As I write this blog, it is almost two weeks since we started our Triduum celebration with Holy Thursday. For some reason, the celebration of Triduum and Easter Sunday has left me with a wonderful afterglow of being filled by the Holy Spirit. Most likely it can be attributed to being able to fully celebrate these liturgical celebrations after two years of no or restricted celebrations due to COVID. Whatever the reason, this year the Holy Spirit worked overtime and really filled me up in powerful ways. I hope that was the case for you too.
As you entered the church on Holy Thursday and saw an overflowing choir section with familiar and new faces you knew we would be lifted up in song and indeed the Triduum and Easter celebrations were beautifully musical. It was wonderful to hear so many voices joined together praising God in song. Many thanks to all the singers and musicians for inspiring our liturgical celebrations.
For me, the celebration of Holy Thursday is something I look forward to every year, especially with the foot washing. This year it was supposed to be another year of selected persons getting their feet washed, but in my homily, I referred to our reenactment of the foot washing of Jesus with the disciples without mentioning it would be limited to a few. It was wonderful to see people coming up spontaneously and having their feet washed and washing the feet of others as has been our tradition. This unscripted spontaneity proved a very powerful reenactment and really moved me. For the last two years, we have spent time in prayer with the consecrated eucharist before our procession of the eucharist out of the church. I find this time of prayer and sitting in the presence of Christ to be a wonderful addition to our Holy Thursday celebration.
Good Friday is always a powerful and emotional liturgical celebration. The veneration of the cross has always been one of the most powerful and spirit filled times I experience every year. This year it was especially moving to watch people come forward and reverence the cross and honor the great sacrifice Jesus performed for all of us. I was moved to tears as I venerated the cross and still get emotional a few weeks later thinking about it.
Of course, the Easter Vigil is the high point of our liturgical year. Being able to fully celebrate it again this year was a whirlwind with so many symbols, readings, music, sacramental initiation, renewal of baptismal promises, candles, and incense. We were blessed to have a catechumen, Emily, who was fully initiated into the Church through baptism, confirmation, and receiving the eucharist. For me, the Vigil brings back so many emotions of my journey into the Catholic Church and being blessed over many years to have been part of so many others’ journeys through my involvement with RCIA. It is wonderful to know the celebration is going to be more than two hours and nobody is in a hurry.
Easter Sunday was a time of great joy with so many people coming to actively worship in person. Being able to gather and celebrate really heightens the Easter experience, and as Fr John’s Easter homily said; I do feel like I have won the lottery this Easter season.
Peace, Love, and Blessings