Easter was amazing. But the days leading up to Easter were, too. Holy Thursday, with the washing of feet, and the Last Supper, then Good Friday, where the entire church feels and looks bereft, followed by Easter Vigil on Saturday evening, and then Easter Sunday. Since joining the Catholic faith in 2005, one of the things I’ve noticed is the completeness of the liturgy and the liturgical year. Everything is suffused with great meaning, and it’s very powerful. It’s something that I missed as a Protestant. The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for my mom (who became Catholic in ’07 with my dad) was the time that they went to church on Palm Sunday and there was NO MENTION Jesus’ triumphant entry. I wouldn’t write it if it wasn’t true.
I’m really tired with the late night on Saturday and company and cooking, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. True, during Thursday evening’s service with the kids, our pew felt like a roiling mass of flesh (to borrow cousin Dwaine’s very apt phrase), and I emerged feeling like I’d been in a wrestling match. Eliza has not yet mastered the art of sitting still during church. But at least we’re blessed with two completely beautiful parish churches. There’s a lot at which they can look.
So I’m still recovering from the weekend.
I would love to participate in a Tea Party. My uncle is going, and he’s also helping with the production of Puccini’s La Boheme that same day at the Orpheum in Omaha. As a last minute thought, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to hit one or the other, or both?” As David is getting really busy preparing for spring planting, the only way we could conceivably go is for it to rain. I’ve never been to an opera, though I’ve a feeling I’d enjoy it. The English translation is projected above the stage for this one, which is essential for me. Uncultured swine that I am, I kept hearing the radio ads for the opera, and I kept wondering what was so great about “Puccini’s Lava Lamp.” Well, that’s what it sounds like on the radio! I knew that wasn’t really its title, but now I can’t get it out of my head, and visions of a foggy haze, psychedelic posters, and bungled Italians munching on pasta keep running through my brain. Sorry.
**I just want to footnote another thing, this regarding Good Friday. Catholics take time to venerate the cross during the Good Friday liturgy, in which they go forward and either genuflect, touch the crucifix, kiss it, or pay homage in some way. I realize that many times—especially for life-long, cradle Catholics, but everyone is at risk, here—things can become rote with the passage of time and increased incidence. But venerating the cross leaves me spent. As I approached, I had to control myself so that I wouldn’t start weeping. To really consider Christ’s horrific sufferings–the scourging, the mockery, and then the nails–and then to realize anew that it was done freely for me? I, who have done my fair share of spitting in His face, of doing next to nothing by way of deserving that sort of sacrifice? These things run through my head, and simply kissing the cross seems so completely inadequate on my part that what I really felt compelled to do is lie weeping before it indefinitely.
As David and I drove away, he looked over, and asked the ultimate question to get the tears flowing, “Are you okay?” At which I started blubbering. He followed up by saying, “It’s okay, honey, he doesn’t stay dead.” “No, of course not,” I replied. “But I’m just kind of appreciative,” as my tears reach a crescendo.
And I am. Again, completely amazing.