MEIGS COUNTY — Easter caught many by surprise this year, with its March date and the continuing cold temperatures.
Spring flowers also began blooming a bit early, as if they were aware of Easter’s approach. Warm days before freezing temperatures returned provided an opportunity for many to bloom, only to be nipped by frost.
The date for the Easter holiday fluctuates, as it falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. If the first full moon occurs on the equinox, Easter is the following Sunday. Easter can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25, with the most common date being April 19.
This year, the equinox was officially March 19, according to the Farmers Almanac, although March 21 is the date commonly referred to as the equinox — or first day of spring.
This complicated method for determining Easter was challenged in 1928 with the Easter Act passed by the federal government in an attempt to fix the date of the holiday on the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April. This mostly forgotten law was never enforced, and Easter is still set by the original formula.
Several Easter egg hunts have already taken place around the area. Eager egg hunters, with their baskets in hand, turned out for the Meigs County Public Library’s Easter Egg Hunt. This year, the hunt was held at the Racine Library and organizers said the hunters, bundled in the winter coats, were not deterred by the cold, wet weather.
The Thursday before Easter, known as Maundy Thursday in the Christian church, is a commemoration of the Last Supper. Maundy comes from the Latin word “mandatum,” or washing of the feet, a religious rite observed by several Christian denominations and patterned after Jesus’ performance of this act at the Last Supper.
Many churches in the area begin their Easter traditions on Maundy Thursday: St. Paul Lutheran Church in Pomeroy will begin with a social hour with soup and sandwiches at 6 p.m., followed by Holy Communion at 7 p.m. In Racine, Bethany United Methodist Church, 48399 Tornado Road, will have a meal and communion at 6 p.m. New Beginnings United Methodist Church, 112 E. Second St., Pomeroy, will host their second “Way of the Cross’ event, a self-guided spiritual reflection on the Betrayal and Suffering of Jesus, from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.
Good Friday is a day Christians commemorate the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death, often holding solemn services in remembrance.
New Beginnings UMC will host the second “Way of the Cross,” from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Good Friday services that begin at 7 p.m. will include Holy Good Friday at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Pomeroy, Good Friday service at Morning Star United Methodist Church , 46515 Township Road 698, Racine, and Rutland Free Will Church. Rutland’s services will host the Paul Taylor memorial hymn sing.
Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus on the third day after his Crucifixion. Many will rise early Easter Sunday to attend sunrise services, beginning with First Baptist Church of Middleport, 211 S. 6th Ave., at 6:30 a.m.; Sutton United Methodist Church Fellowship Building, 48540 Carmel Road, Racine, beginning at 7a.m. with breakfast to follow; Rutland Free Will Baptist Church at 6 a.m., with breakfast served by the men of the church following the service.
Many churches will hold Sunday School and church services on Easter Sunday, including Rutland Free Will Baptist Church Sunday School at 10 a.m., Easter worship service at 11:30 a.m. and evening service at 6 p.m. Sunday morning worship services at Bethany UMC begin at 9 a.m., Morning Star UMC at 10 a.m. and Carmel-Sutton UMC at 11 a.m.
Churches not listed above can be contacted directly for their schedule of Easter events.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext. 2551.