I had my usual exciting Triduum plans this year, with my children along for the ride, and thought I would report in on that! 😃
So, Holy Thursday and Good Friday came round and...neither child wanted to come with me. 😂 I wasn't exactly surprised, and it *is* a lot of church in a 3 day period, so I didn't twist their arms. So I attended those liturgies by myself, and as ever, they are SO WORTH the trip. Holy Thursday is the one that is newest to my repertoire, and it has quickly become a favorite. This year, our pastor created an altar of repose in our new parish center, and we all processed in there at the conclusion of the liturgy behind the Blessed Sacrament. SO LOVELY. And hearing the bells rung during the Gloria, the first time we've heard either since Lent began, never fails to touch me. This liturgy also had very good attendance for our smaller parish!
Good Friday packs a wallop for me every single year. Our parish always holds a 3 pm scripture service with communion, and attending this has become my tradition. The bare altar and absence of the Eucharist makes quite an impression, to be sure. The veneration of the cross makes me tear up every time. And then came the Easter vigil.
Happily, for this liturgy I had 2 captives with me. ;-) Henry volunteered to serve at this mass, and Anne attended for the very first time. I let her bring some coloring along because I knew we would be there for awhile, especially since we had to arrive early in order for Henry to help set up. And it went marvelously.
I find the beginning of this liturgy, the Lucernarium, to be most poignant. After Father started and blessed the fire, and the church became totally dark...I could tell Anne was hooked. She even asked if she could volunteer to serve at this mass when she's old enough to be an altar server! As everyone lit their taper candle and the Exultet was sung, I marveled at this, my favorite liturgical moment of the entire year. I always cry, even I don't know anybody who is entering the Church that year! The darkness, the chanting, the palpable sense of communion with the global Church...it's just magnificent. Anne loved it so much that she didn't want to blow out her candle when it was time for the readings. 😂 She did GREAT. Stayed awake and alert for the duration, though granted our Easter vigil is shorter than most. We didn't have anybody receiving the sacraments this year, plus our pastor chooses less than the 7 possible Old Testament readings, so our mass was just over 90 minutes. The contemporary ensemble did an amazing job with the responsorial Psalms, and the great Alleluia was particularly spectacular.
It's a special liturgy, and I would never miss it. Easter Sunday was relaxing and lovely, and concluded with a delicious family dinner and great fellowship and conversation. Life just doesn't get any better than this. 😊
How was your Easter weekend, friends?