Friday, April 14, 2017

And So It's Begun: Holy Thursday of The Easter Triduum

The foot washing stations were set up before Mass began and the congregation
began filling in the seats around the altar.

This evening was lovely for a number of reasons.  The Holy Thursday beginning of the Triduum at St Michael the Archangel Church was beautiful as always. Kevin and I both made it to church for the first time in three Easter Triduum celebrations. Woohoo! (I was sick last year, and Kevin was sick the year before that.) Fortunately, the Potter Paschal Plague has been lifted. Praise the Lord!

Kevin and I saw a number of people we know and love tonight.  A friend who was in the Spiritual Direction Institute with us for two years came over so we could catch up.  She is such a sweetheart and humble servant. 

The full choir was there to sing.  A string section, someone playing the harp, and the bell choir all added to the ambiance and the solemnity of the evening.  Our church has a truly amazing music ministry.   

We always sit in the same section, which happens to be a wonderful
place to hear the choir and musicians.
Each of the oils blessed at the Chrism Mass were brought in.  Between last August and December, I received the Anointing of the Sick three times.  One of the women who walked with me through that valley was sitting next to us this evening with their oldest, the first born of the three silly sisters for whom I used to nanny.  Her mother, a dear friend and sister in Christ was with me one of the times I was anointed at St. Bridget by Monsignor Carr.

When it was time for the foot washing, Vivi came up with me.  I had the privilege of washing the feet of another woman who accompanied me through part of the valley last fall.  She is a precious soul and a strong prayer warrior who washed my feet in a most tender, loving manner, going so far as to kiss my foot.  Afterward, I washed Vivi’s feet, something I have done many times over the years.  I laughed when she warned me ahead of time that her shoes and socks were full of sand since she’d been playing in the sandbox earlier.  I assured her that was okay.    

Before Mass on our 12th Anniversary
when Kevin and I renewed our vows,
 Laura came over to do
my hair and make-up (this is one of
the pre-salon treatment photos).
As part of middle school religious education EDGE during Lent, we gave the students an opportunity to experience the foot washing.  I washed the feet of two 6th grade boys in our small group.  The co-teacher of our group washed my feet, and I washed my friend Laura’s feet.  That experience brought back a memory from one of the previous years when Laura and I were the last two in line at a station and were able to wash one another’s feet.  How perfect an opportunity for two people who have been friends since going to 5th grade together at St. Mary’s School. 

I thought about driving separately from Kevin this evening so that I could stay for Adoration until midnight, but since he’s been having shooting pains in his feet and his sugar was low, I opted to take one vehicle and be the one to drive home.  I know Jesus understands that I was doing what was best for my husband, who has to get up early for work in the morning.  

Other years, I have entered deeply into the Paschal Mysteries in part through spending time before the Blessed Sacrament.  I have treasured memories of keeping vigil with our dearest brother in Christ who this year is observing the Triduum at the parish where he served his pastoral year. 

Lord, thank you for the gift of Your Son in the Eucharist and as an example of how we are to serve one another.  Amen. 
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