A request in the comments section to investigate Orthodox Recipes has motivated me. For the next four weeks, I shall incorporate one Orthodox recipe into the weekly menu. This week it will be an Orthodox Easter recipe. I’ll also attempt to speak about the Customs, Traditions and Foods of Orthodox holidays, learning as I go along on this quest.
My father’s side of the family are Irish Catholics and my mother’s side are German Lutherans. As I was growing up I remember visiting my Step-Fathers Mother on Easter. My Step-Grandmother was also Lutheran. We would drive to church with her and after church we would go out to breakfast at the tiny cafe in her town. I would wear my best dress and attempt to stay clean all day. Other than the times we would take my Step-Grandmother to church, I remember my brother and I coloring eggs then we would take turns hiding the eggs around the house until we had eaten them all or we lost them behind furniture. That is all I knew about Easter. So, when I had my own children I had to investigate what Easter was really about and decide what and how we would celebrate the Holiday.
My husband had taught me a lot about religion, I’d say he had taught me everything I knew, up until I started college, about religion. When my three eldest children were still young I was very isolated with them. We didn’t have a car for me to use, we did not have a telephone for me to call family on, and we did not own a television or radio to enjoy. When the Jehovah Witnesses came knocking on my door wanting to have bible studies with me, I figured why not let them in. We could learn from each other and I could have a couple of friends. That lasted for a little while. The relationship turned sour when they told me that God was punishing me for something by letting me be born with a disability and that I wouldn’t be allowed into heaven because of my disability. I asked them to leave. That was the end of any friendships I have had besides the friendship with my husband and children. It was also the last time I had any religious teachings.
Baptized and confirmed as a child into the Lutheran church I have not been to church on my own as an adult, save a handful of times. My children are not baptized, although I always wanted it. My husband didn’t think it was necessary to do so, nor make any attempt at honoring my wishes of maintaining a religious household. When I begin grace at the super table eyes roll, sounds of disgust will be heard, and he will not join me in setting a good example of thanking the Lord for our food and our day. During bed time it was just myself and my children because he was at work, so I had incorporated a routine of saying our bedtime prayers before sleep and the children seemed to enjoy that.
I don’t want to sound like the failure of religion in my home is all of his fault or that I put a total blame on him. I believe I did the best I could, given the circumstances, and now that the children are teenagers, they refuse to attend ceremonies with me. I do regret that my wishes were not taken seriously and that I had been isolated which prevented the children and I from seeking out friendships that could have helped us attend church.
For the next four weeks, I will be on a quest to learn more about what is it that makes a church Orthodox and what are the foods one can partake in during religious holidays.
Please join me on my quest, I will need the support!