A Writer's Journey

March 21, 2016

Easter

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 1:00 am
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I love Easter.

I guess because it means spring. No, wait, it’s definitely because it means it’s spring. I hate a cold Easter, after all. Easter is supposed to be warm. Sunny and with the flowers beginning to bloom. Leaves appearing on the trees. Just everything that says winter is over.

And I love all the traditions that surround Easter as a Catholic. From Palm Sunday to Easter itself, it’s a great run. The Paschal Triduum are three busy days—Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.

Holy Thursday

I usually attend the Mass of the Lord’s Last Supper at my church. And it’s filled with the usual suspects—everyone who generally goes to Mass every week. Twelve parishioners are selected to have their feet washed to mirror when Jesus washed the feet of the Apostles. At the end, the Eucharist is placed in Adoration. It remains there until midnight.

While the Eucharist is in Adoration, it cannot be left alone. So people visit other churches and pray. Including myself. There is a certain number you’re supposed to visit, but each changes with each person I’ve talked to: 3, 5, 7, 9. Yes, they are all prime numbers. And they all have Biblical significance. In the end, we’ve decided to visit three churches.

It’s like a little party, at least here where I live. Everyone knows everyone else. Not by name, but by church. Just our own little party.

Speaking of parties, my church does have one after Mass. It’s to celebrate the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood, both which happened at the Last Supper. My pastor asks people to make goodies. Some people don’t like the party. After all, the time after the Mass is also supposed to reflect Jesus in the garden, agonizing over His upcoming death. But most people just like free food.

Good Friday

It’s a somber day. The church is stripped bare of all the flowers that decorated the altar the day before. All the altar linens and candles are removed as well. The holy water is emptied and the Blessed Sacrament moved to another place other than the tabernacle. (Yet I always forget I don’t have to genuflect. It’s habit). Some churches even cover their crosses and crucifixes. Mine doesn’t.

There is no Mass on this day but a service at 3PM. During this time, we venerate the cross. Most of us kiss it. Some touch, others just genuflect before it. It’s up to you what you want to do.

Many churches have Stations of the Cross that night as well. Mine does the Living Stations, where the seventh graders in our parish school recreate the stations. (Though when my class did it, we were in the 8th grade). It’s quite a nice night.

The only downside? The fasting. I have to keep reminding myself “No snacks. No snacks. No snacks” all day.

Easter Saturday

It’s been years since I went to the Easter Vigil, but it is a beautiful Mass. It’s also a long one. My current pastor likes to make things quick and the shortest he can do is about 75 minutes. The longest I’ve been there has been closer to 3 hours. There’s a lot to do during the Mass. From lighting the bonfire, to lighting the Pascal candle to welcoming new members into the Church and so on. It’s a ceremony rich in tradition and can be rich in pomp and circumstance. I suggest going to it at least once.

For me, though, Easter Saturday means dyeing eggs. Usually while watching “The Ten Commandments.” This year though was different since ABC didn’t air the movie on Saturday. In fact, I didn’t dye our eggs on Saturday.

Easter

On Sunday, the Easter bunny still hides Easter eggs for us to find. Mostly because my mother loves to find them. My sister and I also find them as well, though we’re not as enthusiastic as she is and usually need hints. We then go through our Easter baskets, which is mostly chocolate. My sister doesn’t like to eat anything with a face, so bunnies are out for her. She usually has a cross. I don’t care so I have a bunny. All I want is chocolate.

I usually go to Mass on this day. So does everyone else. I have been the lector the past several years, so I have a seat on the altar. It makes everything so much easier. Though it does put me closer to the flowers. I’m not allergic to the pollen but all their perfumes usually do me in. But it’s worth it to have a seat.

The rest of the day is spent with family. We have dinner and usually spend it at my grandmother’s. And sometimes celebrate my birthday, as it’s usually around then. Like this year—it’s the Friday of Easter Week.

And that’s Easter to me. What about you?

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