Feeling sad today, especially after yesterday's post.
A friend of mine asked me to post a question concerning celebrations of the Triduum in parishes. He recounted something that occurred at his parish during Saturday's Easter Vigil. As the pastor began the homily, his focus was on the word "alleluia" and the joy it expresses as it acclaims the resurrected Lord. He told the congregation that it was important for them to share the joy of the resurrection with everyone. He then invited everyone in the congregation to follow him outside to the area in the front of the church. He led everyone outside and, once there, asked them to join him in proclaiming "alleluia" to the north, then to the south, then east, then west. Everyone did as he asked and the neighborhood resounded with these "alleluia's." My friend, a committed Catholic who knows the liturgy well, thought it was "kind of strange at first." But then he said that it was quite powerful and was filled with meaning for the folks from that Chicago neighborhood who had gathered for the Vigil. "It was really kinda cool," he said. After the proclamation, everyone then followed the pastor back into the church. The pastor concluded the homily and the liturgy continued with the celebration of baptism.
My friend wondered if there were things "outside the book" that take place, or have taken place year after year in parishes during the Triduum. I thought immediately of my experience at Saint James, my former parish where, at the veneration of the cross on Good Friday, the members of the congregation remove their shoes and socks before approaching the cross. And then I thought of the Vigil at Saint Clement that I experienced on Saturday and the creative pronouncements during the blessing of the candle, which I described in yesterday's post.
So, my question to you is this: Is there a custom that has developed in your parish during the Triduum that is "outside the book?" Does it make you fidget in discomfort when it occurs? Is it "kinda cool?" Is it something that is laden with deep meaning? Please feel free to share.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.