CCM: What does Easter look like in the Peterson household?
AP: The biggest thing that we do is we have a big Easter potluck at our house. We invite neighbors and friends and there end up being about…I think last year there ended up being 120-something people at our house. We try to make it as much of a party as we can—a meaningful party. We have the Every Moment Holy book that Doug McElvey wrote, and he wrote a liturgy for feasting with friends. It was one of the first liturgies he wrote for the book, and we’ve used it for years. Long before the book was actually finished, we would print it and hand it out, and read this liturgy about how every time you feast, it’s a battle. You’re drawing the battle lines and declaring that the light overcomes the darkness. It’s the most meaningful feast day of the year for our family and friends. So that’s a big part of it.
Part of it is having gone to a liturgical church for the last probably five years, the Lenten season is just rife with meaning. There’s a lot of attention paid to the story that unfolds during Holy Week, and so there’s a richness to it that matters a lot to me. I’m trusting that when my kids are my age, they’ll be like, “Yes, my dad always took Easter very seriously.” I’m hoping that I’m planting those kinds of seeds.
CCM: You said you wanted a joyful record. Are you getting the feedback you’d hoped for from those who have heard it?
AP: I think so. Very few people have heard the whole album yet. Nobody has heard the whole album yet on Easter Sunday, so I won’t really know until that day comes. I don’t sit around listening to my own albums very often, but I can’t wait to play it on Easter Sunday. I never cried so much during the making of an album. In the studio with Ben, I would be in the booth singing stuff that’s just straight out of scripture—stuff that’s so good and glorious—and I would look up and see Ben crying at the sound board.
The other funny thing is that my wife, I tell a lot of funny stories about her. She is just awesome, and also is not a music nerd. She really loves ’80s music and probably wouldn’t know who I was if we weren’t married. She will text me in the middle of the day and say, “I put on your record, and I couldn’t stop crying.” If Jamie resonates with it, I feel like, “Yes, we actually pulled something off here.” It remains to be seen what people will think of it, obviously, but I made my wife happy, and that makes me happy.