closing the Florida chorus sang "The Lord bless you and keep you" and recessed out to Psalm 17. The festivities continued with mingling in the foyer, appetizers, drinks and homemade strawberry tart. We all got a chance to talk to our ambassador, and Consul Per-Olof Lööf thanked Björn Lyrvall for taking the time to visit us — the youngest Swedish Church Abroad!

By Philippa Leijonhufvud-Reading