EASTER PROCESSION, ST. FLORIAN, APRIL 8, 2007
For too many American Christians, Easter Sunday has lost much of its true meaning. It is the is the most important religious feast of the Christian liturgical year.
European cultures seem to have remembered the sacredness of the celebration, however, and the pre-dawn mass at St. Florian is as filled with symbolic references to Christ’s resurrection as it with the simple joy of the largely Polish congregation.
For example, Father Tomasz Sielicki likes to begin the mass just before dawn, building a bonfire in front of the church to symbolize the risen Christ. By the end of the service, it is morning, which is meant to instill hope in the hearts of parishioners. The visual splendor of the mass includes a procession with ushers carrying the Paschal Candle, the Crucifix and the statue of the Risen Christ. Coming behind are altar boys, children with pussy willows and a parade of traditonally costumed children and a representatives from parish societies with banners. Focus changes to the empty tomb, where Fr. Sielicki and his ministers kneel and pray.
The church itself is one of the great structures of Detroit. It must be seen to be truly appreciated. It’s Polish parishioners have a special affinity for St. Florian himself—the patron saint of Poland