Sunday, March 31, 2013

So passed Easter Day, 1869

The Roman Catholic and Episcopal Churches
Observance of the Sacred Festival

Easter morn broke bright and beautiful.  Nature was wreathed in smiles.  The trees were budding, the young shoals and flowers of spring peeped out to greet an almost summer sun, and the tender grass looked fresh and green.  The birds carolled, it would seem more blithely, responsive, as it were, to the effect of nature.  The weather so propitious, so delightful, so appropriate to the glad season when the Church commemorates a risen Lord, was taken advantage of by the people, who flocked upon the streets and filled the churches.  these were literally packed, especially those of the Catholic and Episcopal faith, where the observance of Easter festival was celebrated with more than usual fervor, much of which manifested itself in the decorations of the several edifices in a style of beauty that could not be surpassed.  Crosses of every conceivable size and shape, and of flowers of every hue and name that the season could afford, were called into "equisition, and the result was, in nearly every place of worship belonging to the sects named, a success in decoration that, as we have said, could not well be excelled. This was especially the case at St. Lazarus Church, where we noticed, among other tasteful emblems of our common religion a large white marble cross near the chancel, entwining which was a garland of flowers, the whole making up a perfect picture in itself.  We also noticed two cromocrosses beautifully enwreathed with flowers.  Elsewhere throughout the church there were wreaths and boquets, the whole completing a coup d'oeil of the sweetest and most appreciable character.  The services were those incidental to the day, but rendered with more than usual fervor.  Prof. Tepe presided at the organ, and with his efficient choir added much to the solemnity of the occasion by the character of the music, especially the Easter anthem, which was finely rendered.

At Calvary Church the decorations were not quite so ornate as those of St. Lazarus, but were becoming and appropriate.  They partook of flowers and evergreens in wreaths and boquets.  The musical part of the services were as usual very fine, Prof. Schultz, organist, presiding.  The anthem of the day was given in very fine style.  The congregation was, as at St. Lazarus, comprised largely of ladies, who generally appeared in bright and beautiful colors appropriate to the season.  The number of communicants at either place of worship was notably very large.

At Grace, St. Mary's, and the Church of the Good Shepherd there was more or less of decoration, all of it of the character described above.  All three of these edifices were filled, the ladies being especially in great numbers.  The services were the same as those at Calvary, but the music was especially fine.

At the Catholic churches at St. Patrick, St. Peter and St. Mary's the services were of the imposing character, usual to the magnificent ritual of Rome.  The decorations at either place were simple but appropriate.  Of the music it is only necessary to say that Prof. Winkler presided at St. Peter's, and Prof. Sebaizky at St. Patrick's, to assure the readers of the Appeal that it was magnificent that it was all they could make it with superb material.  At St. Peter's, the grandest church edifice in the State, or, perhaps, the Southwest, the mass for the day was rendered in a style that fully sustained the reputation of the choir and the cultured, Mr. Winkler.

At the Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist churches the services were those usual to every Sunday, there being no special regulations or rules in their articles of faith for the commemoration of Easter.  They were all well filled, and by attentive and devout listeners.  So passed Easter Day, 1869.

Posted in the Memphis Daily Appeal March 29, 1869

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