Friday, April 5, 2013

Easter Vigil Observation


At the Easter Vigil I was fortunate enough to witness the baptism of three of my four step-children (I call them pre-fab, step sounds too much like second for my taste). It was a beautiful ceremony and my kids were really excited. My son, and middle daughter also go to partake in their first communion as well. It was a very special evening. So where did this Triduum come from and why don't Protestants really take up this special, Holy week rather than just the Easter Sunday?

So to be honest, I had NO idea there was so much church involved in Holy week. I honestly thought that it was just a week of reflection, Mass if you could attend, and that was that -- my first clue wasn't until I received a Holy Week edition of the Magnificat. Boy was I really wrong. Sadly, we didn't get caught up until Holy Thursday, the beginning of the Triduum. We missed out on the Friday morning services, and then met back up for the Saturday morning followed by my kids Baptism at the Easter Vigil that evening. Because of my step-daughters having to go to their father's we
missed Easter Mass on Easter Day (prisoner exchange was right smack dab in the middle). So why don't the Protestants jump on the Triduum bandwagon?

First off it's hard. There's a heck of a lot of prayer services and Mass/Church to participate in, and that requires hard work and volunteers. Raised as a Baptist, Easter was kinda a big deal and about the only time a pink tie looked good. It was especially a fond time growing up since that meant that we'd be going to my grandparents for that weekend and that meant dressing in our Sunday best and eating WAY too much. Those Easters were really neat looking back. That aside why is it that other religions don't celebrate as much as the Catholic? That I believe is your first answer. They don't want to mimic the universal church. It's hard enough to continue away from the Church much less celebrating everything the same way and still be different. My previous tradition of Southern Baptist would likely go out of it's way to be different. It's the thought of many that Catholics aren't even Christian.

Another reason; it's easier. This thought is in line with the previous. Certainly, it's much easier to plan a single celebration. It also keeps a lot of the more uncomfortable pieces out of the equation -- namely the Eucharist, and Passover. If I noticed anything during my many years as a Protestant it was that other traditions, while at times not openly invalid, by observing "like" them it was almost too close to give them credence.

It's sad that like jealous siblings all that call themselves Christians cannot observe and celebrate ever bit of his Passion equally and exalt our Lord beginning with the Last Supper, his crucifixion and finally rejoice till we are hoarse and weak that our Christ Jesus, is Risen!

I pray this Easter that Catholics may extend that hand of Christian fellowship to all followers of Christ. Take that leadership role and bring everyone into full communion with the teachings of our Lord Jesus. Lord, I'm thankful to be among a parish that is all those things to my entire family. Thank you for this very precious gift. Amen.