Thursday, April 28, 2011

In Search of Easter: Part Two

...continuing a guest post by the Western Rite Sister in the South (as opposed to the Eastern Rite Priest’s Wife in the West)

After a mere five hours of sleep (this is the standard amount of sleep for every parent in the U.S. preceding Christmas and Easter mornings), hubby and I both arose to light candles and welcome the most important morning of the year, commemorating the most important day of history! Dad brewed the morning joe while I searched the computer on youtube for some good time Alleluia tunes.  Keith Green’s Easter Song filled the kitchen, “Joy to the World, He is risen!  Alleluia!”  Sipping cream-infused java and praising the Risen Lord woke our sleepy heads upstairs.  What a beautiful family morning!  Chocolate, marshmallows, jelly beans and patience with younger siblings abounded. 

I searched for the  Alleluia Chorus on youtube, the perfect Easter song to singOn the computer screen, there appeared a random group of people chowing down in a food court in a mall somewhere.  Suddenly, the strains of Handel could be heard over the loudspeaker.  People noticed in mid-munch and then resumed eating.  A young woman seemingly on a cell phone stood up at her table and sang the first stanzas of “Alleluia, Alleluia”.  She was joined by a scarf-clad tenor across the court….it was clearly a set up.  A beautiful random act of kindness kinda thing put on by a marvelous choir posing as shoppers, workers and store owners.  It is what is known as a “flashmob.” One by one, even the innocuous bystanders joined in, and so did we.  It was truly inspiring.  Our family was filled with Easter joy as we changed into Sunday best, which had been flung wrinkled on the floor from the night before, and filed into our mega van.   

As we entered the church, the perfume of lilies greeted our noses.  AAH….the sensuality of Catholicism is like no other!  The pews were filling in with much welcomed guests….OK folks, you’ll wanna come back after this nuptial feast!  The organ began to bellow….here it comes, kids; belt ‘er out!  And then…. That was it.  Most choir members were out of town.  The minor chord Alleuia intoned by a single cantor.  Standard homily (and this pastor was also hitting the hay early, he’d had a long week too).  An off-key One Bread, One Body for Communion.  They must have run out of incense and holy water as well, as none were to be found.  We ended with a barely audible Jesus Christ is Ris’n Today. “This is like a funeral Mass,” commented my usually effervescent husband.   

We drove home past several churches, expelling crowds of beautifully adorned congregants beaming with joy….some roofs seemed to be bumped off their soffits from the choruses inside.  I started to miss my old Protestant days.  But no—we have the contrast of Lent, and an entire season of Easter…..  We kept our disappointment to ourselves, as chocolate bunnies and computer games seemed to satiate the souls of our youngAs long as they could get back to our Saturday Family Movie Night with Don Knotts, our kids knew that Lent was over.  But, how to help them remember that Easter had begun?  It can’t just be 'back to business,' we are a changed people!   

We would just have to fend for ourselves.  It is kind of like filling your own plastic eggs if Mom and Dad are just too tired to do it.  Maybe a few pastors don’t realize that they act like lazy parents who buy the prepackaged Walmart basket, never realizing that their parish family needs 'optional' traditions that elevate the Resurrection. Lent cleans me out, and Easter fills me up!


  1. so what ARE we to do? Is this what John Paul II meant when he said this was to be the age of the laity? I was saved this Lent by the Pope's Holy Thursday homily I listened to over local Catholic radio. Patty

  2. Patty- I'm writing a post for tomorrow on making an action plan for improvements- but at the specific parish (really a 'Carmel') she is writing about they are very reverent during Lent- so 'liberalism' isn't the problem- correct lay involvement needs to increase, but their priest needs an action plan as well...

  3. Oh, hey- was it the flash mob with the guy waving a Caution- Wet sign as he sings? And the lead singer on her cellphone? That happened pretty near here just before Christmas- I remember watching it and then driving past the town it happened in on our way to my inlaws for an early Christmas dinner.

    It is a great video. Oh, and Happy Easter! Christ is Risen!

  4. I told my husband that next year we needed to put out an ad for a flash mob of Southern Baptist singers to infiltrate our parish church and belt out the Regina Caeli.....think that would help?


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