It’s Good Friday. I’ve been enriched by the Holy Week services.
Palm Sunday at our little church was very nice this year. We had a good turnout, the music was lovely, and the lectors did a great job reading the Passion. When I was younger I often found it too long, but not anymore. It’s the perfect way to start the week.
On Tuesday I had dinner with my co-teacher for Faith Formation and with Fr. David, then we went to the Chrism Mass. It’s the third time I’ve been to the Chrism Mass, and I really find it uplifting. The Diocesan Choir sings, the music is always exceptional, and the Liturgy is beautiful. There is something about seeing all the priest of the Diocese, along with the seminarians, that touches me. They always seem so happy to be there, to be together. The Bishop got a little political during his homily, which is understandable given the current situation with the new health care law, but I would prefer not to have politics in the pulpit. The blessing and distribution of oils is always lovely. I especially enjoyed being in a big church full with enthusiastic fellow Catholics! It’s very encouraging.
We had our second-to-last Faith Formation class Wednesday. It included the Sacrament of Reconciliation. All but 2 kids chose to partake of it. I went, and it was good. I’ve grown to appreciate it. I was proud of the kids, too.
Jacob arrived home from college last evening in time to grab a quick bite and then head to Holy Thursday Mass. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper was for many years my favorite of the Sacred Triduum services. I love the readings, remembering the first Passover, and the institution of the Eucharist, and the washing of feet as a reminder of Christ’s call to service. I have always loved the incense, the procession and reposit of the Blessed Sacrament, and singing Tantum Ergo. It’s a ritual I remember from my earliest days and I love it. The service was lovely, and Fr. David’s sermon was great, but there were not a lot of people there. Because Fr. D has 4 churches, we rotate the Triduum Masses so each church gets a different one of the services. I don’t know why, but this Church never seems to have good attendance for Holy Thursday. There were very few young kids there,which is always disappointing.
As always, I worked today so was unable to go to the Good Friday service– it has been years since I’ve gone. But tonight I went to a nearby Catholic church to see a mime performance of the Passion. Sounds strange, right? I’m not a fan of mime, but this was absolutely amazing. Their high school Faith Formation classes did this, and they did a beautiful job. Rich in symbolism, respectful, not rushed, no silliness, the kids should be very, very proud. In the past I’ve often felt I don’t focus on the Crucifixion enough, and viewing this beautiful performance helped me with that. I came home and read the readings for today, and am feeling a little more focused on things.
Tomorrow– the Easter Vigil! The kids and I love it. It is at our own church, for the second year in a row, and I’m really looking forward to it. I know not everyone likes the longer service, but I do– the readings are always especially beautiful, as they take us through Salvation history. Such a deep, meaningful, joyous time.