Monday, April 16, 2007

Jesus Christ is Risen Today...

Okay, so this is a bit over a week late, but since we are in the Easter season, I figured it is still appropriate.

Easter at our home was a wonderful experience this year. I started on Good Friday by walking Brian and Sean through the Passion of Our Lord. The night before I printed off, colored and laminated with magnets, pictures starting from the Agony in the Garden, through Christ being placed in the tomb. We put the "rock" over the hole in the tomb and left it there through Sunday morning.

Saturday night our friends David and Daniella came over to watch the boys so that Chris and I could go on a "date" to the Easter Vigil. I had never experienced an Easter Vigil before, and I am SOO blessed to have experienced this Mass with Chris and Father Pollard. We began the Mass outside where Father blessed the fire and lit the new Easter candle. As we processed back inside, the altar boys were going through the crowd lighting everyones candles with flame from the Easter candle. We all got back to our seats and said some prayers. During this time, Father Buckner was fiddling with his drip catcher on his candle. At the exact moment that Father P. told everyone to blow out their flames, Father B's drip catcher went UP in flames!! He was frantically blowing at it, and then just dropped it on the floor and was stamping it out. Chris and I both later commented on how we just had this image of flowing vestments meeting up with flame. (My mother later said that would have made him a "friar" - get it?)

As we sat down in the dimly lit church, we began the reading of the Old Testament. 7 readings in all for those of you who have not attended a Vigil Mass before. I always thought that I would just be bored silly during all of those reading, but the opposite held true - I was fascinated by the whole thing. Then, we stood to sing "Glory to God in the Highest", and as the music rang out, the lights burst on and one of the altar boys began ringing the bells continuously throughout the whole joyful song. It was an amazing experience - I was so moved by the presence of God at that moment.

Father P's homily was outstanding (as usual). He spoke about how we have to remember the past in order to live fully in the present. He used the example of the people who come to confession who don't have a prayer life and how when they did in the past, life wasn't so hard, and they didn't sin so much. My favorite part of the homily however, was when he "took us back" to the dark days after Jesus died and the apostles were in the upper room with Mary. He said Peter believed in Our Lord, but never wanted him to have to go through the Passion to get to His Glory. He was probably "freaking out" that Jesus had died. James, who had wanted to be on Jesus' right hand, was trying to figure out what to do now. Andrew, the pragmatist, was kicking himself because they should have fought back. And through it all, Mary was right there, reminding these men to remember. "Remember when Our Lord said ____", "Remember when my son said___", "Remember when Jesus did___" She probably took these men back through everything that Jesus did and said in his ministry on earth to remind them of what needed to happen in order for Christ to fulfill his mission. It was an image I had never thought of - Mary leading these confused men and being their source of comfort during this horrific time.

After this amazing homily, it was beautiful to watch the men and women join our church - their faces so full of hope. It truly made me appreciate my faith. After Mass, Chris and I went up to Father P. and thanked him for this amazing experience.

Sunday morning dawned, and Brian, Sean and Colin came downstairs with their daddy to see the rock rolled back from the tomb and "Jesus missing". It was really neat to see their little minds wrap around it.

My dad was in Ireland with my sister Lori and her husband Lou over Easter weekend. I think he was able to find a Catholic church somewhere on the island! My mom was going to be by herself, but my sister Kellie came home for the weekend. Mom came over for brunch on Sunday morning. We had a really nice time together. We didn't get a chance to see Kellie - she was spending time with Chris - a friend from college - and his family. We had David and Daniella back over for Easter dinner that night.

I must toot my own horn on my dinner. This was the first time I had hosted Easter dinner, and decided not to go with the traditional ham or turkey. Here's the menu -
Filet Mignon with Mustard Sauce
Spinach, Strawberry and Hearts of Palm Salad
Garlic Roasted Asparagus
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Daniella made dessert - a yummy chocolate mousse with toffee. Delish!

Easter is a wonderful day of celebrating the mystery of Our Lord, and this year it was everything I could have hoped for.


Jenn Miller said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful Easter. Isn't the Easter Vigil spectacular? I'm glad you were able to go.

The menu sounds so yummy.

Jane Ramsey said...

Wow, I wish I could have heard that homily!
Happy Easter, Cindy!