Saturday, April 6, 2013

Thoughts on the Triduum, Easter, and the Octave of Easter

The Octave of Easter draws to a close tomorrow night. I would like to offer a few thoughts on the Sacred Triduum and the Easter Octave this year. If you think you have seen parts before, you have. I have copied and pasted a bit from my lovely Facebook account. And, I would have an all-pix post if I took pictures, so these are definitely not my own (as usual...)

The Triduum kicked off with the Mass of the Lord's Supper, of course. Father Beach preached a beautiful homily on the institution of the Eucharist, focusing on the Eucharistic, sacrificial liturgy as the 'source and summit of our faith,' as defined by Lumen Gentium.  He reminded us that we should assist at Holy Mass in a reverent, loving, and careful way for we are receiving-or in his case, bringing forth- the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is not because the Church is mean and legalistic. It is all out of love. We should assist at Holy Mass as it is our first, last, and only Mass. This reminded me of an article I found on a martyr of post-war Italy, killed by the Communists, Rolando Rivi

For all the trouble the Mandatum brings, Father Beach did it beautifully, and I think his standard should be emulated by all priests on Holy Thursday. I believe the Triduum was more beautiful than ever this year.
"Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do."-Pope Francis

Onto Good Friday. Praying the Stations this year with Fr Beach was overwhelming. He takes time for contemplation, but not enough to make the liturgies and prayers drag on forever. I focused on the image, and it's just too much. It is a good thing Christ does not ask us to each die painfully to redeem ourselves. We mere humans couldn't handle it. And, I finally got an answer to a special intention, from where I can begin with a clean slate. This is why I believe in God, and in the intercession of the Saints. It could not have happened any other way. (By the way, don't deal with it through subtweeting...Being a passive-aggressive gets you nowhere, except on a rotten path. ) 

Oh, and I got to rattle the croatulus on Good Friday. But, we need a smaller crucifix for Adoration of the Cross...
I am a Les Mis junkie, and thought this was perfect for the Easter Vigil:
 "By the witness of the martyrs [I think Magnus and Bonosa, the ancient martyrs kept at St Martin's], the Passion and the Blood, God has raised you out of darkness, I [the priest in Baptism] have saved your soul for God." 

I cried a little bit during the procession on Easter Sunday. It gets better and better every year! Jesus Christ is risen today! Alleluia, alleluia! The music was stunning. The altar boys were enthusiastic; we had so many, and I thought we weren't going to get them under control. God is great, and we were so blessed that the serving went off without a hitch, so that we got to use torches and incense for the consecration! I am also blessed to be with such a great group of boys and young men. Thanks to those moms and dads who encourage them to serve and thanks to them for doing it. Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam!

I love how the church was full of light and splendor with all the candles! Take that clouds! The most beautiful sight in church might just be the light reflected onto the Sacred Host from the paten. The sight of the priest elevating the Host or Chalice when you are incensing the Consecration is an awesome one to behold.
The images of Easter Sunday Mass will remain with me for quite some time (too bad I took no pictures! The liturgies of the weekend were splendid!). Perhaps I could turn them into a more literary piece at some point...

Even though there was rain, everyone was so full of Paschal joy. It is such a treat to spend a full half-hour talking with your friends on Easter Sunday!

In the Novus Ordo, I wish that the Sequence and Credo were required for the entire Octave, so that we might more fully dwell in the celebration of Easter where time is suspended. It is a reminder to keep up the momentum and bring it forth the rest of the year. The Crucifixion makes ZERO sense without the Resurrection. If Christ died but did not bring life, then it would all be for naught. And remember the words of Bl Pope John Paul II:
"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song."
Let us carry forth the message of Christ, full of joy, throughout the rest of the Easter season and beyond. Alleluia, Alleluia!

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