Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter Season Peevishness- 7 QuickTakes

Christ is Risen!...yes, not saying "Christ is risen!" is my first pet peeve...

1. Christ is still risen! We fasted for weeks- and Easter is only a day? Come on people! I know you are really tired from Holy Week (priest-husband has been ill since right after the doings on Sunday, as usual), but let's not fast more than we feast. Feast in your own way, but feast.

2. A spoken exultet!? We have all year to prepare for this most glorious of traditions in the Western-rite. If priest or deacon is unable, plan ahead and find a cantor who will do it justice. In the 'spirit of Vatican II,' help your priest with this if it was a disaster this year.

3. An off-key Alleluia sung by one person?! If the choir is going to Cancun during Holy Week and Easter, plan ahead. Make up a sign-up sheet. Perhaps some people don't want to make a year commitment to choir, but they would be able to sing during our high holy days. Also, it is probably good for the parish priest to rotate volunteer positions so that not one person 'owns' a certain activity- so parish life doesn't become "Mr Smith always puts up the Lenten desert scene. Mrs. Smith always arranges the flowers, etc."

4. No organ or trumpet? or for us Eastern-types- no cantor? Again, plan ahead (Christmas is coming up!)- and hire good musicians for big feasts. Put it in the budget. Statistically, churches have triple the numbers for Christmas and Easter- let's be faithful and pastoral and professional and maybe some of these people will come back.

5. A homily on the pagan origins of the Easter bunny? Come now, Father, is that really the best you can do? Leave the potentially irrelevant, fun stories to the bulletin and knock your homily out the park! Minister to the faithful and the twice-a-year-churchgoers alike. Might as well give the people something to really think and pray about. You have a vocation, not a job...so on to number 6...

6. Dear Father...please don't complain at the pulpit how tired you are. We know how tired you are because we are tired as well. We want a beautiful Liturgy, and you are the human who can gift us with it. Use your faithful lay people for appropriate work throughout the church to help you with the busy work, but so much of church life is simply up to you. Your faithful lay people are praying for you. We ask for a faithful and dignified priest who celebrates his vocation- not just does his job.

7. Easter egg hunts on Holy Thursday morning...and the like...it is really difficult cultivating the domestic church when society as a whole has no respect for tradition...my advice to myself is just keep trying, keep my head up and plan Easter parties for after Easter!




many more quick takes at conversiondiary.com

9 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, we were all sick and missed Mass last Sunday. But I thought I'd chime in.

    I find it really frustrating hearing a homily only for the twice-a-year-goers. I realize they only get a few chances to reach out to them, but then everyone else gets short-changed if the homily is only geared towards them.

    I can't stand hearing priests complain about about how tiring the holy days are. I will never forget, early one January, my pastor complained about how tired he was and compared saying the Christmas/Mary, Mother of God/Holy Family Masses to "giving birth." And our pastor doesn't do them all by himself. We have 3 choirs, numerous ushers, lectors, sacristans and altar servers, cantors, and a parochial vicar. My eyes roll every time I think of it. Maybe it is just me, but I don't take days off from being a wife and mother to go play golf or have a diocese to guarantee my insurance, pay and needs for the rest of my life. I really don't want to hear about how tough they have it.

    (I am speaking, of course, regarding the vast majority of roman catholic priests. I imagine the lives and needs of those who are married with children vary a bit.)

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  2. Is it terrible that I chuckle at your list?

    Thank God, I have never experienced most of those! When I was a liturgy director, I kept talking about Easter, knowing that it wsn't so much the second & third Sundays of Easter that lose the sense of the season so much as the Sundays that come after Memorial Day! :)

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  3. Katherine- it sounds like he was treating his vocation like a job. It is true that a priest might be emotionally more exhausted than us during this season- but talk to your spiritual father, Father! In addition to his 2 missions, his full-time hospital job (he officially took from Holy Thursday to Easter Tuesday off- but he is the director of the department so he took many calls) and dealing with his domestic church, my husband helped with confessions at the closest Western-rite (he has bi-ritual faculties for this archdiocese)during this season- probably about 20 hours- this can be emotionally exhausting!

    ..and it is just like a man to say that ANYTHING is like labor!;) Even as a metaphor, it shows their inability to understand (and this goes for even great dads in the labor room- they will never know)

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  4. Kathleen@somuchtosay thank goodness for helpful lay people

    I'm just sayin'- time to make plans people! We aren't asking for crazy stuff- just beautiful, reverent (dare I say- traditional?) Liturgies.

    Protestants have the market analysis that says "Visitors should BITE THE BUNNY and come to church" (I have no idea what that means, but I got 3 big, glossy postcards telling me to do so)- Catholics should be faithful to their traditions and do a beautiful job- like SING the exultet!

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  5. Heh, our priest told us to consider ourselves lucky, as traditionally the Easter Vigil Mass should last until sunrise. :)

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  6. I'm so with you on the Holy Week egg hunts! Protestant churches in the neighborhood advertised their Holy Saturday egg hunts all during Lent. Trying to explain to the little ones that we're going to wait for Easter was tough. I've heard of a few Catholic Churches who have them, as well. There is really no excuse for a Catholic Church, since we have an entire Easter season. Why not have an Easter Egg hunt on Divine Mercy Sunday?

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  7. I do love the octave of Easter and a reason to feast, feast, feast. We've been having dessert every night and lots of meat. Not to mention taking spring break from school. It is a wonderful thing I discovered when I became Catholic -- this feasting after the fast and the important days not being over in merely a day.

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  8. We splurged and rented two movies for the library! (we fasted from movies during Lent) The Gnomemobile rocks! Feasting is great!!!-Faith

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  9. Oh gosh-- we used to have a priest who would always gripe about how tired he was and would end services early. This was many years ago, but I never forgot it. It was uncomfortable for everyone.

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