Saturday, April 4, 2015

On the eve of His resurrection.

Musings on Holy Saturday

It is the morning of Holy Saturday. All is quiet in the house for my husband and the boys just left to go to church where the altar boys have practice for this evening's Easter Vigil. They will be away for a few hours and so I have some time to muse a bit.

We are almost there! We will celebrate Our Lord's glorious Resurrection beginning this evening at 10pm. The first Easter Mass is to be celebrated in the morning of Easter, i.e., just after midnight, so the sacred liturgy with all its glorious ceremony (lighting of the new fire, the prophetical lessons from the beginning of history up to Christ's coming being read from sacred scripture) begins at such time as provides for Holy Mass at midnight. We are all ready!

Ready for Easter Mass, yes. But there are still a few preparations to be made around the house. I have my Easter candles and decorations out. I need to put the spring tablecloths on the tables along with their center pieces. The ham is thawing and I have a few side dishes I want to make today. Among them is Pea Salad from The Pioneer Woman website. It looks just like a salad I used to enjoy years ago at the hospital where I worked. I realize that "hospital salad" wouldn't be a very appetizing description, but our hospital cafeteria was very good and this salad was a favorite!

The boys are excited to have Lent behind them (aren't we all!). They have given up their screen time, so they look forward to having access to MiNECRAFT more often than just on Sunday's. Normal time parameters back in place, of course (ahem). ;) Our boys are getting older, and it is plain to see as they have made good efforts to see their Lenten penances for what they are supposed to be. 

These last few days leading into Easter have been very good. Maundy Thursday found both our boys serving, one as Acolyte, the other as Torchbearer. And my husband was among the 12 "apostles" who had his feet washed. A beautiful evening and Mass.

And yesterday's Good Friday liturgy where we remember Our Lord's death and venerate His cross was, well... I always find it difficult to come up with the right descriptive words for such meaningful times in Church. Enjoy, celebrate, beautiful. Well, sort of, but these words seem too happy for Good Friday. Humbling, thankful, sorrowful, yes, solemn, hopeful, certainly. Suffice if to say, as a former Baptist who 20 years ago this night was received into the Catholic Church, it never grows old. In fact I would say each year it is appreciated to a deeper level, but it is most humbling, too. As we drove home yesterday, just seeing the multitudes of people along the way who have likely gone about their normal business as though there were nothing different about Good Friday, many of them in their heart of hearts wandering through life and wondering what it is really all about, and yet many of them not so interested in the true answers, I am humbled yet again. For I have been given those answers, and not only I, but all who will say yes to Our Lord in His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Kyrie Eleison.

On arriving home from the Good Friday Liturgy we always have the same meal: homemade Lentil Soup and bread. As we sit down to dinner, again, I know my boys are getting older, for what they once turned their noses up at, they now love and ask for a second bowl. They even commented that there is no penance in this pot of soup! Makes Mom feel pretty good! It is a nice tradition that we began many years ago and we do it the same each year. We bring the hot pot of soup to the table and Dad adds the last ingredient, vinegar, as we remember again Our Lord's thirst on the Cross just prior to His death.

However, one difference this year which we hope never to repeat was when we had just sat down in church yesterday and I remembered I that left the pot of lentils simmering on the stove. Oh no! So Dad had to drive all the way home, turn it off, and come back. Man!! But better that than forgetting and coming home a few hours later to something much much worse! And he made it back before the chanting of the Passion from the Gospel of St. John was finished.

After dinner we all sat and watched "The Passion of the Christ", as we do every Good Friday evening. And it always gets me in the same places. I can't watch certain parts, the hearing of it being quite sufficient. But just as those really difficult parts are finished it seems like they are followed by a scene with Our Blessed Mother, and as in real life, what needed comfort she always is. Her part was beautifully and exceptionally well-portrayed I thought. She, the Mother of God, as she watches her Son's Passion, instead of receiving comfort from others, is herself the giver of comfort to Mary Magdalene and John, the beloved disciple. And I love reading the subtitles when not only Our Lord, but John too, addresses Mary simply as "Mother". So beautiful. And as Christ from His cross gave His mother to John, so is she ours. Deo Gratias! Hail Mary, full of grace....

And so we are brought again to Holy Saturday. The boys are still at practice, and their dad is building garden boxes for our good priests at the rectory, where in a couple of weeks he'll plant tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers. When they get home we'll finish up preparations here, perhaps give some haircuts and lay out the Easter clothes for later this evening. This is the first year since having the kids that we're not dying Easter eggs. Sniff... yet another sign my little boys are no longer little. But I'll put out the chocolate bunnies and jelly beans after we get home from Mass tonight and the boys are in their beds. Some traditions just stick, whether the boys are getting older or not!

Dear readers, a Happy and Blessed Easter to you all!!
Matthew 28:6
He is not here, for he is risen, as he said.
Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid.
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Friday, April 3, 2015

Look down, O Lord, we beseech thee, upon this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ hesitated not to be delivered into the hands of wicked men, and to undergo the punishment of the cross.

- Good Friday: Tenebrae