The joy of the resurrection is celebrated in the Octave of Easter and the daily mass readings echo the gladness with which the good news spread throughout the land. The beggar's healing in this morning's First Reading from Acts of the Apostles described him jumping and leaping for joy at his good fortune. The good news should cause us to jump for joy inside and out.
Wednesday of Holy Week has sometimes been called Spy Wednesday, taking it's theme from today's gospel wherein Judas puts his plan of betrayal into action.
It was a perfect day for Holy Cross School Mass and our children rounded out this school session with prayer and communion. Thank you to our student readers who proclaimed the Scripture with dignity and grace!
The search committee for a new principal for Holy Cross School continues its work after a brief rest for the Easter holiday vacation. Pray for the committee's success. It was no small measure of consolation to note that the Walt Disney Corporation has persuaded its own CEO, Bob Iger, to postpone retirement for the third time, since finding a suitable replacement for him is so difficult.
New carpeting and security is being installed in Holy Cross Chapel in preparation for its use an Adoration Chapel for the Blessed Sacrament.
Repair of the snow melt cable under the main church stairway has gotten underway.
A final proof list for the engravings in our Book of Donors will be published soon.
New designs for the organ pipes and cabinets in our choir loft were approved and ordered. Preparations are underway for their installation.
A brass handrail alongside the ambo and protective window bars on the stained glass windows will be installed.
Evergreen plantings along the parish playground and fence will be installed. Replacements for the dead/dying boxwood hedges will be planted.
Planning has begun for the early fall concert in honor of our parish feast, The Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Watch for an ecletic, but beautiful mix of sacred, American spirituals and traditional hymnody to celebrate the theology of our salvation through Christ's cross. We anticipate the participation of invited solists and both the adult and children's Holy Cross Choir.
This week we have a second meeting regarding the sacred art for the reredos. I can't wait to see the second study.
One of our Sunday night Latin masses will be celebrated with song each month. We plan the relatively simple variant of one priest with choir/schola singing the mass, with or without incense.
And of course, excitement in growing in anticipation of the celebration of our Confirmations and First Holy Communions.
Blessed Easter Season!
We finally got the burned out LED's replaced on the sanctuary ceiling (40% of them were already out) and have brightened up the sanctuary quite a bit. It's still not as it will be, but better. The Holy Cross had been pretty much in the dark for Lent, but that surely wouldn't do for Easter!
This year we decided to go back to Christian roots for the building of the "new fire" - flint and steel and cotton soaked with last year's Holy Oils to start. One of our helpful Boy Scouts loaned his fire starting skills.
We begin by blessing the new fire.
Lighting the Paschal Candle
Outside the church, in darkness, the Easter Candle is lit from fire, in the "old day" the "new fire," which the priest had to build by striking flint and kindling tinder into a flame --- no matches, or butane lighter! The Easter Candle is then processed into the church in total darkness, shared eventually by priest and the congregation candle, by candle until the entire church is aglow with the Light of Christ. And the Easter Candle, as the exultet proclaims, is divided but undimmed.
The sharing of its flame brings an increase in light, not a decrease.
What a beautiful metaphor for God's love and the best kind of love we share among us.
The Light I share, takes away nothing from me, but adds to Christ's light in the world.
Think of this whenever whatever we have doesn't seem quite enough...
Enough energy..."Not now..."
Enough hope..."Now this?"
Enough patience and perseverance..."Not again?"
Divided but undimmed
spread but not thinned...
This is the joyful hope of Easter; let us bask in the Light!
Our bronze statue of Jesus Calming the Storm should arrive tomorrow, a day ahead of schedule. The sculptor is driving non-stop from Atlanta with his precious cargo.
The statue will not be installed until after Easter, but will be placed near the Carriage House so we can see it up close.
Delivery of our Jesus Calms the Storm statue is still scheduled for Good Friday, of all days. It will not be installed on the granite base until some time after Easter, but it will be outside where everyone can get a glimpse of it.
The sculptor submitted his recommendation for the patina coloring of the bronze. The color is a rich, dark color, neither too chocolate looking nor verdigris. The sculptor will be at the foundry on Monday with more details.
We've also got some beautiful plants on the way for the garden and the pergola so as soon as its safe to plant, the beautification of the pergola by mother nature can begin.
If we take time not to rush to Easter right after Good Friday, our momentary dwelling with the disciples and Mary in their time of disillusionment and fear can help us cope with those feelings in our lives throughout the year. Today, for a moment, we pray at the site of the stone-sealed tomb of Christ - a stark contrast to the empty tomb on Easter Sunday. The disciples didn't understand that the joy of the Resurrection was only moments away. Peter, at least by the time of one of Jesus' post-resurrection appearances had gone back to fishing.
May our prayers with the doubting, disappointed disciples of Jesus this day, rekindle our faith whenever it wanes and let us see through any doubt or disappointment the hope of the Resurrection.
You've got to hatch, you've got to hatch
The shell that protects you
Has grown way too small
If you stay hidden inside its wall
No one will see you, no one at all
What if Jesus converted his tomb
Into a sturdy stone fort
Strengthened its wall
And sealed it door
"Those sinners won’t get to me anymore. "
So Christ burst through the tomb
And rose to the sky
Thousands have seen him
And that’s no lie
You've got to hatch, you've got to hatch
When you’re afraid
Don’t stay in your shell
Come follow Christ
And all will be well
Moments before the Easter Vigil Service began, the sunset and the New Fire put on quite a beautiful display.
What a great Easter Sunday we had last weekend! The church and gymatorium were packed to capacity with so many families. Some parishioners really got dressed up for the occasion. We pray for the grace of Easter to fill each of our hearts with inspiration and hope.
This year we offered the option of battery operated candles for any small children who wanted to feel part of the Easter Vigil by holding a candle, but were a little too young to hold real fire. These two real candles would have to qualify for the most distorted candles among those we collected after the service.