Holy Thursday Mass was, as usual, AWESOME! I had mixed emotions about the decision to go from a mix of male and female (of various ages) parishioners for the foot washing to all males but I thought it ended up being a really beautiful foot washing all the same. I was speaking with someone who said it was supposed to be all males because it was representative of the apostles and the apostles were all males. Maybe but the argument breaks down when you consider that the apostles did not range in age from about 8 to 80 as our males did! There was another change that I did not think I would like one bit but ended up loving. In the past the oils were presented at the beginning of Mass - I think even before Mass began - by people who represented the oils in a certain way. For example, the oil of the catechumins would be usually be brought down by a couple with a newborn who was going to be baptized (like my husband, Big Bear and myself when she was 4 months old and being baptized that Easter Sunday!) and some of the folks who would be entering the church at the vigil. But, the way they did it this year ended up being really meaningful to me but I couldn't put my finger on why until I read Laura H's view on it.
I was pleased also to see this: women carrying the sacred oils to Fr L, who waited for them at the entrance to the sanctuary. As TPC mentioned, the anointing with oils was/is associated with women in the New Testament. I always enjoy seeing women take on traditionally "feminine" roles, especially ones like this. The women did not enter the sanctuary, they simply approached it. They handed over their gifts, were thanked, and returned to their seats.What made it more beautiful was that the 3 women who quietly presented the oils were our parish's 3 deacon's wives who quietly serve our parish in an important and special way. The deacon's serve our community and, deservedly, are very well recognized and appreciated for this service. But the deacon's wives serve the parish just as much by giving up their husbands, however, their service is a very quiet, unrecognized sacrifice - just like the uncelebrated service of the women in Jesus' day - like the women who went to the tomb that Easter morning. I am of course, slightly biased, as my mom is one of these deacon's wives! LOL!
The Good Friday service was just as lovely. The chanting of the readings has been much discussed in our parishioners blogs (here, here and here that I know of!) as well as among people in real life - like at the Easter Egg hunt on Saturday morning when I got to chat with the guy who chanted the Jesus part in the Gospel! Yes, I'm a personal friend of Jesus - LOL! As they have all said, the guy who did the first reading and the Responsorial Psalm just blew everyone away. No one was even moving as he sang, "eli, eli, lama sabachthani!".
I would not have a clue how the Easter Vigil went, except for what my pop told me, because when I called my pop on my way to the mall to buy a dress for said occasion and asked him what time it started, I nearly had a wreck! It didn't even START until 9:10...or as my dad said, "It starts at your bedtime"! There was no way I was making it to that so we rearranged plans for Sunday. I was really bummed to miss it but it ended up working out better because if I had not gone, it would not have seemed like Easter because I wouldn't have heard them play and sing Resucito!!! My favorite Easter song EVER...here's another story about this song from last year!
And then...the highlight....Campo's baptism on Easter Sunday afternoon! It was beautiful. We were surrounded by family and friends. It was loving and special! I so appreciate my dad, who after all of the week's activities, took the time to do this for us on such a busy day - program and all! And I really, really appreciate my mom who had the party at her house afterwards - complete with meal, decorations and gifts for the girls! It was fabulous! Here are some pics of the special event!