My Easter was fantastic. I was able to go to Good Friday Services, and Easter Vigil with my family!!!! I was going to go to Holy Thursday Services too but it snowed and we couldn't get off the Hill. *Hurls angry firt at snow* I'm sad I missed the Holy Thursday Service. In the Catholic Church, there is a whole ceremony on Holy Thursday. The Priest and the Faithful sing from the Gospel the reproaches of Jesus on the Cross; My people, my people, what wrong have I done thee?" and so on. And then the altars get stripped bare as a symbol of God getting stripped and crucified. I wanted to see that! I never have. 8-( However, Good Friday was glorious too. On Good Friday the priest leads the Faithful in the Way of the Cross, which is a series of prayers and meditations used by the Catholics to "walk" through the Passion with Christ. Then the whole Passion is sung in Gregorian Chant. Typically, if the parish is big, someone from the Choir is the Narrator, the Priest is Jesus, and the woman and men of the choir take turns with different people in the story, and then join all together to be the angry crowd. The faithful can participate too. Since we didn't have as big of a parish, the Priest was both Narrator and Jesus. The notes for Jesus were so low, deep and sad. It was beautiful. It gave you that feeling of profound sacrifice, love, resignation and sacrifice that Jesus made for us. The end of the song It leaves you feeling achy and emotional, but wow is it gorgeous.
This is really long!! You obviously don't have to listen to this whole thing I wanted to just post a sample but I couldn't find anything shorter. Feel free to stop it whenever. 8-)
As for Easter. Wow. It was amazing. I was able to buy a new Easter outfit for the first time in ages! It was this beautiful white lace skirt with a warm blue shirt and a fancy white shawl with little blue flowers embroidered all over it. I looked so fancy! 8-) I was thrilled about it, especially thrilled because I was able to go to Easter Vigil in it. (I'll talk about that in a second.) It was like tempting fate for me to buy a completely white dress. I told Jack that this skirt was the whitest thing I owned. She told me I should wear it for Mass and take it off immediately. Yeah, she knows what a klutz I am. Fufufu!! Me in white could be a disaster. But somehow I managed to get through all of Easter Vigil without a disaster, and all Easter Sunday too. Go me!
Easter Vigil was glorious, as always. There was the lighting and blessing of the new fire. The Lighting of the Christ Candle. The Procession into a dark Church with the Candle, signifying Christ, "The Light of the World." As the Candle is Taken in the Priest sings out "Lumen Christi!" and the Faithful sings back, "Deo Gratias!" We do that three or four times as we enter the chapel and go back to our pews. Then the Altar boys light their candles from the Christ Candle, and passed the light on to the Faithful. And the Faithful passes it between each other, so the light of Christ washed through the chapel. It signified how Christ touches each of us, and how each of us touch others. Then we sang the Antiphons and several other prayers, all in Latin and Chant. Shortly after the Altar boys came out and redress the Altar, a symbol of the Risen Christ. Then there was the Mass, all sung. The Altar is blessed with Incense, the Christ Candle was blessed, and Holy Water was Sprinkled on the Faithful. Then comes my favorite part of the Vigil. The Gloria is said, and THE BELLS RING!!! Okay, so during the Lent The Gloria, our prayer of praise and happiness, is omitted from the Mass, symbolizing that God is going through His last days and this is a time of grief. The Last week before Easter, the bells which usually ring during various parts of the Mass, especially during the Gloria, disappear as well. They're replaced with wooden clappers. It is all sad and silent. No bells at all. So let me tell you, when those bells ring out at midnight in joyous proclamation that it was now Easter Sunday and the time of mourning is over, there is nothing quite like it in the world. You smell the incense, you see a lit Altar, dressed in glory, you hear the ringing .... it's incredible. There is this intense feeling of joy. Christ is Risen. CHRIST IS RISEN!
"He is not here. He has Risen as He said."
It was a beautiful night. What made it all the better, was some friends of the family came for Easter Vigil too, for the first time ever! 8-D It was thrilling!!!
Easter Day was just as wonderful. We spent the morning relaxing, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, reading and writing, with random spurts of talk about the beauty of Easter Sunday and interesting theological standpoints about redemption and salvation. Later, we got together with our friends and had a lovely dinner with much shouting and mayhem, and a good deal of delicious dessert, made by yours truly. 8-) Ice-cream-Reese's Pie is yummy you guys!!! 😍
All in all, it was a good day. I hope all of you had as good of an Easter as I did. Of course, in the Catholic Church we are still Celebrating: this is our Easter-tide and it lasts Forty-Nine Days, until Pentecost Sunday when the Holy Ghost appeared to the Apostles. Let's all have a good Easter-tide, and with brave hearts, follow Christ well this year! Be brave ye' followers of Christ. Be brave and look towards your Resurrection!!! I pray for all of you; please pray for my family and me too. 8-D
GOD BLESS AND HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!!!!!