I love Holy Week and Easter. I cannot express to you just how much, but I do. It was quite moving this year, as it always is, but it was a little bit different this time.
I used to be a lector at church; I did it for a long time because I love doing it. I’m on the substitute list now because my husband asked me to cut back some of my commitments just because there are those times we don’t feel like driving that hour and we can just go up here. However, it’s become a tradition over the past couple of years that I read at Holy Saturday Mass. Holy Saturday is great; I know it’s long, but it’s such a beautiful Catholic tradition–from the darkness to light, all the beautiful readings, the music that’s so perfect for this time of year, the Litany of the Saints, new people coming into the Church…and so much more. Anyway, this year, I chose to read one of the Old Testament readings and the Epistle. I wanted to do the Epistle so badly because it is one of my all time favorite Bible passages:
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism unto death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:3-11
So, the entire time I am standing up there reading, I am thinking of Fr. Michael and trying not to cry. It took every fiber of my being, and the grace of God to whom I was praying in my head saying, “Please God, don’t let me start crying, please God, don’t let me start crying…” I made it through the reading without tears, but during the Consecration, I couldn’t hold back anymore. As it turns out, his sister and her daughters were in the pew behind me and we all made each other cry–I guess they were feeling what I was feeling as well. I don’t know…he was just so on my mind and heart throughout Holy Week and Easter. I guess because it felt like he should have been there; though I know he was, just in a different way. It was bittersweet, really, because as much as I miss him and hate that he isn’t here with us, I couldn’t help but imagine what it must be like to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection in Heaven.