No peeking during choir practice on Wednesday night.
No peeking during the Seder dinner on Thursday night.
No peeking during the Good Friday service...or the Easter vigil service on Saturday night...
And no peeking even on Sunday morning when we arrived. You could just feel the excitement in the pews as we all sat and waited.
We started the service in a dim room with the lights off and the windows shrouded. We heard the story that "while it was still dark," Mary went to the tomb and found it empty. How she ran to get the others. How Peter and "the other disciple" ran to the tomb and also found it empty, and then went back to their lodgings.
But Mary stayed and encounters Jesus, the risen Jesus, but does not recognize him, until he simply says her name, "Mary."
At that point, the lights came on and all the curtains and veils were pulled away. The sun cooperated nicely and shone so brightly it felt blinding after the dimness we had gotten used to. There was an audible reaction from the congregation as the "painting" was revealed:
I'll give you a closer look:
That's ok, take your time. I'll wait for you to finish looking.
Takes a while to take it in, doesn't it? Believe me, no one was paying
attention to the service for a while either!!
Fabulous, isn't it?
And it really didn't matter who did what. There was a "map" available after the service, but that's just curiosity. The main thing is how all those very different parts come together. Some matching, some not, but in the whole just fantastic.
There were mini marshmallows (I kid you not):
There was glitter and pompoms (but who wouldn't want a glittery halo?) and pencil crayon:
There was pasta:
One thing I couldn't get over was how well all the lines in Jesus' robes lined up:
mine is right in the middle!)
After the service, there was a crowd of people milling around on the platform trying to get a closer look. It was a really neat thing to be a part of. And after the service the party went on all day as people found time to Facebook about the event before, after and in between Easter get-togethers.
The whole piece is 11' x 14' and here's a pic to give you a sense of scale:
If you're curious about the image we started with, check out Tamara Rigishvili's work at her website.