God has truly blessed my family with an incredible parish. Today, I realized that we (actually, my husband and four eldest children) spent at least nine hours in the church between Holy Thursday and early Easter Sunday morning. Despite the long hours, my children have not stopped speaking about the Masses and Good Friday Liturgy. Holy Thursday began with High Mass at 8:00 p.m. On Good Friday, we returned for Stations of the Cross and the Solemn Afternoon Liturgy which included the chanting of the Passion according to St. John. The highlight of our weekend came on Holy Saturday when we returned to our parish for the Easter Vigil and High Mass. The children really liked to see the lighting of the Easter candle. Even baby Elizabeth seemed to be amazed; she looked at the flames and babbled (she can be heard in the video of the Easter Candle lighting below).
My talkative son, Finnian, who kept me outside the church on Thursday and Friday, was so excited about the candles that he did his best to be quiet while I prayed unceasingly for his safety. After returning from the lighting of the Easter candle, Finnian insisted on holding a lit candle. Desiring to stay in the church and not wanting him to throw a fit, I allowed it. When Elizabeth started making noises, we left the church and Finnian's candle was extinguished. After a while, he went back inside with his eldest sister. When a friend came out, I asked her if Finnian was being quiet. She said, "Yes, it's very quiet in there." Surprised, I stepped inside the church and found my little boy holding a lit candle again. I knew why he was being quiet and thanked his Guardian Angel for protecting him.
Our pastor gave an excellent sermon and I was looking forward to receiving Communion, as I had not been able to on Good Friday because of my two youngest noisy children. Unfortunately, I was unable to do so, as one of my sleeping children woke up due to an accident and I hurried him out, knowing that loud whining was about to start. We sat in the van waiting for the rest of the family to come and share how much they enjoyed the Mass. Despite having spent a lot of my time tending to my three youngest, I cannot wait to be able to assist again next year. My only prayer is that I will be able to receive Communion when I do so. I had hoped to return for Mass this morning, but we woke too late. Thank you, God, for blessing me with a loving husband, wonderful children, a pastor who takes his vocation seriously, and a faithful parish.
Jesus Christ is Risen Today
Tune: Lyric Davidica, 1708
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!
Hymns of praise now let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our Heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the Cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!
But the pains that he endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now exalted He is King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!
Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
Praise eternal as His love, Alleluia!
Praise Him all you heavenly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia!