Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Easter joy in a song April 1, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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THE WORDS IN THIS HYMN are my most cherished of Easter songs. For these verses I sang as a child each Easter in the balcony of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Vesta, Minnesota.

Dressed in a new cotton Easter dress, feet strapped into shiny patent leather shoes, a hat streaming ribbons down my back, I sang with enthusiasm. I know that my Redeemer lives! Loud. Joyous. From the soul.

The imprint of this hymn remains with me decades later, far removed from the church of my youth. I can still sing the words from memory. I can still feel the stiff cotton of my new dress, hear the organ music rising and falling, smell the lingering scent of cows on myself and classmates, taste the sweetness of Easter candy upon my tongue, see the temporary Easter tattoos pressed upon my arm.

In this rural church, gathered with other farm families, I celebrated Easter. Today, decades later, in Trinity Lutheran Church 120 miles to the east, I know (still) that my Redeemer lives!

TO MY DEAR READERS, may you celebrate a joyous and blessed Easter!

Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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19 Responses to “Easter joy in a song”

  1. Dawn Says:

    A blessed Easter to you and your family Audrey!

  2. Jena Says:

    Happy Easter! Christ the Lord is Risen Today!

  3. Kiandra Judge Says:

    The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus means that one day everything sad will come untrue.
    J.R.R. Tolkien

    One of my favorite quotes of the beauty of Easter! He is Risen Indeed!
    Blessed Easter

  4. Sandra Van Erp Says:

    Ditto, Audrey. From Wed. to Sun. I sang in 3 churches in 3 suburbs, one sang this hymn. Sun saved Easter though! HE LIVES! Certainly relate to the shoes and hat too and I’m way older than you. Love your blog….

    • Sandra, thank you for sharing your gift of song with all those churches and all of those people. What a blessing you were to all.

      Yes, He lives. Alleluia.

      Thank you for your kind words regarding my blog. So sweet of you…

  5. Laurine Jannusch Says:

    I so enjoy your comments that include St. Johns of Vesta. Last year you wrote about your green purse. I can see that outfit in my mind’s eye–I remember thinking what a lovely spring green it was. It may have been sewed at home, but the color captured the beauty of all that is spring. Easter blessings. Laurine Jannusch

    • St. John’s helped shape me. It was within the walls of that church and the old schoolhouse behind, that I grew in my faith. Maybe even on the street playing Pump-Pump-Pullaway during Vacation Bible School. I am grateful to pastors like your husband, to my parents, to my grandparents and, yes, to Sunday School teachers and church organists and all those who shared Christ’s love with me.

      And just so you know, I pulled my lime green purse out of the closet yesterday morning and took it to church. Several people commented on it. Then I could share the story of the purse that I’ve kept for more than 50 years. I’m kind of glad my mom “kept everything.”

      A belated blessed Easter to you and those you love, Laurine!

  6. Jackie Says:

    This just made me smile and nod my head! Yes my Redeemer lives!!!

  7. Littlesundog Says:

    I have a lot of Easter memories from my childhood. I have dozens of Easter songs in memory since we went to a Lutheran parochial school where we often performed in church. Like you, my siblings and I had new Easter clothes each year. I believe I could recall each dress I ever had… but I sure hated about three years where Mom made all of us girls wear the same dress, just a different size. That was always mortifying to me! Ha ha! I know this is late but I do hope you had a joyous day Sunday.

    • Thank you for sharing your Easter memories. You and I have such similar backgrounds, except that I didn’t attend a Lutheran parochial school, only a Lutheran church and later a Lutheran college (for two years). I had a wonderful Easter with my eldest daughter, her husband and my sweet granddaughter. How about you? Did you celebrate with family?

  8. Happy belated Easter! I hope that you had a lovely holiday weekend


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