We left off at the letter D, for St. Dominic, where I talked about this Saint, and why he is so very important to me (and this blog!)
Easter means more to me now, than Cadbury egg commercials, Easter egg hunts, chocolate and pretty spring dresses.
Who eats those Cadbury eggs anymore? Once I finally got around to trying one, I was like, meh. On with the show!
What is it?
To Catholics, Easter is the Pashcal Mystery where after 40 days of purification through fasting, prayer, penance and almsgiving, we share in the joy of Christ’s resurrection. The 40 day time frame is called Lent. This symbolizes our attempt to imitate the fasting Jesus underwent in the desert prior to his crucifixion and resurrection. We hold a special mass, especially at the vigil mass, where we recount passages of scripture from Genesis to The Gospels and right to the Paschal Mystery of Christ’s death and Resurrection. We also welcome new Catholic’s into the faith that evening after months, sometimes years of intense prayer and study. While the Easter Vigil and masses are on one “Sunday”, the Easter season of jubilant exaltation (think Hallelujah chorus with trumpet blasts and confetti) lasts 50 days ending in Pentecost – another favorite Holy Day.
Why did I choose to share this particular “E” with you?
Easter is my favorite liturgical season because I am a convert. As an adult convert, I remember my months of study and prayer, confusion and understanding. I remember being the only member to join from the choir loft (I’m a singer too). I can still feel the pats on my back as I walked from the loft to the altar. I still laugh at my husbands’ comments afterwards. Here’s a tip: if you ever go to an Easter Vigil mass, it starts in the dark. Remember? We’re starting with readings from Genesis:
Genesis 1: 3-5
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
This is where drama enters the Catholic Church, I think. All of your senses are included in this mass from the bells to the smells (incense) and so it makes sense that the lights are turned off for this part of the mass. Slowly as we move through biblical history, the lights get brighter and brighter.
Before that happened, my husband looked at me from his pew with my little boys right next to him, and mouthed to me “did they pay the light bill” How was I supposed to know? No one told me!
Those pilgrims set to enter into full communion with the church, walk in holding lit candles – this is symbolic of their faith, their tireless work to understand the Trinity, the mysteries, The Gospel, the Magisterium and God’s love for them individually, flaws and all. Even if you don’t know anyone coming into the faith personally, I highly recommend this as a mass to attend at least once in your life.
Easter this year is on April 20th.
I am at a conference today, all day, in New York City – if I’m not around today, know that I am getting “my pray on”. I am here: 9th Annual Divine Mercy Conference and since we’re all off Sunday, I will reconnect Monday!
Come back on Monday for to read all about my Catholic take on the letter F. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same.
Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.