Plum Creek, Michigan, USA — Marsha (St. Joanna the Myrrhbearer) Winthrop brought back the Paschal greeting in a new language, which she learned on a spring vacation in Idaho.
She told fellow worshipers that she attended Holy Week and Pascha services at All Saints of Middle Earth Church in Mystic Lake, Idaho, a town of about 4,000, whose residents live in four ethnic neighborhoods.
“The priest of All Saints, Father Fred (Frodo the Ringbearer) Higgins, was a nice little guy with a deep bass voice and really big feet,” she said of the church where she spent Holy Week during her vacation in a largely Mormon section of Idaho. “He told me that their grandparents were immigrants, but I wasn’t clear where they were from, somewhere in Europe I think, because he kept referring to their new home as the Western Havens. I got the impression they were escaping from a war or something. Maybe World War II.”
She said she found the Paschal banquet entertaining, with a lot of food and many varieties of beer. She especially liked the fireworks, she said, which reminded her of a display she saw at Disneyland.
Although she was unfamiliar with the ethnic groups in Mystic Lake, she said that their affectionate rivalry reminded her of her home parish, St. Anthony of the Desert here, which is a blend of Russian, Greek, Lebanese and Romanian, with some American converts mixed in. The different groups there were almost as distinctive as the ones in her home parish, with two tending to be short and more heavy-set and another tending to be thinner and more fair-skinned. One ethnic group seemed more like the people she saw in Boise, she said.
The townspeople work mostly in mining and forestry, and one couple are philology professors at the University of Idaho in Moscow.
At the banquet, she asked for the text of the Paschal greeting, which was this: “Si Cuielen na i hiro o coi!” and the response is “Ele, Si Cuielan!”
The priest of her home parish, Father Herman (of Alaska) Whiteside, expressed surprise at the new greeting. “I’ve never heard of Sindarin,” he said, “but it’s easier to pronounce than Tlingit.”
Thanks to Barbara Eng.
Copyright © 2004-2016 Jan Bear. All Rights Reserved.
This report was first filed by Onion Dome rambling reporter Jan Bear in April, 2004