Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Holy Week and Easter

 We had a lovely Holy Week and Easter this year.  After last year, I am so grateful to belong to the parish we do and that we had the opportunity to spend so much time there this past week, especially when so many across the country (and world!) have been unable to.

We spent the first part of the week deep cleaning the home and purging those things we do not need.  I also did the dreaded big clothing swap for all of us and made lists of clothing that must be purchased.  I reminded the kids to make lots of sacrifices to fill up the bean jar (they did a good job!).   In the evenings, we watched The Ten Commandments as a family, finishing it on Easter Sunday.

I also did quite a bit of cooking and prep for our traditional Holy Thursday dinner and Easter.  I tried my hand at Chocolate Babka and it's just as amazing as it sounds.

The girls even put their Calico Critters to work cleaning up the doll house.

Holy Thursday we had an early dinner, did our family feet washing, and sent Dad off to Mass with the older kids.  Ladybug made and decorated this year's lamb cake.  The girls (along with their girls group) were asked to throw rose petals during the Eucharistic Procession.  

We spent quite a bit of time in the church this past week, between extra altar serving practices and Masses.  Again, the girls' Calico Critters reflected what was going on in the family.  The girls made vestments for their Critters, and torches and St. Stephen Guild medals for the "altar servers".

I signed up for a middle of the night adoration shift and brought my girls along.  It was very moving to spend such time with Our Lord on such a holy night.

Very early Good Friday, my husband and Fritter had an adoration hour, my hubby had Porter duty to help guard the church afterwards, and Fritter had altar server training after that.  Then I took the older kids to Stations of the Cross and the Good Friday liturgy where Fritter served.  

Early Saturday morning (before sunrise) I was blessed to attend the Tenebrae service.  I had never attended one before, so when, at the end, everyone began banging their books and pews to show the earthquake and Christ's descent into hell, I was brought to tears. Our faith is such a beautiful thing, I'm so very grateful for it.

When my hubby left Saturday evening with Sunflower for the Vigil Mass, the rest of us turned our home from Lent to Easter!  Purple cloths were exchanged for white, candles were refreshed, the statues were all uncovered, and after the kids were in bed, the baskets were set out, and the bean jar was emptied and filled with jelly beans.  I didn't manage to pick up flowers for our prayer table in time, but thankfully Easter lasts 50 days and I have plenty of time!

Easter morning, the kids were up early (even Sunflower, who had gotten home at 2am!) and we prepared our simple but yummy Easter breakfast.  Egg casserole, berries, and Ukrainian Poppy-seed Cake were gladly feasted on.  Afterwards, baskets were gone through, and then we raced to get everyone ready for Easter morning Mass.

The Church was just so beautiful, with all the flowers arranged just so, the joyous Easter songs sung, and everyone in their best.

Happy Easter from our family to yours!  He is truly risen as he said!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

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