When I first mentioned beginning this study to a friend in Houston, all she shared was that it was quite challenging. I puzzled in my mind exactly what she meant. Now I know. If you aren't afraid, and you need not be, check out this wonderfully affirming and challenging study.
Our Holy Week begins with more icy rain and snow. While growing up in rural Nevada, and living there again with our children it was never unusual to have a snowy Easter. In fact, for the longest time I really believed my Dad that the reason we color Easter eggs was so we could find them in the snow. Of course, we did get to experience plenty of glorious springtime weather for many Easters!
Last night I drove through light rain mixed with snow to my meeting. When I came out of the church to return home, I almost lost my footing! The parking lot was covered with a slick icy coating. It reminded me of the ominous black ice that could be present on Nevada roads in wintertime. Looked dry, but definitely was trecherous!
After I slid to the side of my car, it was covered with ice! Fortunately, my trusty scraper was still in the pocket of my driver's door. Unfortunately, I had neglected to keep my gloves, thinking foolishly that spring meant no more scraping. My hands really were none the worse for having to clear the windows. When I got home, it was nice to remember that today our activities were confined to inside the house for most of Tuesday and Wednesday.
I hope Easter springs up bright, warmer and beautiful. Whether the weather cooperates or not, I do know that Easter will arrive. Now to concentrate on making the most of our Holy Week! The Triduum has grown to be one of our favorite times to celebrate being Christian, especially Catholic. Holy Thursday Mass, opening with the presentation of the sacred oils, joyfilled songs, and closing with the solemn reposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Waiting, adoring silently, and then leaving for home in silent reflection. Good Friday -- having the solemn service, venerating the cross, praying for so many, trusting that the Passion will always lead us to the Resurrection. Holy Saturday, preparing our Easter treats, having food blessed. Then dressing for Easter vigil. Wearing our new clothes, waiting in the dark for the Easter fire to be lit! A glorious sweep of light -- hearing the readings leading us through salvation history -- the light! Watching, praying for and celebrating with catecumens anxiously awaiting their baptisms, first Eucharists, and Confirmation!
We watched one year as a young woman, who was also one of our engaged couples, danced with hard to suppress joy through each part of "her" Easter vigil. Her exhuberance will be firmly planted in our family's memories!
Easter morning, still setting up the Easter egg hunt, always one egg missing (we learned to count them early on), helping with overflow crowds at Mass, praying silently that each heart is touched and that they know how welcome they are all the time! Returning home for our family tradition of sweet almond bread and coffee. Preparing our Easter meal, enjoying not just our chocolate bunnies, but each other's company.
Celebrating and embracing each day of the Easter season with some small treat, some small rememberance, sacred music, candle-lit dinners!
Well, you can see that I'm definitely looking forward to Easter this year. Our family hopes that each one of you can and will embrace the remainder of Lent, seek out Triduum rites, and continue to seek our Risen Lord!