Every year, since our Lord blessed me with a family, I have been making an Easter Lamb Cake. The task usually begins on Good Friday, after Veneration of the Cross. This year, with the pandemic, and not being able to attend physically, was no different. I had watched some very moving services being live streamed all over the internet and when it was finished, I began the task of preparing for my family’s Easter.
The Lamb Cake tradition began in when I was very little, as my mom would always purchase one for us. It was always on the table for after Easter dessert. In the Midwest where I am originally from, they were always present during Holy Week in the grocery stores. You couldn’t walk into one without seeing a beautiful Easter display of them, surrounded by Easter Lilly’s. No so here in California.
When my children were very little, about four and five years old, I didn’t want them to miss out on what I always looked forward to seeing when I was young. My husband purchased a lamb cake baking mold for me, and the tradition began. Over the years, it became a way to do something special for us, to bond in a way only we could understand. While our Lord was placed in the tomb on Good Friday, and silence filled the earth, we began to mix the “spices” of joy and life by making something to celebrate our Lord’s resurrection for us as a family.
Good Friday night, I mix the cake batter and pour it into the mold. Placing it into the oven, as our Lord was placed into the tomb, and made His descent into hell. Its a means of contemplation for me as I make the cake. What was once batter, comes out as something completely different. Its quite funny really, when the bake time is actually 33 minutes, and that being the age of our Lord at the time of His Crucifixion.
When the cake is complete, it USUALLY breaks free of the mold, and emerges as the Victorious Lamb. This year, it did not. For some reason, the cake stuck in the mold, and I had to pry it out. It broke into several pieces, which upon looking at it, made me realize, I had to make another. Don’t assume it went to waste, as it would have been used to pick on for a snack after Good Friday was over. So, back to the mixing and pouring and baking. Pulling it out of the oven again, I remove it from the mold, and it sticks again. Breaking into pieces.
As I contemplated all these pieces, my first thought was to build a Franken Lamb Cake, using all the pieces I had to build one complete Lamb Cake. As I prayed, the story changed and the darkness of that story, was overcome by the Light. The two very broken lamb cakes, were to become one. The Marriage of the Lamb!
This morning, Holy Saturday, the task began to assemble the pieces together. As my children were still sleeping, with the rest of the world, I assembled the pieces, my contemplation of our Lord gathering all the souls together, liberating them from the bondage of darkness and bringing them all into Him.
I stood the cake upright, and the face fell off. So I picked up the intact head of the other and placed it firmly onto the body. Christ is the head of the body! Although the cake appeared to be very broken, it was in fact read to dress. Our Lord takes all our brokenness and fixes it in the most BEAUTIFUL and JOYFUL way, His. What we see in ourselves, and in others, our Lord sees much differently. Although we can not be there with Him, He is with us always.
The dressing of the wounded cake was complete, and my children were left in awe, after thinking there would be no lamb this year on our table. Much in the way they did when He was placed in the tomb. Much in the way that we as Catholics assume that our Lord would not be, with us this year, due to the pandemic.
“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
The message is the same every year. Do not be afraid. Jesus Christ is LORD!
Much love to you all this Easter and for all time to come. He is RISEN INDEED!