Happy Easter! He is risen, Alleluia! I'm so glad that as Catholics, our Easter isn't just over in one day; the whole octave of Easter is a time of celebration, and we continue to carry that joy and wonder of the Resurrection with us for the fifty days culminating with Pentecost!
Maybe next year we will make it to mass for Easter Vigil... Our pastor strongly encouraged folks with babies (there are a lot in our parish) to spare the wee ones the agony of a four-hour mass, because he planned to pull out all the stops. That's fair; we decided to just go Easter morning. Then Matt had to work all Saturday afternoon and into the evening, and by the time Little Bear and I picked him up, families were arriving for the university parish's vigil mass, which was being held in the auditorium in the same building as Matt works. If we had been dressed for mass, we definitely would have stayed.
Little Bear woke us up early Easter morning, but somehow we didn't make it out of the house any earlier than usual. Any other Sunday that wouldn't have been a problem, but on Easter... we wound up parking at the laundromat down the street from our parish, and were fortunate to find chairs in the atrium! Little Bear was loud and squirmy, and Matt wound up walking with him for the latter half of mass.
We spent the middle of the day at my family's house. Holidays are usually a party there; we had 26 people this year, which is actually pretty low for them! Little Bear, the youngest person in attendance, was very popular once he woke up. Mercifully, he slept for the first two hours we were there! (A tooth was slowly emerging, and he spent the better part of our morning car rides screaming.) Everyone else wanted to play with him, which meant that Matt and I were able to sit and talk with friends and the priests who joined us. Of course we love the baby, but it was so nice to talk with other adults without having to entertain him!
It was funny to realize later that, of the seven? eight? priests in our city, three of them were there celebrating Easter with us! I love that so many of our priests consider my family as their family; the chaplain of the university parish described them all as "honorary Doudnas." I would be so happy if we could be known for the same kind of hospitality some day! Hopefully when we have our own home.
To my utter embarrassment, I can't link up with Fine Linen and Purple's What I Wore Sunday this week... because despite it being Little Bear's first Easter, and despite the glorious sunshine we were blessed with, and despite my frazzled running around all Holy Week trying to put together outfits... I didn't manage to take any pictures. Not one.
How is that possible? I don't know.
Yes, I'm properly ashamed of myself.
Maybe we will just have to pose one.
There. Easter photo. Two days late. But hey, it's still Easter until Pentecost!
Mommy - all thrifted and lacking tags, except the bangle bracelets which came from the grocery store and were *supposed* to keep Little Bear quiet during mass
Little Bear - shirt is Old Navy, thrifted; pants are hand-me-downs
Daddy - shirt is Van Heusen; pants are from Sportsman's Warehouse (don't worry, he wore good khakis for Easter); tie is from college days; hair and beard are classic Alaska!
I think this is the first time Matt's joined me in a WIWS post... kudos to him for being a good sport about staging a family Easter photo this evening!
Matt and I were talking last night about "Christmas and Easter Catholics." The crowds of people who aren't there most Sundays can be frustrating for regular mass-goers who can't find seats, especially when adults are filling the cry rooms so parents can't use them for unruly or hungry babies. Our pastor approached it from a different perspective, though, saying that he wished we had to bring out the folding chairs every Sunday! It brought to mind the parable of the prodigal son: When we hear that story, it is easy to cast ourselves as the younger son. But the Lord was also speaking to us when he showed the elder son's error. We ought to be happy to see people joining us and participating in the sacramental life of the church, instead of begrudging them those graces (and our seats). Which is more likely to bring someone back to the Church, judgement and irritation that they are there, or welcome and joy at their presence? We have about nine months now to prepare our minds and hearts for the Christmas crowds... Hopefully by that time I'll be able to do a better job of praying for their hearts to be opened to returning to fuller participation in the church, instead of rolling my eyes at them. Mea culpa.
I read a few commentaries over the past couple days which reminded readers that many people travel to visit family for Easter, so some of the unfamiliar faces are likely to be regular mass-goers who are just visiting from out of town. That's another good thing to remember before making snap judgements about people, but I'd be surprised if many folks would voluntarily visit Alaska in March! In other places, though, I'm sure it's much more common.
Enjoy your octave of Easter! Christos voskrese! Christ is risen!