Since I went to a Catholic church in Tucson for Christmas, I thought I should try one for Easter. As important as Christmas is, it's Easter that truly tells the tale of Christianity.
First rule when attending Catholic Mass on one of the High Holy days – Go early.
I wasn’t early enough, so my view was over the shoulders of those seated in the foyer, just able to glimpse the sanctuary and tabernacle through huge wooden doors. My feet were aching in shoes not designed for long standing, my ears straining for any understandable word. I could only hear the muted voices of the speakers and the choir, with an occasional song floating my way. It became a very visual service, because I could hear so little.
Things I could see:
Knights of Columbus dignified in full regalia (I had to ask someone who they were).
The parish priest, all in white, sprinkling the congregants with Holy water.
A frail older woman, oxygen tank resting on her walker, determinedly rising to her feet in unison with others more able.
A gentleman, seated close to that woman, gently assisting her as she left after service.
A newborn, face red from teary effort, finally resting comfortably in his mother’s arms.
A teeny tot, feathery ponytails bouncing, quietly kicking her feet as she rode her father’s shoulders.
Three boys, sorely vexing their mother.
Two young couples, holding hands and smiling.
Two friends from work.
The solemn deacon, lips moving through his blessing, offering Communion.
Candlelight flickering, the prayers of the faithful rising with smoke.
I’ve never experienced such a service. In near-silence, anything extra was stripped away and I could clearly see so many aspects of God that my list grew long. Austere and lovely, formal and fine, this was one Easter I will not soon forget.
|Happy Spring. He is Risen!|