My daughters came home from school yesterday discussing how long Lent is and that they discussed at school that it ended on Saturday night’s vigil. Now if you remember, anyone who has been following me for a few years, we home educated our two daughters for nearly 8 years with Catholic curriculum, so they know their catechism. Lent is 40 days…from Ash Wednesday….actually forty days later is April 1 and then six days later is Easter Sunday. I have always known that Lent ends at the beginning of the Triduum on Holy Thursday, with the ‘extra’ six days are the Sundays of lent (that are excluded from the rigors of the Lenten piety of fasting). This all was restructured with Vatican II, which to some makes them very VERY mad. Well, for me, I never stop my Lenten observances on Sunday, it is Lent all the way for me and my family, and I noticed that my daughters feel the same way about it.
Talking about Sunday, recently I read on Facebook a few talking about how we call Sunday the Sabbath incorrectly, that this is knowledge a good chunk of Catholics didn’t get in their formative years……either I missed it or I just didn’t grasp this. I do now, it makes perfect sense that Jesus fulfilled the Jewish Sabbath and that the Jewish community can’t stand those of us ignoramuses that still call Sunday, the Sabbath…..like me!! Christ’s passion and death fulfilled the Jewish Sabbath and in its place for the Christians, Sunday and for Catholics, the one day that is a holy day of obligation.
Tonight’s Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) was beautiful. I sit next to my eldest daughter who is an amazing violinist, playing my (her student) violin and watching my youngest daughter singing in the choir, my knight was out of sight, but I knew he was in the back row of the choir singing as well. The only one missing was our son, Marshall and his wife, but they will visit on Sunday for Easter.
The washing of the feet has always been an awkward ceremony, as I think it would be too embarrassing to have it done in front of the parish by your priest, but for some reason, tonight, I have witnessed it in another light. Again this year, I was unable to attend the diocesan Chrism Mass, but both my daughters did. My youngest told me she loved attending it and loved how the priests take their vows again during the Mass. With that I hadn’t realized happened during this Mass, so tonight as I watched out pastor washing the twelve parishioners’ feet, I realized that what he was really doing was renewing his vow to us that he is here as our servant, to serve our needs spiritually and sacramentally. He was showing us that he was there for us. Cool, huh? It made me feel glad and even special in a way.
Another thing that tonight brought to my attention is that of community. We moved to another parish across the city from the parish we attended for 10 years last summer and I realized then and it became a very special thing to me tonight is that the Hispanic community and the rest of us played music, sang, and worshipped together for one purpose, Christ. We smiled at each other, shared the peace sign, received Christ in the Eucharist together and sang songs in each other’s language. We were truly a Eucharistic community tonight. If only we could convince the rest of the world of this we wouldn’t have half the problems and divisions we have today. I long for that and pray that someday we can achieve this for our children and beyond. Celebrations like this are priceless and bring such peace in my heart. Later tomorrow we will be gathering together again for Good Friday, I hope as many come tomorrow as came tonight, it was wonderful!
For a moment, I need to brag on my knight. Tomorrow he will fast along with the Catholics in the pillar household, but he does it in symbolism!! A few years ago, he and the kids were eating lunch; they were telling him that only one regular meal, the rest had to not equal a meal, so he got this great idea. He got out the crackers, and all the things to put on crackers and set out 12. The girls were entranced! As he lined up the crackers, each got a topping of his choice and when he got to the 12th, he said that this one will remain plain. “Why?” asked the girls. “This one represents Judas, the traitor.” Well, now this is an ongoing tradition for us now, what a great lesson.
He has come a long way and he knows it. We have been married 19 years now, hard to believe it, my how times flies. Both of us have come a long way in growth maturity, spiritually and responsibilities. We have moved, had children, changed jobs, lost one parent, landed great jobs, taken amazing trips, and still the small things are the best, the short gataways, the day trips and history tours, the hikes and the home movies. The bonfire in the backyard and the bike rides and new kitten’s first day home. It’s the small things that say big things, and last the longest in our memory banks. For our kids, watching their parents progress spiritually have had an impact on them. They see how important worship is, how the world stops on Sunday mornings for Church, and that no matter what the weather, daddy will take us to Mass. That’s what it’s all about don’t you think? Lasting impressions for a child, like a plain cracker named Judas.
Lent is over now and the Triduum is upon us. It’s going to be a quiet day tomorrow. My knight rented the movie, “the greatest story ever told” to watch. The family will watch it together.