Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Reflections

I had planned to write something sooner, but I stayed away from the blogosphere to concentrate on a night without the kids (visitation is wonderful sometimes). But as I'm now at work this fine Easter Sunday with a gut full of food, I will share some thoughts I've had.

Being as lapsed a Catholic as I am, I utterly failed to even see a church today (my drive to my family's and from there to work doesn't take me past one). However, I did a full listening to Handel's Messiah (and the LAST TRACK!!! skipped on me, necessitating emergency resurfacing) yesterday, singing along and all (yes, I have the book and can belt the tenor parts out with style). But between working and kids and lack of participation in the services of the holy days, I'm not feeling it as much as I used to.

I grew up quite Catholic, getting in my weekly Mass (and being damned in Catholic school, a morning Mass once a week). And while Christmas is a good season (as there's lots of good music), the Holy Week (Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday) is really the time the Church brings all of its symbolic guns to bear. For those of you unfamiliar, I'm going to cover the week's activities. For those who are familiar, just enjoy the ride.

It all starts with Palm Sunday (aka Passion Sunday). Technically, it's the celebration of Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem to great fanfare. But the Catholic church whips out the story of the Passion (not the cool, blood-filled Mel Gibson version, the dry, reading version). Kind of interesting depending on which Gospel they're using. Also, it means that the busy Catholic can skip the next two big days and come back next Sunday.

Then there's Holy Thursday, the celebration of the Last Supper. This one I didn't get to often. They do the washing of the feet, and dress up the normal part of the Mass a little more.

Good Friday is the only day the Catholic Church does not have a Mass. Essentially, it's the remembrance of the crucifixion. The church clears the altar completely until the next night.

Holy Saturday is the big one, with the Easter Vigil Mass. If you have been to a Catholic wedding or funeral, most of the stuff you see is the standard Mass. On a normal Sunday, it takes about an hour (unless there's a football game on and the priest speeds the last Mass along before kickoff). The Easter Vigil goes on for about 2-4 hours, depending on whether they take some shortcuts. Lots of candles, lots of music (much is intoned by the priest), and litanies (that's where they chant a long list of saints and everybody chants 'pray for us' after every one. It's a big show, geared to awe. If I only went to one Mass in a year, this would be my choice.

Easter Sunday is the good hour version of the prior night's Mass. And all the songs are quite joyous.

But with the mishmash of things that have pulled me away from the Church (including the shifts in my beliefs), it feels a little emptier this year. But I'll figger something out. After all, I have kids to worry about.

Finally, I will not be declaring an Asshat of the Week due to the holy day. But as tax day is this week, I'm sure I'll find someone for next week.

So if you have any good Easter stories, let them rip.

And I hope you all have had (because it's late afternoon as I post this and later by the time you read it) a great and joyous Easter too.

15 comments:

TAO said...

Happy Easter Patrick,

I spent the morning out enjoying my yard and some very strong Seattles Best Coffee.

Last week my wife hired a couple of hispanics to clean up the yard and remove every single thing that I had planted in the front yard over the last 20 years...and yes, she paid them cash.

So, today seemed like a good day to start all over....

Not much of anything to choose from as far as plants go...

But I figure I will be dead in 20 years so this time the landscaping stays...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rockync said...

Oh, brother! I guess Anon here can't read that big honkin' headline at the top of the page about comment rules...
ABOUT THE ACTUAL TOPIC of this post - you forgot Ash Wednsday.

Mad as Hell said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Toad734 said...

Damn, for a minute I thought you had Religion as asshat of the week. Don't worry, its always "Ass hat religion" week over at my blog.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I sang in our Most Blessed Sacrament Church choir when I was a lass, and I remember this song above all others from the Easter Season:

Tantum ergo sacramentum
Veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Genitori, genitoque
Laus et iubilatio,
Salus, honor virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.

Text by Thomas Aquinas

http://users.stargate.net/~bmames/ht0242_.htm

I enjoyed the music very much, but that's about all that's left of my Catholic upbringing--that and some chocolate bunnies eating marshmallow peeps.

Patrick M said...

Tao: Enjoy the new start.

Rocky: Didn't forget Ash Wednesday, it was just that it was 40 days ago. Plus, it's just a (more) depressing Mass with the added fun of ashes on the forehead.

And the anonydolts don't ever learn. Just pretend they're not there and they'll disappear when I check in (done).

Toad: Keep it up and I think an Easter observation involving a Easter-decorated dinosaur egg and a particular part of your anatomy might be in order. :)

Shaw: The beauty of the music is something we'll always agree on.

As for the peeps, do you like them fresh or stale? I'm a stale man myself (no jokes please).

rockync said...

Hey, if you're going to pan Easter Week, you really have to start at Ash Wednsday and go through Lent.

Toad734 said...

Dinosaurs? You mean those things Jesus used to ride to all his sermons?

Patrick M said...

Rocky: Too lazy to do it.

Toad: Yes, that's about it.

I know, I'd better just stick to riding you endlessly about man-ass sex.

Wait, that doesn't sound right....

Satyavati devi dasi said...

I remember when I was little they would have High Mass in Latin with the bells and the censers of incense (whatever incense it is always makes me sick; it never happens anywhere else) and so on and so forth. Of course with Vat II that all changed and now it's nothing like that. But I always kind of liked it better that way.


And peeps are totally, completely disgusting.

Toad734 said...

Ya, I think ill pass on that.

By the way, I caught a bit of Hannity and Colmes last night and man, I would have never guessed Hannity could be such a douchebag moron. And did they just pick Colmes because he is the only schmuck which could make Hannity look good? ANd does he completely just make up every thing and spin everything to where it only makes sense to him?

He was trying to act like the Constitution says its the presidents job to save one American no matter what and that there really wasn't any decision that didn't have to be made in the first place which is exact contrast to what they were saying before the rescue.

What an idiot.

Patrick M said...

Saty: Don't diss the peeps. That's all I've got to say. :)

Toad: ...I caught a bit of Hannity and Colmes last night and....That would be hard to do, because Alan Colmes left a couple of months ago.

As for Hannity, as I didn't see it (although Sean is a little redundant), I can't comment on the specifics. I'll assume there's a context that's missing though.

Pro-Life said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Patrick M said...

Pro-life: You've been deleted for trolling. You know why. And the fact that your "blog" is open to invitation only tells me you're a fucking coward.