Sunday, April 8, 2012
waiting and celebrating
My friend and I helped our pastor decorate after Good Friday Services. He has some sense of how he wants things to look, so our function is mostly to carry things, hand him things, and offer suggestions. This gives you some sense of how it looked when we were finished.
Holy Saturday is supposed to be a day of waiting....of anticipation. Ideally, I guess. Of course there were things to do...shopping for a few last minute Easter purchases, household chores, a practice for my altar server sons for the Vigil, the decision on what to wear and making sure all was ready.
My boys have served for the Easter Vigil for the past many years - six, maybe. It's not like I get a lot of volunteers for a Mass that exceeds an hour and requires a practice. But I think they don't mind too much. They dressed nicer than usual without me forcing them to. They were ready to go on time. They didn't complain about the practice in the morning. My older son was in charge of the incense and the younger was in charge of holding the book for Father. They both did a great job tonight!
Usually I just blend into the crowd, but tonight I was on the schedule to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. (the technical term for Eucharistic Ministers who are not priests are deacons) I own exactly one dress, and I thought tonight might be an appropriate time to wear it. In the end, I went with it, and I was glad I did. Everyone looked so nice!
The music was wonderful! The homily was excellent - about seeking Jesus in the Right Places - with the eyes of faith; not with the eyes of the world. If we seek Him with the eyes of the world, we will be looking for Him where we THINK He should be...not where he is. So where do we - the lost sheep - look for the Good Shepherd? In the sacramental life of the church. In the faith community of people who are humbly and sincerely looking for the truth. In His Word (dust off that Bible, he said!) In the depths of our own heart and in prayer that is more about listening and surrendering to change than in talking and trying to tell God how to change. And in the people around us who "need a good dose of the Lord".
As we left, Jesus was back in the Tabernacle. There was a sense for me that all was once again right in the world.
Dear hubby and I went to 8:30 Mass Easter morning. It was standing-room only, but very much "business as usual". Jesus was in the tabernacle, the music was nice - but not spectacular, the candles were lit like any other Sunday, there was no incense, no Easter Proclamation. For those who were not able to participate in the celebrations of the Triduum, it appears as if nothing much has really changed. The empty tabernacle at the beginning of Holy Thursday, the Eucharistic Procession, Jesus being removed from the tabernacle at the end of Adoration on Thursday, the starkness and emptiness of Good Friday, the darkness and the Easter Fire, the new candle, and so much more... all occurred between the Sundays, and were missed by Sunday-only attendees.
Since one of the themes of the past week was gratitude, I suppose I am oh-so-grateful that I was able to participate in the celebrations and services between the Sundays! Now....we get to celebrate Easter for 50 days! Let the party begin!!