Easter greetings on this Thursday of the octave.
So, continuing with my different Easter Triduum . . .
Attending the Easter Vigil at my parish was just not possible for me this year.
I have not been at an Easter Sunday morning Mass in a parish since I left full-time parish ministry in 1999. I decided to attend the 8:00 A.M. Easter Sunday morning Mass, thinking that the later Masses would be close to impossible to attend, because of the crowds. I arrived at the parish at 7:40. The 7:00 A.M. Mass was still going on in the church. When I walked around the corner from the parking lot, this is what I saw.
The line of people waiting to enter the church for the 8:00 A.M. was over a city block long and wrapped around another city block! I wondered if I were even going to get into the building. Luckily, even though the church was nearly full, I was able to get a seat in the fourth pew.
Fr. Ed Foley was the celebrant and homilist; just superb all the way around. And the music was, in a word, awesome. The final communion hymn soared and the cantor ad libbed as it built and it was a taste of heaven for me. I was so grateful for my parish and the Lord was truly risen in my heart once again.
When I walked out of the church, the lines for the 9:30 Mass were even longer than those for the 8:00.
The city closes the street to vehicular traffic on Easter Sunday. As I walked back toward my car, I thought I heard Judy Garland and Fred Astaire's voices. Sure enough, the parish had placed a set of speakers on the sidewalk and "Easter Parade" was being played. Two horse-drawn wagons were close by for those families that wanted their own "on the avenue" Easter experience. Only here it wasn't "on the avenue, Fifth Avenue," it was "on the avenue, Des Plaines Avenue." What a parish! The whole thing was such a hoot!
So, my different Easter Triduum drew to a close. It was a wonderful experience in so many ways; the highlight for me was the Good Friday walk for peace with Cardinal Cupich. I am attending a gala this evening, a fundraiser for Mundelein Seminary. I will seek out Cardinal Cupich and thank him personally for leading us on Friday and for the ways the Archdiocese is addressing the violence in Chicago.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.