Did I tell you about getting to meet the Property Brothers, or did I just put that on FB? I went with a couple of friends, and the guys answered a few questions and then took pictures with everyone. They shoved us between them, snapped, and pulled us away, shoving an autographed card in our hands. It was a little adventure. They were funny. And tall. (I'm 5'9", y'all!) And I have no idea what I did with their autographs, because that's the kind of fan I am.
(And no, this has nothing to do with the Triduum, but I needed a funny!)
|One of our traditional Palm Sundaes. ;-)|
So, tonight starts a marathon of Church-going. We begin with the Mass of the Last Supper which commemorates the time when Jesus instituted the priesthood and gave us the Eucharist. It's a beautiful Mass. If you're lucky (and I don't believe we will be this year), you'll hear at least the Latin Mass parts sung, and the beautiful Gloria will be intoned for the first time since before Ash Wednesday, and the bells will be rung throughout the Gloria. That's my favorite part. The other highlight of this Mass is the footwashing, and we end in silence as the Blessed Sacrament is taken to a special Altar of Repose where we can stand in for the apostles who slept in the garden.
Tomorrow, there is Stations of the Cross at 3:00 p.m. We try to go to Stations, or at least do them at home or have quiet time from noon-3:00. In the evening is the Commemoration of the Passion of Christ and Veneration of the Cross. It's kind of a grueling service (not a Mass; it's the one day of the year when the bread and wine are not turned into the body and blood of Christ) with lots of standing and kneeling during the Prayers of the Faithful.
And finally, there is the Great Easter Vigil on Saturday night. Ever since I came into the Church 18 years ago, we have gone to the Easter vigil nearly every year. Thinking back, I can't believe we've done it so many times. If I'm wrong, someone can correct me. ;-) The Church (and the organist) pulls out all the stops on this night. The music is the most beautiful, the flowers are gorgeous, the beautiful ritual of lighting the Easter fire and sharing the Light of Christ with everyone in the church is exquisite, and so is the singing of the Exsultet. That and the singing of the Litany of Saints bring me to tears on this night. (I remember Tom's godfather holding him as a 3 month-old and dancing with him to keep him calm during the Litany.) And you know the big bonus of the Easter Vigil? Unless there are a huge number of candidates and confirmands with their families, the church is not full and there is plenty of room to spread out!
Don't get me wrong....these beautiful 3 days are never easy! The kids get tired of going back to church all the time, and they're usually hungry because we plan dinner for after Mass. So the kids are hungry and tired; the parents may be, too, but we're grownups and we want to be there; and the services are long. It's always hard. Exhausting, even. But we do it because it makes Easter so much more special when we've been immersed in the fasting of Lent followed by these very special liturgies.
I often feel as if I've "failed" Lent because of my lack of sacrifices, but I believe that fully immersing oneself in the Triduum and the Passion during these 3 days makes up for it! By the time we sing the Alleluia (hey kids! NOW it's Easter!), I'm ready for it. I've been run through the mill and I'm ready to celebrate the Resurrection.
Oh, and aside from being tired and sometimes grumpy, the kids often fall asleep until they're about 10. They're always very proud of themselves if they can stay awake for the whole Easter Vigil! The boys like altar serving---partly because it helps keep them awake. And finally, it has to be said, another great advantage to the Easter Vigil (and the midnight Mass at Christmas) is the lack of crowds! There's nothing like a mob scene in the parking lot and being unable to find a seat to take people right out of the spirit of the holy day. Dontcha think?
What does your family do? Have you ever been to the Triduum services?
I probably won't be back here until Monday, so I will wish you a blessed Triduum and all the joy of the resurrection.