|Ascension into heaven.|
"Tomb, thou shalt not hold him longer.
Death is strong, but life is stronger,
Stronger than the dark, the light,
Stronger than the wrong, the right."
Phillips Brooks, An Easter Carol
After debating on whether to go to the 7 a.m. mass or wait until a later mass, I decided, since I was awake, to get ready and attend the first mass being celebrated this Easter morning. As usual, as it is on Easter and Christmas, the parking lot was filled to capacity but I was able to find a spot. The first thing I noticed as I walked into the church were all the white Easter lilies and the walls covered by large white banners. The second thing was seeing so many men in suits and ties. The men looked so professional and handsome dressed up. I have gotten so used to seeing men in jeans, shorts, t-shirts, etc. that seeing them in a suit, a white shirt and a tie impressed me.
The choir, which I had never heard before, had two soloists with voices that touched me. The music did not leave any doubt that Christ had risen! The priest, who was lending a hand to the regular priests, gave a moving sermon. I liked when he said, "As the stone was removed from the tomb of Jesus, who will move the stone from in front of our heart?" Yes, I thought, how many times do we keep Christ buried behind a stone of disbelief, anger or sin? The priest ended his homily with everyone repeating after him, the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
where there is hatred, let me sow love,
where there is injury, pardon
where there is doubt, faith,
where there is despair, hope,
where there is darkness, light,
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning, that we are pardoned
and it is in dying
that we are born to eternal life.
|Three dots of Holy Water!|
The repeating of our baptismal vows and the blessing with holy water was part of the morning ceremony. I think the priest enjoyed sprinkling the congregation with the holy water and seeing how many he could actually splash! Some of the water landed on my forehead and glasses. When I removed my glasses, I saw three distinct dots of holy water, the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. The three spots of water would not shake off so I had to use the end of my blouse to wipe the glass clean. I find it interesting that there is always something different to impress me or move me.
Seeing families together touches me and brings tears to my eyes. Maybe it is because my family is so small and one lives far away and the other does not attend mass, but I get a pang of loneliness when I see parents with their grown children all sitting in a pew. I guess holidays are when I miss having my small family around me.
People were still receiving communion and it was 8:20 a.m. I wondered how the 8:30 mass could possible begin on time. I left early and the parking lot was jammed with cars making it difficult for parked cars to get out and arriving cars to park. A man in a car asked me where I was parked and followed me so that he could take my spot. I was glad I had attended the early mass. The feeling of contentment and happiness filled me as I left the church and my thought was that everyone should enjoy this glorious day of Easter!
"The year's at the spring,
and day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven--
All's right with the world!"