Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Holy Week

Has anyone else noticed that Palm Sunday is MUCH LONGER when you have a toddler? People keep telling me that it's only a few extra minutes, but I know that they are lying. I'm certain that Mass on Sunday was about 3 hours long, and that does not leave me with much hope for Saturday night. But more about that later.

Passion Sunday is actually, despite the presence of those loud kids in the front row (oh wait, those were mine) a day of some of my favorite Readings. The power of the Paul's words that "Every knee shall bow, in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:6-11) gives me goosebumps. The reading of the Passion, although traditionally not best enjoyed while nursing on a folding chair in the ladies' room, was easier to hear this year. Too often I look around me at the people who are reading the account like any other words on a page, as I am one of them. This year, stuck in said bathroom, there were only the voices through the speakers recounting this incredible story just to me. In many ways I heard it for the first time in a long time this year, and the power was not lost on me. Back in the pew, however, I was too busy keeping the palms out of the lady's face behind us to remember anything that Father said in his homily. Whose idea was it anyways to give toddlers long branches in church?!?

Yesterday evening we ventured to St. Mary's Cathedral in Baltimore for the Chrism Mass, which was beautiful!!! I am so deeply touched watching the procession of the priests from all over our diocese as they prepare to renew their priestly vows. This must be a highlight of their year, to celebrate their priesthood, the beauty of their vocation, as a group of brother priests. As they processed, (while comforting the over-tired, sick Anastasia) I couldn't help but think of our Blessed Mother watching her men come to her Son's table together. They radiate like a couple approaching the alter to renew their wedding vows, and we should be thankful daily for the gift they are to our Church!

Interestingly, I read after a long day of intense cleaning yesterday that traditionally Holy Week was a time of serious cleaning and de-cluttering to prepare your heart and your home for the greatest celebration of our year! So I am continuing that a little more today, happy to have a spiritual reason behind the physical labor and already seeing the fruits! I have mixed feelings about how to celebrate the Triduum this year, as it will be the first in many that we have not been at FUS for their fantastic celebration. Do we try the Vigil with Bella? (She did great last year.) We really want our kids to grow up with a love of the Liturgy, and they will never learn if we don't start. Just pray for us. :)

Just to note, by the way, that the girls really did fantastic at Palm Sunday and Chrism Masses, despite my cynical comments. Bella played happily and was very cooperative; Bella is just not the quietest child there is, that's all. I was very happy to have her with me, especially when 1) Patrick was there with me, and 2) the organ music was so loud you couldn't hear her above it very well.