Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bright Week

What a glorious Pascha! And we're still celebrating, of course!

Here are some photos from the last few days:

box turtle seen on Holy Saturday outside church

All dressed up!

She only smiled while holding my phone.

Chocolate chip skillet cookie decorated by children.


Blessing the baskets

Six baskets in a row to surprise the children when they wake up

Agape Vespers

I finally had a chance to put buttons on this little sweater-dress and put it in the shop yesterday.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Holy Saturday

(Rose petals from the procession last night...)

It's finally Holy Saturday! We've had the first Liturgy of Pascha now, and I was actually able to stay for the whole thing. Lately Miss Moppet has been very difficult in church and I've missed large portions of the Holy Week services, to my regret. This morning she fell asleep after a few of the Old Testament readings and slept until we started singing "Arise O God" when the purple is changed to white. For the first time we had bay leaves and rose petals for Father to fling around the temple (and on the parishioners) too, to the enjoyment of all. Miss Moppet was tickled pink.

So now a few necessary tasks, a short run to the grocery store, and then an attempt at rest before tonight. Good strength to everyone!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Readying the Tomb...

Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung on the tree,
The King of the angels is decked with a crown of thorns.
He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery.
He who freed Adam in the Jordan is slapped on the face.
The Bridegroom of the Church is affixed to the Cross with nails.
The Son of the virgin is pierced by a spear.
We worship Thy passion, O Christ.
We worship Thy passion, O Christ.
We worship Thy passion, O Christ.
Show us also Thy glorious resurrection.

We decorated the tomb today between services (and during intermittent thunderstorms). 

In a little while we'll be back at church for Vespers of Holy Friday, followed by a potluck and then Matins with the Lamentations. Last year I was not able to participate in reading psalms over the tomb during the vigil, but tonight, God willing, I will.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Holy Wednesday

We are deep in the dramatic roller coaster drop that is Holy Week. I have a master chart with huge squares for each day and a list of things to be accomplished in that day. I keep wandering around distractedly, checking the list and muttering "Ok, ok", to myself in a would-be reassuring way. To add to the fun, there is a monkey wrench (popularly known as "Miss Moppet") who inserts herself in every situation. I'm not sure how many hours she cried yesterday, but I wound up holding her a lot.

People reassure me that "everything gets done, don't stress out." Of course, that's not exactly true: everything on my list does not get done, but by the time Pascha finally arrives I've stopped caring quite so much. Thank goodness for "I'm-exhausted-and-that's-good-enough." You know that little phrase, "the good is the enemy of the best"? Well, that may be true in some contexts, but it's pure evil here. Don't feed the perfectionist troll!!

The important thing is Holy Week and Pascha. And not in a culinary-extravaganza-craft-blow-out kind of way. But in a "get yourself and your kids to church, try to keep your patience, take deep breaths, remember what's important" kind of way. So this is the year you can't get a Pascha basket together- so what? You didn't finish embroidering the hat for the baby? Who cares? You can't dye eggs until Bright Week - great! It's still Pascha! Forgive yourself for the imagined shortcomings and drop that heavy weight you've forced upon yourself. Christ's yoke is light!

Let us run joyfully to the cross for there we meet our Lord and Savior!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Palm Sunday

By raising Lazarus from the dead before Thy passion,
Thou didst confirm the universal resurrection, O Christ God.
Like the children with the palms of victory
We cry out to Thee O Vanquisher of Death:
"Hosanna in the highest! 
Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!"