easter thoughts

Growing up we always celebrated Easter Sunday. We never (to my memory) participated in Triduum or attended the Vigil service on Holy Saturday. Easter was a big day, but it was strictly a fairly subdued and low key visit from the Easter Bunny, followed by brunch (usually at home), mass at noon, and pictures of the family out front of the house in our Sunday best. My Dad always bought corsages for the girls.

It wasn’t until I came back to the church after about 10 years away that I started attending Easter Vigil. And even at that, I think it took a few years. Thinking back tonight, I think the first Triduum I attended was in 2001 when I was an RCIA sponsor. Walking that journey with Brandy as she came into full communion with the Catholic church was like a homecoming for me. I clearly remember standing up there with her, looking out at the assembly, and knowing I was really a Catholic again … or for the first time. The next year was a double hitter for me (like this year), as I attended Triduum AND Easter Sunday. But that was a special experience as well, as my godson Alex was baptized Easter morning.

And then there was Easter 2004 … which proved beyond a doubt that I’d become a super church geek and gave me some inklings that maybe God has something in mind for me vocation wise. Good Friday was spent doing the Walk of the Cross through the neighborhood, stopping at various social justice related locations. Nothing like walking through the streets of Southeast Portland with a crowd following a giant wooden cross to make one realize … yup … I’m a Christian. Then Good Friday evening services, where I was privileged to be one of those processing in with the cross. Stopping 3 times as the words rang out, “Behold the Wood of the Cross.” Holy Saturday morning was spent with my friends J & D decorating the church. D & I realized that we were both INTJ’s as we intuitively coordinated a beautiful Easter Lilly display without talking! There was much vacuuming and mayhem involved getting the church ready, and it was a blast! I was an usher (or “welcome minister”) at the Vigil. And wouldn’t you know it, while the lights were still dimmed and our candles were burning, a 7 year old kid ran down the aisle throwing up the whole way! Apparently no one else noticed, but J, D & I did. We frantically ran throughout the church vestibule and janitor’s closet trying to find something to clean it up. We found some rags, which we brought back to the still dim church and used to try to wipe up and clean the mess. Later, when the lights went on, we realized to our horror that they were very dirty and oily rags that now littered the center aisle of the church! During communion folks had to be careful to sidestep them, but at least the areas where our little friend had his accident were obvious that way. After the service was over, the 3 of us swept back into action vacuuming and trying to clean up the mess. The grandmother of the little boy felt awful, and went home to get her wet dry vac. As we were just finishing up, I looked up at the altar and saw that a very nice gentleman named Bill was emptying the rather large baptismal font (we do full immersion for adults) with a pitcher. The siphon was apparently broken. So we swept into action and helped Bill, grabbing bowls and pitchers to slowly empty the font, and then walk out to the doors to dump the water directly into the sewer or on plants at the direction of our pastor (there are some rules about holy water that I didn’t quite understand). By 2am we were done. And I was so very happy … it is one of my favorite all time days, or series of days. And the next morning for some crazy reason, J, D & I found ourselves back at church for Easter Sunday liturgy. But we were merely spectators for that one. It was a few weeks later that I got the infamous email from my friend/pastor that got me to stop ignoring that God was knocking on my door and answer the door and on this vocation journey.

I’m back tonight from Vigil services with Omis at his parish. I need to head to bed because … yup you guessed it … I’m picking up my Dad at 9am to head to Easter Sunday liturgy, followed by brunch.

I’m filled with much joy and gladness and thankfulness. Jesus is indeed risen. Calling us to new life as well. Looking back at Easters past and looking forward to Easters yet to come. Such gift, this journey of life and faith.

Easter Blessings to you all!


Paula said...

Happy Easter Susan!Blessing is your journey.

Sylvia said...

Happy Easter to you too!