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Dic nobis Maria, quid vidisti in via?

April 4, 2015

Hello!  How are you?

Today New Yorkers decided it was spring and suddenly the park was packed with people despite the gale-force winds that were sending all kinds of unexpected objects sailing through the air:  hats, plastic bags, a pair of bunny ears, several farmers’ market booths.  At the market, we gripped our bills tightly, turned up our collars and hid our faces, to avoid being scoured by road grit. The wind toppled the trays of spring flowers and blew down a bin of recycled compost. But we didn’t much care. It wasn’t that warm, but we didn’t much care about that either. It was sunny and sometimes that’s enough.  We’ve had enough of winter.  The crocuses have too, and finally decided to show their faces. And we are very glad to see them.

It has been a fairly insane few weeks since I last wrote.  I played the gig I mentioned, which was a blast.  AJ finally picked a high school.  AJ was confirmed a couple of weeks ago and my parents and Mr. Spy’s brother came out to witness the event.  I played a concert at my church last weekend, which deserves its own entry but, as we’re doing it again next weekend, I’ll wait. My right hand at work got another job for another toy factory that pays more (her last day was yesterday). The fiscal year ended in a flurry of new projects officially begun.  And now Holy Week.

I kind of bailed out on Holy Week this year.  I’ve been too wrapped up in projects at the office to make all the weekday services.  But I played the marathon Easter Vigil tonight. In case you’re unfamiliar, Easter Vigil is a nearly 3 hour service.  The first third is a boatload of readings starting with the opening of Genesis and interspersed with singing and prayers.  The middle third is baptisms and confirmations (of adults, mostly).  And the last third is the regular Mass. The service begins in total darkness except for the huge Paschal candles burning near the altar.  Parishioners get candles as they walk in. After the opening prayers, volunteers fetch flames from the back of the church and light the candles near the aisles.  From the choir loft, you can watch the flames moving around, tiny dots of light down below.  It’s beautiful.  I love it and look forward to it every year. Normally once all the candles are lit, they say a prayer and then blow out the candles and turn on the lights.  In one church I used to work in, they used to keep the darkness until the end of the 1 Genesis reading — (Let there be light!). But this year, I guess due to our new pastor, they kept the lights off through all the readings — a full hour.  Now this may be a dramatic gesture and it was kind of peaceful, but if you expect your choir to sing, it’s a good idea to give them some light.  And that goes double for violinists, who don’t have a free hand to hold up a cell phone flashlight. Next year I’m wearing a head lamp.

Most of the readings are Old Testament and have a lot of dialogue.  Our church has them read like dialogues, with different people taking different parts.  The hands down highlight of the service with the voice of God.  I had no idea who was reading it, as it was pitch black in the church.  But he sounded for all the world like Don Corleone.  I leaned over to my neighbor and whispered “Look how they massacred my boy!”  I am going to Hell.

And on that note, Happy Easter, Chag Sameach, happy full moon, happy weekend.  Whatever you’re celebrating, I hope it’s good.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Lass permalink
    April 5, 2015 7:47 am

    And also to you. I am celebrating much this weekend, mostly that I have a paid day off on either side of it.

  2. April 5, 2015 9:10 am

    Happy to you too! Relaxing day here. We might dye eggs this afternoon- a bit late but still fun and no time last week. I gave the boys Easter baskets and had an odd number of treats, so I hid the odd ones in the places some breakfast tasks would take them. One child volunteered to do more breakfast help and found them all. We had a stormy Easter for a bit there, but it temps me to hide quarters in the clean/unloaded dishwasher sometimes!

  3. eleanorio permalink
    April 5, 2015 9:52 am

    Crocuses! I am so envious. There won’t be spring flowers here for weeks yet. *sigh* Have a very happy Easter, Harriet!

  4. April 7, 2015 10:36 am

    We have jonquils…about a week late. And I see the ornamental pear and the lilacs have shed the outer covering for buds.

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