Paragraph Seven, Subpart J, Clause Twelve

April 8, 2007 | 33 comments
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WHEREAS, the living room contains Easter eggs (including eggs of the chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter varieties); and

Whereas, it is statistically impossible (or downright cruel) for children to collect chocolate eggs and remain unable to consume any such eggs; and

Whereas, it is highly unwise (and not very conducive to proper Sacrament meeting behavior) for children to breakfast on snitched chocolate and nothing else;

THEREFORE, it is resolved that,

On a Sunday where Easter falls on Fast Sunday,

The traditional Fast Sunday conventions (abstention from eating, &c, &c), may, in the discretion of the parents, be WAIVED, in order that children may consume a proper breakfast (waffles, bacon, cereal), prior to stuffing themselves on chocolate eggs and bunnies.

33 Responses to Paragraph Seven, Subpart J, Clause Twelve

  1. Ardis Parshall on April 8, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    I’m a kid at heart, so pass the waffles!

    (Fortunately my bishop was wise enough to reschedule Fast Sunday for the week before Conference anyway.)

  2. Eve on April 8, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    Kaimi, I’m all over your resolution.

    It reminded me of a couple of childhood memories, both from when I was eight or nine: (1) singing the hymn that contains the line “Easter feast” on one of those Easter fast Sundays and wondering sadly why we Mormons, who always had to be different, were having a fast instead of a feast and (2) one fast-Sunday morning fighting, quarreling, and generally serving the devil with my brother and sisters until my exasperated father plunked us down at the table and told us to break our fast and eat breakfast before we drove him crazy.

  3. Norbert on April 8, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    I was reading a devotional talk Packer gave about the unwritten rules of the church. I thought it was largely nonsense, I’m afraid, but it made me think of my own unwritten rules. Here’s what I came up with at church today.

    Closing prayers should always be short.

    The congregation should not be cheated out of the chance of belting out seasonal hymns by the choir.

    The waiving of fasts in regards to food-related holidays will be duly added.

    (I just realized the irony of having written down the unwritten rules.)

  4. Kevin Barney on April 8, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Ours was two weeks ago, as with Ardis’, but I’m with you and raise my hand to sustain the amendment (which in fact has been my family’s practice throughout my entire life). A rider: when Christmas or Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, we shall have only the worship service, and not the regularly scheduled three-hour block classes. (I would even extend this to whenever we have the Christmas program irrespective of how far away Christmas may actually be, but I don’t think I would get enough support for passage.)

  5. Kevin Barney on April 8, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    Oooo, Norbert, I’m with you about the music. Sure, let the choir sing, but everyone else wants to sing, too. Even today I was mildly annoyed that we only got to sing two Easter songs (not counting the sacrament hymn). (Not that we have a lot of Easter songs in the hymnal anyway.) There was a solo in the middle of the meeting, which was great. But on a day like this, why not sing six or seven songs? Make it more of a program, break up the usual routine a bit. Music to me is more important than the talks.

  6. Russell Arben Fox on April 8, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    In sacrament meeting today, the choir sang “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.” That’s it. The second counseler, in welcoming people and introducing the business of the ward at the start of the meeting, made no mention of Easter. Neither the opening nor closing prayer made any mention of Easter (though the person who gave the opening prayer did say something vague about “the season.”) None of the talks made specific mention of Easter. There were no Easter lillies, or spring flowers of any kind, on display anywhere in the building. There were no special meetings planned. There was that common picture of Christ appearing to Mary outside the tomb on the cover of the program, if that counts as a “decoration,” but that probably appears a dozen times over the course of the year anyway.

    My second daughter, Caitlyn, asked me halfway through sacrament if anyone was going to tell the Easter story. I said I didn’t know; that it depended on the speakers. She sighed, and said “it seems just like a regular Sunday.” I told her that’s why our family has our own traditions at Easter…but I can’t deny that I agreed with her as well.

    (Norbert, I have to admit that I shared your opinion of Elder Packer’s address when I first read it.)

  7. jose on April 8, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    I guess not all bishops are endowed with the same wisdom and forsight so as to not to have fast sunday “conflict” with Easter treats. As for our sunday services, the Lord–consistent with His “mysterious ways”– blessed the congregation with a blown transformer. With most of the power went out in the church building, we went home early and read the Easter story with the family.

  8. Melissa on April 8, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    Oh, Russell. Your description made me feel some of Caitlyn’s dismay! I attended a variety of different services today all of which were rich experiences. The Princeton University Chapel service boasted the gorgeous stained glass of the sanctuary and Bach. In the Presbyterian service there were lots of Easter lillies and tulips and for the final number the choir and congregation sang the Hallelujah Chorus accompanied by an organ, violins and trumpets!

    You’d think that trumpets would be allowed in Mormon worship services since a trumpet-toting Moroni tops every temple!

    And I don’t think that little children should ever have to fast.

  9. Megan on April 8, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Melissa, how often are you in Princeton?
    I agree, the University chapel is beautiful.

  10. Melissa on April 8, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Megan. I live in Princeton. I attend University Chapel once every couple of months.

  11. Megan on April 8, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    I thought you might still… but I wasn’t sure. You know me vaugely, I just haven’t seen you around…

  12. queuno on April 8, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Well, in *our* stake, we have fast Sunday the week before general conference. And we had a Easter sacrament meeting overflowing with Easter content, such that it ran into Sunday school.

  13. queuno on April 8, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    [We also have the twice-a-year Catholics from across the street trying to park in our lot because they don’t have enough room. We smile and welcome them to meetings.]

  14. Matt Evans on April 8, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    My parents made the wise decision to ask the Easter Bunny to visit our house on Saturday, to preserve a different focus for Easter Sunday.

  15. Kristine on April 8, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    Ah, Matt, that’s probably why you ended up so well-adjusted–my parents made us wait until Family Home Evening on Monday *after* Easter for the Easter egg hunt. I’m still a little bitter : )

  16. Susan M on April 8, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    Kevin Barney just described our Easter meeting. Congregation sang; member of the Bishopric read some scriptures; primary sang; member of the Bishopric read some scriptures; young women sang; member of the Bishopric read some scriptures; congregational hymn; member of the Bishopric read some scriptures; choir sang; member of the Bishopric read some scriptures; young men sang. The scriptures told the story of Christ’s birth, ministry, death and ressurrection. It was wonderful.

    And our fast Sunday was two weeks ago.

  17. Russell Arben Fox on April 8, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    We don’t do Easter eggs–or rather, we do them, but not on Easter. We paint eggs, do the egg hunts, hand out baskets with ribbobs and candy, etc., on May Day, which we’ve made our family’s spring holiday. We wanted to do all these secular spring things, but didn’t like associating them with Easter so directly. So we separated them, and May 1st seemed like the most appropriate day to do them on. I like it because the secret pagan part of me really likes the idea of honoring holidays like Halloween, May Day, etc. Melissa likes it because she can pick up tons of spring/Easter candy and decorations at day-after-Easter sales for up to 75% off. And the kids seem to like it, because no matter where you live, the odds of a warm day appropriate for running around and searching for hidden eggs in the back yard or at the park are much higher on May 1 than in March.

  18. Mary B on April 8, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    Our branch: Two rousing Easter hymns, one Easter sacrament hymn, and a pile of Easter testimonies . Good stuff.
    And I think many of the kids may have gorged on Easter stuff beforehand. They were a pretty quiet bunch today, rather like fat puppies after a good meal.
    Which is actually probably a good thing. A significant percentage of the children in our branch come to church the same way they come to school, having skipped breakfast or having just grabbed a pop-tart while heading out the door. As a result they feel like they are starving by the time the sacrament is passed to the congregation.

  19. Clair on April 9, 2007 at 12:22 am

    When our kids were young, we had the “Spring Bunny” bring goodies on Saturday morning. The kids didn’t mind at all getting some candy a day early.

  20. Frank McIntyre on April 9, 2007 at 10:51 am

    “I like it because the secret pagan part of me really likes the idea of honoring holidays like Halloween, May Day, etc. ”

    I think it’s also because you’re a worker solidarity kind of guy.

  21. Adam Greenwood on April 9, 2007 at 11:47 am

    We did our egg hunting in the afternoon.

    If Mormonism can’t beat a few chocolate eggs, well!

  22. paula on April 9, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    I am probably displaying woeful ignorance here– but where is it written that Fast Sunday must occur every month?

  23. Seth R. on April 9, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Just don’t do the “Easter Baskets” on Easter Sunday.

    It detracts from the spirit of the Sabbath anyway.

  24. Edje on April 9, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    paula (22): A formal, regularly scheduled, church-wide “fast day” was first initiated in 1849 with monthly first-Thursday fast. The First Presidency changed the monthly fast to the first Sunday on 05 Nov 1896.

    (A. Dean Wengreen, “The Origin and History of the Fast Day in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1896,” Masters Thesis, Brigham Young University, 1955.)

  25. Rosalynde Welch on April 9, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    So you’ve all got me wondering. We didn’t do easter baskets or bunny or eggs at all in my home growing up (and I don’t do it in mine), so I don’t know how any of it fits together. How do the dyed easter eggs relate to the chocolate eggs, and where does the bunny come into it all? Does the bunny hide eggs and baskets? When does this all occur? Is the large rodent a night visitor like Santa?

    Write me “A Child’s Easter in Suburbia,” someone.

  26. fMhLisa on April 9, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Hear Hear! I also love the May Day Idea. I frequently think that RAF is the best dad ever.

  27. paula on April 9, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Thank you Edje, Now– I’m being too lazy to read that all right now– but it does make me wonder– this is not scriptural right? Therefore, why is it more important to have a fast day every single month, than it is to have Easter services once a year? Couldn’t Fast Sunday just be skipped, rather than, um, Easter?

  28. Edje on April 10, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    Paula (27): I don’t see the conflict between Fast Sunday and Easter. I find that fasting and bearing testimonies enhances both the spiritual and communal aspects of the holyday. (I, like others, am in favor of more congregational singing during the Easter sacrament meeting, even if it is a fast and testimony meeting).

    Rosalynde Welch (25): My lactose-intolerant, hypoglycemic natal family skipped the chocolate almost completely. We did hardboiled eggs but downplayed the oviparous LOUS or any other mythic aition. (An LOUS is similar to an ROUS, but it’s a lagomorph instead of a rodent). For us the fun was decorating eggs (read: making a tremendous mess), hiding them ourselves, and then eating deviled eggs. It all happened on Saturday. We experimented with older kids hiding for younger kids or more or less equal groups hiding for each other. Fairly early on we tired of it; I don’t think the younger half (of the eleven of us) ever did anything like a secular Easter. Also, I think the egg budget ($ and effort) got to be prohibitive.

    However, one time as an undergrad I spent Easter with a roommate’s family; for them the Bunny came by night and hid plastic eggs (containing candy or money) all over the yard. I didn’t catch an explanation of why he/she did that (besides general kindness and boredom). The baskets were just left on the kitchen table. The chocolate eggs in the baskets had no mythic connection to the Bunny or the hidden eggs in the yard. Chocolate eggs are sort of sufficient in themselves; they don’t need a reason to exist.

  29. Rosalynde Welch on April 10, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Words of the day: oviparous and lagomorph

    Love it! Thanks, Edje. I’ve got a tub of boiled eggs sitting in my fridge right now; deviled eggs sounds like a delightful ovivorous dinner.

    My large family of origin also has distinct holiday cultures in the first and second halves. Easter, for instance: one of my younger siblings devised an Easter morning ritual involving a dome tent set up in the family room to symbolize the empty tomb, with several other elements as well. This is the prevailing Frandsen Easter paradigm, but I’ve never witnessed it.

  30. paula on April 10, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Edje, I dont’ think that there has to be a conflict between Easter meetings and Fast Meetings, but in practice, I hear that happened in many wards. I think it’s especially important to have Easter music, but many bishops, including mine, did not feel that way, and the meeting was mostly a regular Fast Meeting, except that the bishop apparently tried to start things off in an Easter vein with his testimony, according to my friend. (I wasn’t there at all this year, but in the animal emergency room with my cat, who is just fine now.)

  31. Edje on April 10, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Glad to hear the cat is well.

  32. paula on April 11, 2007 at 12:07 am

    Thanks, he is a very well-beloved old kitty and had eaten a long piece of string. Fortunately it came out without surgery, but I’ll spare you all the details. :)

  33. Mary on April 11, 2007 at 8:45 am

    As children we always did our Easter Egg hunt on Saturday. As long as I could remember, we not only hunted dyed eggs and chocolate, but also a pineapple and a coconut. I have since adopted this practice into my own hunts for my family and friends. I recently asked my mom why the Easter Bunny hid a coconut and a pineapple. She said that when we (10 children) were young, she wanted to hide something that wasn’t candy or toys but was fun and special. From then on the pineapple and coconut were the main prizes of the hunt and the most difficult to find. If you found them, you got to open them and we ate them with the dyed eggs turned into deviled eggs with our Easter dinner.