Hats in Church

Hats in Church


Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Caronna is Pastor, Teacher and Coordinator of Christmas Chaos and Easter Extravagance at First Congregational Church of Canterbury, Canterbury CT.

Scripture: Matthew 28:1-10 (NRSV)

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” This is my message for you.’ So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’

Reflection: Hats in Church


As a child I loved Easter morning, not for the chocolate bunnies or marshmallow peeps (yes, I like peeps). It was the opportunity to wear my new Easter clothes and sit upstairs in the sanctuary for the whole worship service. The ladies in the pews would be wearing make-up, fancy dresses, high heels and many had spring bonnets. My little sister would wear her shiny patent leather shoes. The sanctuary smelled like a florist shop. The trumpets shouted out in melody and the choir sang, Jesus Christ has risen today! Even the grumpy man in the corner had a smile on his face. The Church was alive!

I have spent two decades trying to recreate that feeling I had as a child. It has never been quite the same.

It hasn’t always been new dresses and trumpets. The days of chocolate bunnies and patent leather shoes are gone.

In 2020 Easter morning had two lilies, portable speakers and four cars in the church parking lot. No egg hunt. In 2021 Easter morning had faces covered by masks and egg hunts with allergy conscious items.

No Easter morning has ever been the same as those of my childhood.

It could be that I no longer come to faith with the innocence of childhood. It could be that the Church has experienced shifts in style and the secular world activities have taken over much of the space formerly given to religion on Sunday mornings. It could be that the pandemic we experienced changed every aspect of our daily living. It could even be that we no longer wear hats in church. The list of excuses or reasons could go on and on.

But the good news remains the same, Jesus Christ has risen!

The Church of today works to create its own new and fresh celebrations. Whatever those happenings are, the Savior will be there to greet us with open arms.

On Easter morning, you will find me in church. There will be no new dress or make-up. The sanctuary will smell like a flower shop. The Confirmation class will lead the worship service. The egg hunt will have allergy conscious treats and peeps. And best of all, we will be gathered as believers celebrating the good news of Christ's resurrection. Alleluia, Amen!


Holy One, may our celebrations of old and new fill us with hope. Amen

New Prayer Requests:

We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane at cochranem@sneucc.org.

Prayers of Intercession:

  • For the people of Ukraine whose lives continue to be shattered by war.
  • For those grieving or suffering due to the ~10,200 gun violence deaths that happened in the US since the start of the new year, including the most recent school shooting in Nashville.
  • For the friends and family of The Rev. Phyllis B. Frechette who died March 15, 2023. Phyllis worked as a public school teacher and later, at the age of 75, was ordained by the United Church of Christ in Canton, MA, where she served as Associate Pastor for eleven years and was named Associate Pastor Emerita when she retired for the second time. Phyllis became actively involved in First Church in Marlborough, MA where, at age 90, she was named Honorary Minister Emerita.  A celebration of her life will be held at the First Church in Marlborough on May 6, 2023.
  • For the family and friends of Mary Alice Benedict Stahleker, a lay leader whose work with the historic Massachusetts Conference continues to influence Conference programming today, who passed away peacefully on March 17.
  • For those affected by the rash of tornadoes and violent storms in the South.

Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:

This Week in History:

April 4, 1968 (55 years ago): Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated.  [History

“Study the past if you would define the future.”

Cheryl A. Caronna

The Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Caronna is pastor and teacher of First Congregational Church of Canterbury, Canterbury CT.

April 03, 2023
Subscribe to our emails
Massachusetts Office

1 Badger Road
Framingham, MA 01702

Connecticut Office

805 Old Main St.
Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Toll Free Phone: 866-367-2822
Fax: 866-367-0860
General Email: friends@sneucc.org