The holiest week of the year is upon us. It is such a solemn time. It is a rich time. This is what it is all about. This is why God became man. This is it.
We will be keeping this week with various activities both in our home and in our parish. Tomorrow night, (Monday) is our parish penitential service ~ which we will attend.
Tuesday is the Chrism Mass. I have half a mind to take the kids this year because the baby is older and it is taking place at a parish that is a little closer to us than past years. To be present as our Bishop blesses the oils of catechumens, of the sick and of chrism (used in baptism, confirmation, ordination and the consecration of altars.) It is one of the most solemn liturgies of the entire year and what a privilege to witness a renewal and reconsecration of our priests to their vocation. Whether we actually go will really depend on whether or not my 20 year old can attend and give me a hand (and if this nagging cough and cold that our family is struggling with improves or at least doesn’t get worse!)
Wednesday in our parish is an annual Seder supper. It is an event to allow us Christians to better understand the context of the Last Supper… Just what were Jesus and the disciples (and all Jews) doing on Holy Thursday? This is something that we do not attend, but we will go through the parts of the Seder and talk about the history and context of Holy Thursday.
Holy Thursday we will celebrate the institution of the priesthood and of the Eucharist! This is the Mass during which the washing of the feet takes place. We will attend Mass that evening and hope for the best (the boy doesn’t do well with evening Masses normally, though he didn’t do too badly last night.)
On Good Friday, we will attend a Children’s Stations of the Cross in the morning and will then do a little service project with our fellow homeschoolers and clean up the grounds of our church a little bit. Our family will focus particularly on the Rosary Garden which is also a little cemetery for babies who have been lost in early miscarriage. It is a very special place for us. After that, we will observe 3 hours of quiet and “dark” (well, as dark as we can make it with all the windows!) We will keep company with Jesus on the Cross. We read and pray together and we watch the Passion of the Christ, stopping just before the Resurrection scene.
On Holy Saturday, we will dye Easter eggs and in the evening, right before bed, we will make “tomb cookies” (basically a meringue).
On Easter morning, the kids will check out their goodies, but will have to wait to dive in until after we get back from early Mass. We’ll do an egg hunt, “find the Alleluia” and share a feast.
This year I hope to make a more deliberate effort in celebrating Easter more consciously during the entire Easter season… all the way to Pentecost. I’m going to have to seek out some ideas on how to do that.
Coming out of Lent, I am feeling a bit renewed in my desire to live a more authentic Catholic life. I don’t mean that I had no desire. I do mean that I had become quite weary in many ways. In some ways, Lent was a rest for my soul. The desert is not always pleasant, but it is always productive. In many ways, this Lent has changed me, though not in ways others can really see. But I see and I know the Lord sees. It has also been a disappointing Lent in so many ways. Many of the things I desired to do did not come about or did not last, but I suppose those were just my plans anyway. God’s plans are better than mine, so I’ll just go with what we’ve got and nurture the fruit he did produce and seek to be open to new fruit during the Easter season.
Sorry about the rambling! But you know…. it’s my blog!
I hope and pray that everyone has a blessed Holy Week.