9 Comments

  1. Kathy

    In our CS “forum” which was a young person’s CS group, we had Easter Egg hunts in a member’s garden which we were told Americans did….it being important in UK to maintain that American link! It is interesting to me just how many interpretations of CS there were! We definitely did not enter into religious discussions or teachings about Easter.

  2. G

    Wow, never ceases to amaze me how different people’s experience was inside the church from branch to branch.

    This has been profoundly difficult in my own coming to terms with the abuse I went through because when I share with people who were/are still involved the response is nearly always, ‘Well that never happened in MY church’.

    Over and over again I’ve heard so many people share their crazy stories of CS that’s unique to their branch/family/practitioner

    For example, at my church Easter was a Big Deal. People always wore new outfits and near formal wear on Easter. Easter dinner was a huge affair and we always had Easter egg hunts in our family.

    Of course we also had incest, beatings, mental illness, alcoholism, elder abuse, child abuse and all manner of fraud and financial crimes, so I’m not bragging.

    Also Easter at Principia was a big deal too.

    I wonder if other people have noticed how different CS church culture is location to location? Seems like the closer to Boston the more extremist and fundamentalist it gets with St Louis being the exception to that rule.

    Anyone notice this?

    • Laura H

      I find some matching on your Boston ->outward perspective. I grew up in upstate NY (capital District), 5th generation CS while also having a parent that fell out while another joined in. Crazy times, with some members of the extended family going full medical/alcohol/tobacco while our face to the church was the appearance of strict obedience and no discussion of quite a bit, as seemed to be true for the entire area. It was interesting to learn of my grand father being booted (I’m sure it was gently encouraged to change habits) from the church due to smoking, when he had also been a first reader. The women carried the torch and we had 4 generations attending at the same time. I then attended Principia where I found drastically different perspectives on most everything. Years later my first born, who I’d placed for adoption with a CS family attended Prin also, when getting to know her as an adult I met other CS families that had very different perspectives. I’ve practiced in Elsah, upstate NY, Metro Detroit and SF bay area. The drastic differences from person to person/branch to branch is bizarre. I knew a family in CA that had filth in their home to the point most would be disgusted, the family was revered in the community. I guessed that others didn’t know what life was like for them at home, now I wonder what the rest were like. I’ve had adult conversations with Prin friends that have been fascinating. I can’t see branding yourself as CS and not going all the way with it, but I’ve known people that seem to follow medicine more than CS and consider that normal CS. On the flip side we’ve all heard of people that thought it more appropriate to allow their child to die than to acknowledge they were failing with prayer.

  3. Carre

    We always celebrated Easter with new clothes, Easter eggs, baskets and big family dinners. I am amazed that this wasn’t everyone’s experience in CS. Guess I was one of the lucky ones from what a lot of you experienced. I love Easter because it is spring and this year coincided with my 39th anniversary of marriage. I did what I love, worked out in my yard and separated perennials to plant later or share with friends. Happy Easter everyone!

  4. Chrystal

    Thank you all for your feedback. I know I grew up in a strict CS household. You can read my story by searching for Chrystal’s Story on this blog. I was taught we had to be super strict with Christian Science (which is neither “Christian” nor “Science”), or else we wouldn’t be able to heal.

    The idea of having an Easter basket and other such things (like a new dress) struck us as blasphemy. Ugh.

    I am so grateful to be out of that horrible, debilitating belief system.

    • Patty

      There are different branches of Quakers, since their founding in the middle 1600’s.

      Originally, Quakers did not celebrate Christmas, Easter or any other designated “Holy Days” with outward observances. The founder, George Fox, inspired Quakers to turn away from materialism and ritual, believing they were distractions and barriers to experiencing the presence of God.

      Now in different branches there are various amounts of ritual and outer observance.

      • Laura

        Patty, I am new to the site; but I just wanted to share that I also attended Quaker meetings after leaving the Christian Science church. It was a time of great healing for me.

  5. Laura H

    On the question of why wouldn’t CS people celebrate Easter, the answer is that we are expected to celebrate it every day. It represents the reason for all of Christianity existing, it should be celebrated every day by all Christians. Most don’t think that’s a good enough reason to not have a special focused time on it though.

    As a kid we had fresh clothes and a big family dinner, plus some family members that didn’t regularly attend would go to services that Sunday. Most of that was cultural as I grew up in a very catholic city in NYS. Other kids in SS also wore new clothes to church that morning and many participated in community ‘Easter’ events that have little to do with the religious events that were under celebration. We behaved a little differently but no one articulated it. Hymns selected might have reflected the day, but it wasn’t part of the service. We always had Easter baskets, in part because Mom was raised half Catholic half Episcopal, it was what she and her parents expected of life. Dad was raised CS and expected all of us at church on Easter, but he couldn’t articulate a thing about the religion by the time I had any questions. A ton of my childhood religiously was about meeting the grands expectation. Mom’s mom was likely disgusted that we weren’t either Episcopal or Catholic, while Dad’s mom would likely freak about us being exposed to ‘Papists’. Thankfully as the youngest I missed any and all drama as they’d agreed to disagree by the time I was aware.

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