Monday, March 24, 2008

Glimpses from Holy Week

Palm Sunday
Woefully unprepared for Holy Week. Also woefully unprepared for Star and best-friend-F. I find myself in the sad position of finding it less stressful taking a 21 month old to Mass than taking a 9 year old. F's mother read them the riot act beforehand, with dire warnings of what would happen if there was a repeat of last year's sword fighting with palm crosses during Mass. Neither of us thought to warn them not to be palm trees. Waving, rustling, noisy palm trees.

Took Little Cherub to Mass, where she behaved beautifully. Joined two homeschooling friends for a Stations of the Cross afternoon. The children made plaques out of clay, with a scene of their choice, then we placed them round the garden and prayed the Stations. Cherub enjoyed herself with salt dough and a doll's house. I enjoyed a sociable afternoon and reconnecting with homeschooling life.

Nothing memorable.

Went to Mass again. I was tired and found the walk hard going (30 minutes there, a bit more back as it is uphill). Castigated myself for bemoaning a 30 minutes walk ... after all, who wouldn't walk for 30 minutes if they knew God was waiting at the end of it? Cherub untypically cross and agitated during Mass, for some reason I couldn't fathom. Realised afterwards that it was because the step-counter she had attached herself to had got left in her pushchair and she was not best pleased!

Woke up with a headache and general malaise, which doubtless explained why Wednesday's walk was such hard work. Mass of the Last Supper, which never fails to move me, this year included despite feeling limp. Struck particularly by the stark change of mood during the Eucharistic Prayer, when the bells rung during the Gloria were replaced by wooden clappers. No Cherub. No Star. Only Angel and she was serving, meaning I was child-free and able to focus (not that Angel on her own would be a distraction). Worked on putting together Cherub's Way of Light box.

Headache persisted. Good Friday liturgy, with Star and Cherub. Both well behaved, apart from a little service sheet chewing by Cherub once she got bored of "reading" it. I dithered over whether to take Cherub, but decided I would risk it as she responds quite strongly to things at Church being different - Ash Wednesday was good for two or three weeks of interest in black splodges on foreheads, and this week there has been much signing of "all gone!" over the purple covered statues. Despite a little restlessness during the reading of the Passion, she was very engaged by the veneration of the Cross. She wanted to "kiss Jesus", but was overcome by nerves at the last minute and decided against. I was thankful all over again for her Stations of the Cross box, which has kept her interest through the whole of Lent and meant that in her own small way she had some idea of what was going on.

Confessions in the morning. (Quote: "Star, if you don't stop that you will have to add being noisy in the Confession queue to your list!") Finished off Cherub's Way of Light box, more or less, and did some baking for Easter Sunday. Attended Easter Vigil with Angel and Star, who had been given the choice of coming with us the Vigil or going to Mass on Sunday morning. Twenty minute wait beforehand almost too much for her - much whinging about being tired and having a headache. Fortunately she was distracted by the interest of fire and candles and forgot her woes until the Vigil was nearly over. By this time I was struggling with aching head, aching chest (usually I love incense, but it just isn't good for coughs) and tiredness of my own. Some years the Triduum is an intensely spiritual experience; others, like this one, it is a case of being present and participating as best I can amongst the distractions.

Easter Sunday
Celebrated! Chilled (literally, as the snow fell). Coughed. Ate chocolate. Ate breakfast. Organised a chocolate egg hunt for the girls. Coughed. Ate more chocolate. Grandma and my brother arrived. With chocolate. Ate very large lunch. Ate more chocolate. Chilled (now not so literally, as the snow had melted). Coughed. Ate tea. Relaxed with a nice, medicinal glass of wine. And chocolate. Enjoyed a couple of treats from the BBC: the last episode of Lark Rise to Candleford, and a dramatisation of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency.


Jennifer said...

Love the new daffodil inspired blog colors!
Happy (White?!?) Easter!

Jenn Miller said...

Let us rejoice and be glad!!!! A blessed Easter. I hope you are feeling better. The Stations box was truly a gift that kept on giving, as it helped my son really focus throughout Lent.

Wish I had something like that when I was younger!