Thursday, April 17, 2014

PHFR - Triduum Edition

round button chicken
My sweet girl with half of her Phase 2 braces. She didn't smile much the rest of the day since her teeth are sore. :-(  On the plus side, that might make fasting tomorrow just a little bit easier!
Oh my! Those sweet faces from Easter 9 (NINE!) years ago! And would you look at the two stinkers in the front row? Pippo cracks me up.
Did I tell you about getting to meet the Property Brothers, or did I just put that on FB? I went with a couple of friends, and the guys answered a few questions and then took pictures with everyone. They shoved us between them, snapped, and pulled us away, shoving an autographed card in our hands. It was a little adventure. They were funny. And tall. (I'm 5'9", y'all!) And I have no idea what I did with their autographs, because that's the kind of fan I am.

(And no, this has nothing to do with the Triduum, but I needed a funny!)


See where we are on the Lenten calendar? All the way down there on Holy Thursday! ^
It's almost Easter! I'm frittering away my time this morning, when what I really want to do is explain why our family attends all the services of the Triduum if we possibly can.
One of our traditional Palm Sundaes. ;-)
So, tonight starts a marathon of Church-going. We begin with the Mass of the Last Supper which commemorates the time when Jesus instituted the priesthood and gave us the Eucharist. It's a beautiful Mass. If you're lucky (and I don't believe we will be this year), you'll hear at least the Latin Mass parts sung, and the beautiful Gloria will be intoned for the first time since before Ash Wednesday, and the bells will be rung throughout the Gloria. That's my favorite part. The other highlight of this Mass is the footwashing, and we end in silence as the Blessed Sacrament is taken to a special Altar of Repose where we can stand in for the apostles who slept in the garden. 

Tomorrow, there is Stations of the Cross at 3:00 p.m. We try to go to Stations, or at least do them at home or have quiet time from noon-3:00. In the evening is the Commemoration of the Passion of Christ and Veneration of the Cross. It's kind of a grueling service (not a Mass; it's the one day of the year when the bread and wine are not turned into the body and blood of Christ) with lots of standing and kneeling during the Prayers of the Faithful. 

And finally, there is the Great Easter Vigil on Saturday night. Ever since I came into the Church 18 years ago, we have gone to the Easter vigil nearly every year. Thinking back, I can't believe we've done it so many times. If I'm wrong, someone can correct me. ;-) The Church (and the organist) pulls out all the stops on this night. The music is the most beautiful, the flowers are gorgeous, the beautiful ritual of lighting the Easter fire and sharing the Light of Christ with everyone in the church is exquisite, and so is the singing of the Exsultet. That and the singing of the Litany of Saints bring me to tears on this night. (I remember Tom's godfather holding him as a 3 month-old and dancing with him to keep him calm during the Litany.) And you know the big bonus of the Easter Vigil? Unless there are a huge number of candidates and confirmands with their families, the church is not full and there is plenty of room to spread out!

Don't get me wrong....these beautiful 3 days are never easy! The kids get tired of going back to church all the time, and they're usually hungry because we plan dinner for after Mass. So the kids are hungry and tired; the parents may be, too, but we're grownups and we want to be there; and the services are long. It's always hard. Exhausting, even. But we do it because it makes Easter so much more special when we've been immersed in the fasting of Lent followed by these very special liturgies. 

I often feel as if I've "failed" Lent because of my lack of sacrifices, but I believe that fully immersing oneself in the Triduum and the Passion during these 3 days makes up for it! By the time we sing the Alleluia (hey kids! NOW it's Easter!), I'm ready for it. I've been run through the mill and I'm ready to celebrate the Resurrection.  

Oh, and aside from being tired and sometimes grumpy, the kids often fall asleep until they're about 10. They're always very proud of themselves if they can stay awake for the whole Easter Vigil! The boys like altar serving---partly because it helps keep them awake. And finally, it has to be said, another great advantage to the Easter Vigil (and the midnight Mass at Christmas) is the lack of crowds! There's nothing like a mob scene in the parking lot and being unable to find a seat to take people right out of the spirit of the holy day. Dontcha think?

What does your family do? Have you ever been to the Triduum services?

I probably won't be back here until Monday, so I will wish you a blessed Triduum and all the joy of the resurrection.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yarn Along

~Joining Ginny at SmallThings. Stop by to see what everyone else is knitting and reading!~

Today I am yarning along via my iPhone app that I just got. I hope it works! 

This week I've been working really hard on my Color Affection. It's going well, especially now that I have the extra yarn I needed.

My book is Katherine Grubb's The Truth About the Sky. I am thrilled to have it on my Kindle and read while I knit. Now, the only reason I can do that is because the color affection is just knitting. After you have knitted thousands and thousands of stitches that are identical, you really don't need to look at what you're doing anymore. And the rows on this shawl are so long that the project would be extremely boring if all I did was knit and pay attention to the knitting.

I can't wait to be finished with this project! My shawl would be perfect for today's 30° weather. Can you believe how cold it is still? This is truly the winter that will never end.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Weekly Rambles 2

::My Weekly Rambling::

What’s the weather doing?
Showers all day today, and then a freeze warning for tomorrow a.m.! Lots of people (not me!) regretting planting their gardens last weekend. Maybe this will really, really be the last blast of winter!

What’s really on my mind and heart?
Holy Week! I want to be immersed in Holy Week and final, peaceful preparations for the Triduum. Haha! It's never like that. The modern world pays very little heed to the beautiful rhythms of the Church, and this week is one of the busiest weeks of the year.

What am I thankful for?
I am thankful for those beautiful rhythms of the Church seasons by which we attempt to shape our lives in spite of the rest of the world and its demands.

What’s going on in school?
It's a weird week (see above!). Meg had standardized tests yesterday and today, so 2 half-days. Yesterday, of course, was not a regular school day for her. Today is a regular school day for Pip, but another half-day for Meg. Sheesh! The bright spot, if you can call it that, is that Tom got a job (hooray!) and is working after school 3 days in a row and needs to be picked up at 10 p.m. (boo! But there's no traffic then!) Tomorrow, Meg & Pip have drama rehearsal for a half-day. It's just crazy, out-of-the-ordinary driving this week!

What’s cooking?
I'm looking for easy Easter candy recipes because I don't feel like filling baskets with tons of junk. Most of my kids have outgrown the desire for that, anyway. Meals are going to be pretty simple this week. As much as I would like to have symbolic meals for every night of the Triduum, it's just not possible (for me) to do that and attend all the services.

What’s on the needles?
Trying to put some hours in on my Color Affection. I got the new skeins of not-quite-matching yarn that I needed, and I'm added it. I don't see the difference now, while it's all bunched up on the needles, and I hope it will be unnoticeable when I finish and block it.

What’s special about this week?
Holy Week: Spy Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and the Great Easter Vigil! Oh, and Meg gets braces (again) tomorrow. ;-)

What am I reading?
Five Lessons from Carmelite Saints That Will Change Your Life.  This took 10 minutes while at the doctor's office yesterday. It's more than worth your time.

The Truth About the Sky by Katherine Grubb. I read another book by her that I loved, and I just started this one last night.

The Diary of St. Faustina. It's one of those partially read books that has been on my list for years. This is the year.

(oh, hey, none of those are affiliate links today. :-) )

What am I praying about?
Several of the people that I've been praying fervently for have passed away, recently. It makes me so sad! One of them, a 24 year-old girl named Katie had a freak bicycle accident and died after a week from brain trauma (she hit a tree). She and her family are so faith-filled! Her father made sure to point out on Facebook that all of our prayers were not in vain because the family was given enormous graces with which to face the tragedy. It was a good reminder that though we don't seem to get what we pray for always, our prayers always have value.

What’s on my ipod?
Lately, the Divine Mercy chaplet, via this app, has gotten a lot of play after dropping the kids off at school.

What projects are happening at home?
Spring cleaning for Easter!

What are your plans this week? Share with us your Easter preparation, food, fun!


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