With Easter Day being quite early in 2013, and with Northern and Central Europe experiencing one of the coldest months of March on record, I did rather expect our Prague Easter Day congregation not to be quite as large as it was in 2012. Added to these two factors, was the change to Central European Summer Time (CEST) during the previous night, another discouragement &/or confusion to add to the mix. In view of the weather, the term ‘summer time’ did seem somewhat inappropriate 🙁
Despite all of this, we did still have a large congregation for Easter Day worship in Prague with a very good turnout of our regular congregation, a few of our ‘lost sheep’ reappearing, and being joined by a good number of English-speaking visitors from around the globe. Amongst the latter were several young Christians from India, all of whom are currently studying at various universities in Germany, who had organised to spend the Easter weekend together in Prague, and had made attending Christian worship on Easter Day, a central priority of their trip.
Having on Easter Eve, put the third member of our family, Oscar our elderly black & white cat, into the care of Hellam family for a few days, it meant that Sybille was able to travel down with me to Brno and attend worship there for the first time. So after fellowship and post-service refreshments in Prague, we set off together in the ‘Carly’, along the D1 – the Prague-Brno motorway.
We stopped for a late lunch at a service area some 60 km out of Prague, which advertises itself as serving the largest rízek/schnitzel on the D1 🙂 As I was eating mine, so snowflakes started falling outside. And as we drove on after lunch, across the Vysocina/Highlands, so the snow got heavier. Fortunately, the motorway remained relatively clear, but we arrived to see Brno covered in snow. Apparently, it had been snowing there for most of the day. So in Brno on Sunday 31st March 2013, I experienced the first ever ‘White Easter’ that I can remember.
Unfortunately, the adverse weather discouraged a small number of people from attending our evening Eucharist in Brno. But I was thrilled that Phil and Lenka, an English-Czech couple whose wedding I conducted in September 2010, came along to boost the regular congregation. They are currently having a house built for themselves, just south of Brno, with a view to moving there permanently from the UK, later this year. Two more future members of the Brno congregation!
Even better was the news that Phil & Lenka had taken note of what I had said in my sermon at their wedding. I had spoken about the Christian understanding of marriage as outlined in the preface to the Marriage Service in ‘Common Worship- Pastoral Services’. In the preface it states that the third reason that marriage is given is, ‘as a foundation of family life in which children may be born and nurtured’. Yes – Lenka is pregnant and is expecting their first child in August this year!
After post-service refreshments, Sybille & I drove out to Komin, a former village that is now a Brno outer suburb, to stay overnight with Katka, my chief Brno service organiser, and her husband Josef. The photo at the beginning of this post, is of the view from their guest bedroom window that greeted us on Easter Monday morning. Please note the snow on the nearby rooftops & the surrounding hills. Bing – I’m not dreaming of a ‘White Christmas’ or a ‘White Easter’ – I’ve just experienced one!