Sunday, April 20, 2014

Celebrating Easter

We started off our celebration by attempting to attend Easter Vigil Mass. Notice I say "attempting." If you aren't familiar with the Catholic Easter Vigil, then you may not understand, so here's a little lesson.

When you leave church after service on Good Friday you exit in silence. There is no recessional. This helps to mark the solemnity of the occasion. So when you enter the church for Mass on Saturday, it is done in silence. Mass is also held at night. In our case, 8:00pm, so it is also dark. It stays that way until the priest calls everyone out to the bonfire to light the Pascal candle, which will stay lit throughout the year. The flame from that candle is used to light little candles held by everyone (within reason) in the church. The priest then chants the Exsultet in the darkness. It's quite long. Then there are seven readings from the Old Testament, each with a psalm sung in between. Then the Gospel reading and homily. Then the baptism, first communion and confirmation of all those who have decided to go through the Right of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA for short). Then the Eucharist.

It is a truly beautiful service. I've always loved it and I still enjoy it even though I don't really practice that faith anymore. It is one of the places where the tradition really shines through.

But it is also nearly three hours long. And it doesn't start until after the kids bedtime. And like I said, it starts out silently.... So even though it is lovely and traditional and I like it, it was not a great choice for the kids.

We made it through three of the readings before my kids just lost it... I went with my parents and my sisters. Dan had other plans for the night, but I knew I would have enough help.

I stopped at my parents house before Mass and we got an awesome picture of all of us in our coordinating outfits:

Eleanor and Anna were actually wearing matching dresses. Then I found Nate's shirt at Target and was so excited. Then Mary got her dress and I knew I needed one too. So I got a matching dress. We looked awesome! 

Today we went to brunch at the Crouse's. There are always tons of people there because all of the aunts and uncles and cousins are there. My kids are the 3rd generation of that family. All of my father-in-law's siblings come with their kids.... and their kids' kids. Lots of food and lots of noise. The Crouses are a loud bunch. We had German omelette (or Egg dish as Dan's mom calls it), sausage, fruit salad, ham and rolls and all sorts of pastries. They always do an egg hunt too. We had amazing weather for it this year. We spent most of the day chilling on the patio. 

After the festivities there we went to my parents' house. They only live a few minute's away from Dan's parents, which can make holidays easy. Sometimes we celebrate with extended family on my side, and that constitutes an hour drive south, but it is still nothing compared to what some people have to do. 

Things were very calm at my parents' house. My mom made ham and potatoes and a green bean casserole, but it was just my parents, my two sisters and my brother. Only nine people of you count the little ones. We ate dinner and then Nathan informed us that he needed to go outside and try out his new chalk that the Easter bunny brought for him. It was so relaxing. We watched the Brewers game and chatted. 

Here's hoping everyone else had an awesome and at least somewhat relaxing holiday! 

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