And in other good news, Easter was simply beautiful. Granted, Easter season is far from over. We're only on day 2 of the Octave, and Easter season lasts until Pentecost, so much Easter celebrating to continue! :) But as for Easter weekend, I am left feeling so very grateful for my family and my faith. Henry and I attended the Easter Vigil with my mother-in-law, and oh! That is officially my very favorite liturgy of the entire year. I can't imagine ever missing it again.
We entered our parish just before 8 pm Holy Saturday to find the altar beautifully decorated with flowers:
"Mom. This is a very long song."
"I know, Honey. It will be done soon."
It wasn't. :0 But hey. It's *magnificent*. As I looked around in the darkness at all of those lit candles, I was reminded of our larger worldwide family of faith/communion of saints, and how no matter what happens, I always have that. And God.
We made our way through the Old Testament readings, and for the first time I realized (probably because our pastor mentioned it before we got started) that all of the Easter Vigil readings are about important events in salvation history. The creation story, the sacrifice of Abraham, the Exodus of the Israelites to the Promised Land, etc. And the Psalms! It was a joy to sing them. I'm not really a singer (that is to say, I'm not very good at it :0) so I sometimes shy away from singing in church. Not Saturday. I joined right in. And the Gloria!
The bells throughout! So, so joyful.We moved through the Epistle and the Gospel, a short but powerful Homily, and then on to the baptismal liturgy. MY FAVORITE PART. I cry here every year, despite the fact that the people receiving the sacraments are total strangers to me. So, so moving to see people enter the Church and our parish community. I was in heaven during the Litany of the Saints, and then the sacraments of initiation were administered. We all renewed our baptismal promises and were dutifully sprinkled with holy water. :) By the time we got to the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we were about an hour and a half in, but Henry was holding up like a champ. I absolutely LOVE this liturgy. I hope to never miss it again. All told, it was just under two hours. Well worth it.
Easter morning dawned with snow on the ground here in WNY. :0 But even that did nothing to damper my Easter joy.
|New Elsa dress :)
Our return home heralded Easter baskets, and both kids received chocolate (of course), a few small toys, two new saint dolls, and a rosary. Anne has St. Blaise and Our Lady of Lourdes:
This Easter in particular I am counting my blessings, of which there are many, and feeling grateful for every moment that I get to enjoy them.
How about you dear reader? How was your Easter? I demand that you tell me all about it in the comments. ;-)