I watched him edging down a side aisle, toddler tethered to the safety of his father’s hand. A candlelighter on that Easter day, rowdiness contained by new clothes and solemn purpose.
Cropped hair damp across his forehead, cheeks flushed pink, he waited his turn in the warm, familiar circle of his father’s arms.
Hymns spun out in the air above the candles. He moved, his time arrived, away from father to something new and ancient all at once.
Plump, sturdy legs carried him up three marble steps to the candleholder. He grasped his unlit candle, took flame from the neighboring taper, then thumped it firmly down, and turned away.
Still, drawn by the lure of this first, solemn task, he stopped, looking back across one shoulder to where his candle brightly flickered.
A thousand brittle creeds shattered. Easter was the hope in those clear eyes.