I'm struggling with my week ahead. Over the years, we've collected a pretty good set of family traditions for Holy Week, and it looks like we're not going to get to do any of them.
In years past, we've gone on a Palm Sunday family procession, burying last year's palms on the four corners of the property. Our St. Patrick's Day took precedence this year, but I expect we'll still do that next week when everyone's home. (With so many Littles at home, it was the lighter-hearted tradition that just ended up winning out.)Then, of course, the first three days of the week have always been and will be still this year devoted to a deep spring cleaning. Oh, joy. But, I'm making the most of it. I'll post on that later today.
Then, (usually) on Holy Thursday, for a late lunch to accomodate Thursday evening Mass, we prepare a dinner of lamb, new potatoes, asparagus and hot cross buns. Daddy blesses each hot cross bun and hands it around the table to each family member, then he reads the Biblical account of the Last Supper, before grace. We like to watch Jesus of Nazareth on Holy Thursday now, because we've bumped The Passion of the Christ up to Good Friday.
After the Tre Ore and the Mass of the Presanctified, on Good Friday, we have a simple vegetable herb soup, with the rest of the hot cross buns from Thursday before watching the movie. On Holy Saturday we'll take care of the last minute Easter details, trying on all our Easter outfits, dying Easter Eggs, preparing the make-ahead portions of Easter dinner, etc. Then we go to the Easter Vigil Mass. In past years we've ended our Easter Lenten sacrifices at Saturday noon, in the way of Pope St. Pius X liturgy. And at that time, we play loud recordings of bells ringing and have a big celebratory luncheon. The theme being joy in Christ's arrival in Heaven, the gates having been opened for us already.
Then, on Easter morning, after morning Mass, if a contingent has not gone to midnight Mass, we do the traditional egg hunt and dig in our Easter baskets for goodies. Then we have a ham dinner, sometimes here, sometimes a buffet over at my Mom's. After which we visit and play and run off our sugar rushes (adults and children!)
But, Alas! This year, the children in Omaha couldn't bear not to sing in all the Holy Week ceremonies at the parish there, and begged to be allowed to stay. How could we say no to that? And the rest of Easter break is too short to justify driving everyone home for a visit and all the way back again, so the children won't be coming home. We thought about taking the whole family out to see the gang and enjoy Holy Week in Omaha, but, William (2), our darling little bag-o-cats is going through a stage right now where he simply cannot bear to be strapped in his carseat. We all decided we just really didn't want to deal with that on an eight hour drive. Just imagine. No, I don't want to imagine it.
So, my husband is making the drive out with Theresa (9), Cathy (7), and Gabriel (3), who couldn't make it another month without seeing their brothers and Michelle. Anna (5), for the sake of car space, is getting to stay with her beloved Aunty Nina for a few days as an Easter treat. I'm staying home with William. And while this is not exactly a Lenten penance, staying home with my sweet little firecracker, I will so very much miss being together and celebrating like we always do. I know it's for the best to do it this way this year, but it still pains me. William, Anna, and I will spend Easter day at my sister, Donna's house with my parents and a few other of my siblings, which will be very nice. But Thursday through Saturday will be a dear penance. =sigh=
I expect it will be good for me. I know I have to be determined to make it good. So, here I am, getting determined. Determined. It'll be good.
Note: I have a couple of posts I may publish this week, but I expect I'll be a bit scarce. I have some reading I want to concentrate on. Have you ever read A Doctor at Calvary? It's an amazing way to contemplate Our Lord's passion and death.
Wishing you all a blessed Holy Week and the happiest Easter!