Holy Week and Easter were very different this year than in years past, in large part because all of our children have passed the magical age of three and are now old enough to sit through longer (and later) Masses. In years past, my husband and I have split up for the Triduum – one of us would attend Holy Thursday Mass and the other would attend Good Friday. We learned our lesson after a couple of nightmarish experiences spent in the cry room with screaming toddlers – ours and about 25 others. Sometimes we would bring along the older children, but even then the Holy Week services seemed like a real sacrifice – beautiful and worthwhile, yes, but also long and tedious.
This year, although we still had our fair share of wriggling and complaining, for the most part the children did really well. The special parts of the Mass that used to seem impossible with younger children (did we really need to sing the entire Passion narrative and all of the Prayers of the Faithful?!) seemed marvelous this year. We took advantage of the opportunity to spend several hours together, stuffed into a crowded pew, by cuddling, whispering explanations, and singing to our hearts’ content. As a mother, I tell my children that the hours spent in church are my favorite time of the week – we are together as a family with no distractions and no competing obligations, celebrating the Mass with the entire communion of saints. What could be better?!
As wonderful as this year has been, however, I am really excited when I think about our Easter next year, when we will have a six-and-a-half month old baby in the family! Yes, I am pregnant, and all of us are very happy! In many ways we will be starting over since we have long been out of the baby stage, but we cannot wait. The baby is due in September, and so far, everything seems healthy. Praise God!
I pray that you and your family had a wonderful Easter Sunday, and that you are enjoying this Octave of Easter. Mary, Mother of Our Savior, pray for us!