Sunday, April 5, 2009

Palm Sunday: The beginning of Holy Week

O sacred head, surrounded
by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding head, so wounded,
reviled and put to scorn!
Our sins have marred the glory
of thy most holy face,
yet angel hosts adore thee
and tremble as they gaze

I see thy strength and vigor
all fading in the strife,
and death with cruel rigor,
bereaving thee of life;
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn thy face on me.

In this thy bitter passion,
Good Shepherd, think of me
with thy most sweet compassion,
unworthy though I be:
beneath thy cross abiding
for ever would I rest,
in thy dear love confiding,
and with thy presence blest.

I can usually make it through the first two verses, but the third, I just can't sing it. It's too much. And I never, ever have a tissue and my husband thinks that handkerchiefs are unsanitary and simply can't see his way into carrying a pressed and folded square just in case I feel like crying, so there I stand in Mass with tears raining down my face, hoping that I won't go up for Communion looking like Alice Cooper.

I love Holy Week. There are different things going on every single day at the church, but we usually just go to Mass on Holy Thursday, to the Good Friday services starting at noon and ending at midnight, if one should care to stay so long (most of that, by the way, is group prayer, as well as private prayer, not to mention the beginning of the Divine Mercy Novena.)

Then there's the Easter Basket Blessing on Saturday afternoon, a quick trip home to color Easter eggs, a quiet early evening, and then off to church for the Easter Vigil at 8:30 p.m., which is indisputably the most beautiful, most meaningful and most cherished Mass of the entire liturgical year. That Mass is about two or three hours long, so by the time we tumble back into the car, we're a bit giddy, but in the mood for Easter celebrating. Which we do, of course, with food.

But this is just the beginning. We've been carrying some extra crosses all through Lent and now we're on the long haul as we share this week with Him, remembering the sorrow and anticipating the joy. It is a beautiful week.

1 comment:

Kayte said...

Holy Week just so defines everything Catholic, doesn't it? I get weepy with those songs, too.