On a Hill Far Away...

I love Easter. I love everything about this coming holiday (even the big bunny and the colored eggs), but most of all, I love the Christian meaning of Easter…

For me (and my family) Easter Sunday has always been synonymous with church services and thankful, grateful worship. Easter church services always seem so cheery to me (as they should). It is after all, a celebration! Some of the best hymns are dusted off and happily sung on Easter. My favorite songs are old standards like “He Arose”, “The Old Rugged Cross” & “He Lives”. I love old hymns anyway, but hearing these sung (and joining in, of course) always gives me a little thrill.

During the late 70's/early 80's (I was in grade school), my family lived on a little farm, and we attended a tiny country church. The church was frequented by several farm families who lived nearby. The building itself was very small – just one large room actually. The majority of that room was used for the main service and also for adult Sunday School. There was an upright piano and a simple pulpit toward the front. There were several rows of wooden pews and then some tables were at the back. The tables were used for children’s Sunday School classes (unless the weather was lovely – and then we’d sometimes go to the picnic tables outside). A tidy little outhouse was in the backyard between the church and a well kept cemetery. I know that it probably does not sound like much, but it was a wonderful place to learn and love and grow.

Even though the church was small, and often informal… everyone dressed up for Easter Sunday. I remember some years getting shiny new Mary Janes and a little white hat and a frilly dress. I was a tomboy generally, but Easter was one time my dear Mom could usually convince me to look “girly”.

My Dad was the song leader during most of our years at that church, and he would lead us in singing those old songs whether or not we had a piano player present for the service. It was there, in that simple one-room country church, that my love of old hymns was born. It’s that love of the old time songs that makes me now insist on going to the early morning “traditional service” at our current (big city) church. I just prefer singing songs found in hymnals. Yes, we tend to be the only folks under 60 that go to that service, but I don’t care. It’s worth it to hear (and sing) the songs I love. They bring to mind memories of a long ago place and time that I hope never to forget.

That old one-room church still stands in its quiet grove of trees on a hilly country road, but no regular services are held there now as far as I know. The families of my childhood have grown up and moved away, or have found new church homes to call their own. I believe there is still the occasional “Homecoming” service and maybe it’s used for weddings or funerals, but otherwise, it’s quiet.

Except in my mind… where I still see that little building pulsing with life, children and parents happily crowding onto hard wood pews, greeting each other warmly, and when the time comes - bellowing out in their sometimes off-key voices….

“He lives, He lives,
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives,
Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.”

I wish for you a very happy Easter filled with all the things you hold dear! God bless.

Pictures: bing images (unfortunately I don't have a photo of the actual church I attended as a child - but this one is close)


  1. Hi Christy - there is an ward for you on my blog!xx

  2. I can't listen to the Old Rugged Cross without crying - My grandad used to love to sing it. xxx Have a lovely Easter Christy

  3. Beautiful post Christy! Your church sounds a lot like the one we grew up in and my dad was the superintendent. We lived a little over a mile away and our church sat on a small country corner. I remember different Easter Sundays we would get all dressed up and us kids would start walking to church. I don't think we ever made it before mom and dad came along in the car and picked us up, but it was such fun. Many wonderful fond memories! Sadly they tore my little country church down several years ago and every time I pass that corner I remember...my childhood...wonderful sweet memories!!

  4. Beautiful post! That little old church sounds wonderful. Happy Easter!


  5. P.S. I forgot to tell you that I have a similar post scheduled for Saturday, but I do have a photo of my old church. Be sure and stop on over and see it.

  6. Christy, I loved this post. Your lil country church could've been just down the road from me. There is an old Lutheran Church about 40 minutes drive on a gravel country road where we used to go. It is still active too.

    As a homeschool mom, I have tried to instill the love of the old hymns in my own children and it worked. They love, and even prefer, the old hymns to the more contemporary style of worship at our church.

    Wishing you a blessed and joyous Easter.
    He is Risen!

  7. Thanks for all the lovely comments!

    Sandi - Looking forward to reading your Saturday post! :)

  8. Hello there and nice to meet you! Thanks for coming by to visit at Mama Says Vintage. The little church you grew up in sounds so lovely...I often see these tiny churches like this when winding through on trips and think how simple and nice it must be to belong to a place like that.
    Hope you and yours have a wonderful easter!~

  9. Thank you for following my blog. I hope that you don't struggle with some of my daft English words! I love all the old hymns too, my maternal grandparents were Salvation Army officers. I used to sing in the Junior Singing Company when I was a girl, I loved it! SueXX

  10. What a BEAUTIFUL post, the little church you grew up with holds such wonderful memories. I too, love the old hymns, sometimes our church gets caught up in all the new ones and no one knows them! The old hymns bring such comfort. Blessings, Heather

  11. Christy, I loved your post. We'll see what we can do about getting you a picture of your old country church.
    Good for you for loving the old hymns! Keep singin' them and pass that love on to Will. Gayle

  12. Thanks to all for the wonderful comments!

    Gayle - I'd love to have a picture if you were able to take one for me. I just asked Dad the other day if he had any at their house, and he said he didn't. So many happy memories there. :)



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