This past weekend, I noticed that all of the statues crucifixes in my parish were covered with purple cloths. I believe that this is because we have passed the halfway point of Lent, and for the final stretch these are covered as a physical reminder that we are still enmeshed in our Lenten duties of fasting, abstinence, prayer and almsgiving, and are preparing for Easter. I've heard of controversies on Catholic message boards about holy water fonts being drained in some parishes during Lent, has anybody heard of this? My parish doesn't do this, just the purple cloths, which I feel pretty sure is traditional. It's true, I'm a Catholic nerd, and thus very interested in all these little intricacies. :) How does your parish look different during Lent?
This past Sunday I also was responsible for conducting Children's Liturgy of the Word. I was nervous for some reason, because the readings dealt with God raising us from the dead, and the story of Lazarus. Wrangling the group of children is difficult enough, and throwing death in there just seemed like a recipe for disaster. Happily, my husband made a very helpful comment when I mentioned my anxieties to him: "It's about resurrection and arising from death, isn't that a happy topic?" Well, he's right. And that made me feel better.
I was feeling good until Father called any interested younguns' up, and an enormous swarm of small children descended on the altar. Much larger than the usual crowd. All things considered, it went well. I had prepared myself, both with prayer and with class materials, and they actually sat still pretty good for about 10 minutes or so. Once you get close to minute 15, everything gets more challenging. We had several small patrons who lost shoes amongst their circlemates, and a gaggle of boys in the back who were determined to ignore my multiple requests for their silence. It was tough, but I made it. I have a break until Divine Mercy Sunday, which will be particularly meaningful this year given the beatification of John Paul II.
We'll get there.