He's alive! So am I? Kinda. Just finally getting a chance to check in after lots of Triduum and Easter celebrating and guests and late nights and things to do. We're in Easter mode over here which means no to lessons and yes to feasting. I'd like to somehow make these Easter Octave days stand out a bit more in our hearts and home, though. Do you do anything big? I plan for this time off of lessons which does make things feel a lot different. I think we need to plan some outings or something so that we (I) don't just get antsy but then there's the need-a-nap baby to accommodate. We do pray the Regina Caeli in place of our Angelus, we've been (trying) to do the Divine Mercy Chaplet and novena during our family prayer, there's special food on the dinner menu, and I try to just keep an overall sense of Easter going but it just doesn't feel the same as when we're celebrating the Christmas Octave. Easter is supposed to be even a bigger deal so maybe that's a goal we can work toward.
Then again, things will never feel enough now, will they? I mean, I guess they shouldn't because there's nothing we can do to be "enough" in response to the Passion and Resurrection of our Lord. There's a peace in that realization, too. Whatever we do in our attempts to celebrate Easter must be as a response of gratitude all the while knowing that it will never feel "enough." In fact, that's probably a good place to be, now that I think on it, provided that it doesn't just cause us to give up responding in love and gratitude or worse yet, forget what He's done and who we are. Knowing that we CAN'T do enough is part of the story and the grace. The main point of our attempts is not to "make up" for what He's done for us but rather to wake up our forgetful minds and hearts to the huge world-changing reality of our redemption and salvation and respond appropriately. More than anything we can delight the heart of Christ by opening ourselves up to receive whatever graces He wants for us wherever we are right now.
We spent Holy Week pretty much as I wrote and it went really well. The plan helped a lot to keep me focused and entering in to the time.
We made our first home Paschal candle and have been and will be lighting it for prayer during the octave.
We spent time each day Lent cleaning and I tackled stuff that I've been putting off for a looong time. Like wiping down all those shelves. It helps having a dust ninja in the house because they wouldn't have been touched otherwise. Basement American Ninja Warrior training has paid off. It really helped to break things down and just aim to do two or three rooms per day the best that we could.
We did a Holy Thursday foot washing/nail clipping before we left for Mass. (I realized as I was clipping that that's probably one of the motherly modern day equivalents. Also, what did ancient people do before nail clippers?)
I finally ordered cassocks and surplices for the older boys and I love them! Our parish only has the simple white albs and they serve other places sometimes, too, so I thought they'd be a good thing to have on hand. They definitely bring the serving up a notch and several people commented that they really loved that the boys wore them to serve on Good Friday and at the Easter Vigil. I used doula money I'd set apart just for this (for which I have a theological reason which most people would find nutty). I surprised the boys with them on Holy Thursday which seemed an appropriate day and they were really happy to have them for their serving. I love that.
The best picture I got as I was baby bouncing in the back before the Vigil Mass began. I've been so tempted to get pictures during Mass when the boys are serving but I'm not sure how to do it without feeling like I shouldn't.
We dyed our eggs on Holy Saturday with the natural dyes I mixed up on Friday. I feel like egg dying should be way more an event than it usually is. It takes like two seconds activity wise and most of the family doesn't even care for hardboiled eggs. The boys write on them then put them in and then it's over. We left them overnight to see if the colors would be bolder and didn't see that much of a difference from previous years.
But it's the thing to do and at least they make for a pretty picture ;)
The natural dyes also rub off a lot easier than the conventional ones. I wonder if that's my vinegar, though? I just had the cheap stuff from Aldi and maybe it needs a more potent vinegar to permeate the shell better?
We did, in fact, make it to the Vigil on Saturday night and it was beautiful! The boys did really well. No one was lit on fire, Luke was tired but chose to lay down and rest rather than disrupt, and Ben was distractable enough with candle holders and lip balm tubes.
And just look at that dapper man in his Easter hat! He was the best. We greeted people for Mass in the back before Mass started since we were there so early and I wanted to walk with him before the long Mass began. He brought out lots of smiles from the people coming in.
I mean, really.
I tried to make our parish's tiny fire look much more impressive than it was. Working?
The Mass was beautiful and the Gloria and Alleluias rang out. Our pastor does half the readings (for which I'm both sad yet thankful because parents) and it was done by 9 p.m. The boys rang out their own crazy alleluias when we got home and then they were shuffled/wrestled off to bed. Baskets and eggs and alleluia letters were hidden, Lent decor was changed out for Easter, the good deed beans changed to the jelly variety, and the cinnamon rolls got prepped for the morning.
This year's baskets
And the Easter mantel
Easter day was spent here finding baskets and eggs, then to my mom's for brunch, and then back home where we hosted dinner for some family here and some family that was in town staying with us.
I was proud of my Easter rolls :) Also on the menu were ham, mashed potatoes, baconified sweet potatoes, green beans, carrot cake, wine
and this sweet Pinterested fruit bunny my mother in law put together!
Aaaand I was organized enough to have new ties for the boys for the Vigil and for Sunday morning! That is a rare occurrence so pictures were a must:
Mama, you need to get a picture with me and Ben!! #thatdookerbeanface
Happy happy Easter from our family to yours!!
He is risen indeed. Thank you, Jesus.