hen I look at the cross, I am reminded of my childhood. For me, Easter always conjures up so many memories, taking me back to my Catholic upbringing: crossing my heart, school days, Ash Wednesday, Easter baskets and cards, going to church and eating Cadburys crème eggs and hot cross buns. School Days Back then in school cards were made and not bought. I can still remember drawing the cross, bunnies and eggs, making paper baskets stuffed with tissue paper and giving up chocolate for Lent; being marked on the forehead with ash on Ash Wednesday by the Bishop and knowing that I was very special in God’s eyes.
but they never turned out right; very hard and not at all like the ones in the bakery! Going to Church As a child, everyone in my family wore their Sunday best to church on Easter Sunday. My Mum would not have been seen outside without her damask headscarf and matching wrapper. It was a very special day, with my siblings and I excited about going to see the Risen Saviour! Easter Mass would go on forever, as I waited for it to end, in joyful hope of leaving to eat chocolate. I remember how excited I would be at the end of service to light a candle and dip my finger in holy
loads of chocolate, but never asking for it though. We would count ourselves lucky if we were given extra Easter eggs; asking for anything was just unheard of. And we couldn’t just be eating egg after egg; no, the egg would last a few days at least and we would all have to share the chocolate. I guess you could say we were just glad to have chocolate after six Lenten weeks of not having any at all! Just like Christmas Eating dinner together was almost like Christmas Day, Mum would cook a delicious meal with some homemade Nigerian extras and there was always dessert and hot cross buns too! I can still remember sitting on the stairs at home aged eleven, overhearing relatives in the front room talking and laughing; with all the aromatic smells of Easter dinner in the air. Oh how I miss those Easters! Nowadays though, when I look at the cross I think more about Jesus’ sacrifice for me. I realise that this is how our lives should be marked, not with the traditions we associate with Easter, but with the cross proclaiming the good news of Christ. “Jesus said to his friends, I am the bread of life. Whosoever comes to me will never become hungry and whoever believes in Me will never become thirsty.” - John 6:35 This year, as you experience Easter, reflect on the blessing of eternal life and renewed hope.
Easter Mass would go on forever, as I waited for it to end, in joyful hope of leaving to eat chocolate.
Hot Cross Buns One of my favourite things about Easter was, and still is, eating hot cross buns. During springtime and Lent in the UK they are often made as an alternative to regular bread. I don’t know why but there is just something comforting about a hot cross bun. The distinctive bun, named by the Purists in 1733 to mark Christ’s crucifixion, combines that sweet smell of cinnamon and nutmeg with a fluffy, almost ‘pillowy’ texture of spiced dough, with raisins and candied fruit, honey glazed on top, and strips of chewy pastry that form a perfect cross. I sometimes wonder if the cross is what makes the buns taste so good. We baked buns once in home economics,
water to mark my forehead with the cross. Church was nearby to our house, and back then the buses did not run on Easter Sunday, so we walked home. This was often followed by some childish bickering, which my mum would put to a stop with that glance of hers, the one which meant no fighting or arguing over who got what today…or else. Mum liked to invite people around for dinner on Easter Sunday and sometimes we would have a special guest, like an auntie, uncle or cousins, or someone who might otherwise be on their own. There were always thoughts of getting
Reflections on my Childhood Easters by Edel Meremikwu
Published on Mar 27, 2012