Thursday, April 21, 2011

Heart of the Year

It's Holy Thursday today, and the Paschal Triduum has begun. SO pumped, peeps. So pumped. Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but the Triduum is the most intense, epic, beautiful, emotional three days of the year. Holy Week has always been one of my favorite week of the year. I always feel like things happen during Holy Week. This year, I've been so busy with school work, I didn't really have time to focus on the fact that it was Holy Week until today. In the hour before Mass started this evening I had some time to sit and reflect on the gift that this week is.
My book of daily prayers calls the Triduum the "heart of the year," and as soon as I read these words I thought: "YES." That's what these days are-they're the heart of the year. These three days are the days that the rest of the year pivots around. The most important events in the history of the world are remembered and retold. The days of the Triduum are always different and yet always the same. Each year everything is deliciously new and exciting, and yet ancient and familiar. And each day in the Triduum is unique-they each have their own role in the story. Holy Thursday is quiet and seemingly simple, but there's so much depth to it. It's what gets the story started. Holy Thursday is when things begin to happen.
Good Friday is the saga of Salvation packed into one short day-there's always dramatic, sweeping music, which sends chills down your spine. The incredible drama of the liturgy, and the music touch on the incredible, horrible, heart-wrenching, beautiful story of the day. There's something larger than life, something too grand for this earth to contain about Good Friday. Catherine of Siena said, "Nails were not enough to hold God-and-man nailed and fastened on the Cross, had not love held Him there." The love that Good Friday celebrates is something as stern as death and relentless as the netherworld, as the psalmist would say. Good Friday begins as a bright day, and ends in darkness. If it's sunny out on Good Friday-as it often is-I always think the sun's being just a wee bit inconsiderate, shining so brightly like it does. It's too incongruous with the mood of the day. And it adds to the sadness somehow.
Holy Saturday is entirely full of anticipation for the Vigil that evening. From the moment you wake up, everything is pulsing with anticipation and excitement. Finally, the sun goes down, and darkness sets in again. And then into the darkness comes a single light, and that light grows and swells until the night is alit with its brilliance. And then all the sadness and the pain that's left over from Good Friday gets eaten up by the insane JOY that bursts out of everything. The darkness has been overcome and everything is light. Pure light and smiles and happiness and joy and we're all up way past our bedtimes and dude, Jesus is alive again now and we can eat chocolate again and isn't life just plain AWESOME. And that's how I feel after the Easter Vigil. Peeps, Easter's the best. I mean, seriously, it takes 50 days for us to celebrate this holiday properly and in style. This is the heart of your year. Make it count.

No comments:

Post a Comment