Thursday, April 05, 2007

Holy week with kids

Dom asks a good question, what should parents do on the long evening Masses of Holy Week and Easter?

I agree with his assesment of Holy Thursday. It is one of my favorite Liturgies. The procession and Tantum Ergo are so filled with longing and expectation.

Missing Mass * Bettnet.com
In case you’ve misplaced your calendar, it’s Holy Thursday, the beginning of the Easter Triduum. It’s an exciting day for me because the Liturgy of the Last Supper is one of my favorites.
It’s not for the foot-washing and the accompanying battles every year, but because of its focus on the Eucharist. I love the prayers, the stripping to the altars, the procession to the chapel of reservation, the Holy Hour, the singing of the Tantum Ergo. I love the way the Mass just ends, without a regular dismissal. It leaves you with a sense of anticipation, that this is just the beginning. The world pauses for a pregnant pause before the horror of Good Friday and the exultant joy of Easter Sunday.
Unfortunately, I think that this will be the first Holy Thursday Mass I’ve missed in a long, long time. With Isabella here now, we can’t just drag her to church at bedtime and expect her to be well-behaved, never mind the time for adoration after.
I did offer to let Melanie attend and I would stay home and mind Bella. Then next time I could go. How do other parents of little ones handle liturgies that conflict with bedtime?
On Holy Thursday we take all 6 with us. Evening Mass is always difficult with kids, but this is one we just bear through. Often some will fall asleep and I lug them out to the suburban while my wife goes into adoration with the oldest.

I usually get a moment to pop into adoration to see my Lord for a couple of minutes. I think as a parent, often the beauty or sanctity of the moment is lost. But God doesn't desire sacrifice and offerings as much as He desires our complete heart. What is lost in the sublime is made up for by the eternal souls of the children being taught about God and about duty.

Easter vigil is where we switch off. Or I usually go with a couple of the older kids. (also nice because I can break my Triduum fast after the vigil instead of Sunday Morning.)

1 comment:

~m2~ said...

I usually get a moment to pop into adoration to see my Lord for a couple of minutes. I think as a parent, often the beauty or sanctity of the moment is lost.

ahhh, but it is not lost on Him, not even for a second.

besides, who knows this side of heaven the beauty or sanctity we receive because of our "stopping by" to visit with the Lord?