We usually sleep in on Sundays, sometimes until 8:00 a.m., but today we’re going to 8:30 Mass to miss the crowds. So we’re up early early. But we’re having brunch after Mass, so not that early, not early enough to cook breakfast. Dawn drives, and traffic is light, and parking is easy. The day starts off well.
And there’s still plenty of room to sit. The section where we sit, up front but to the right, in the east transept, is practically empty. While we’re still kneeling and praying, Monsignor comes by to wish us Happy Easter. I’m a little surprised, since he’s not in any vestments and I thought he was going to be presiding at our Mass. “Who’s on for 8:30?,” I ask him. He tells me it’s Father Caulfield. Then I feel embarrassed that I asked who’s on, like it’s some kind of sports lineup or something.
Then Mass starts and but people are still arriving and cramming in. And the organ is too loud compared to the cantor Ellen, and all these people aren’t singing, and I can’t find a good voice to sing along with. We get three people who jam into our pew with us, so there’s five of us and it’s crowded. Deacon Rice’s microphone is hardly working during the Kyrie, so he sounds like a fuzzy radio underwater.
The first reading is from Acts, Peter quite simply and beautifully pretty much sums up Christianity. But there’s babies crying and I’m all distracted and now I’m starting to get cranky. But I don’t want to get cranky. It’s Easter and it’s the big day and I’ve been so looking forward to this. So then I start to develop a real downward spiral funk.
To him all the prophets bear witness,
that everyone who believes in
himwill receive forgiveness of sins through his name.
We try to sing this Easter Sequence, but it’s in Latin and I still can’t especially hear, and all these people here are for sure not singing this thing, so it’s beautiful but it doesn’t go very well. And more babies are crying.
Victimae paschali laudes immolent christiani.
The Gospel is from St. John, just the quick scene where they discover the empty tomb. I love ‘the other disciple whom Jesus loved.’ He shows up a lot. Or she, I guess. It’s probably St. John himself. But still.
During the Eucharistic Prayer, someone starts shouting in the back of the nave. I can’t make out what he’s saying, but I’m expecting at this point it to be Allahu Akbar and then he’ll pull the pin on his vest. Dawn says that it’s right at the intercessions of the prayer, so maybe he’s shouting out the name of someone who has died and gone before us marked with the sign of faith, for whom he is now praying. One or the other, I’m sure.
And then the lights go slowly dim during the doxology, coming back up right after the Great Amen. It’s a weird moment. And then during communion, none of these people knows where to go and line up and then how to get back to their pews. It’s a mess. And then they don’t sing the recessional hymn, and they start streaming out before the hymn is even over.
And I’m in a fierce, foul mood.
I slowly come back around, back to normal, on the drive home, and then eating the wonderfully rich and filling brunch that Dawn makes. We drink mimosas; booze in the morning is always a pick-me-up. Then I nap upstairs while Dawn wrestles with the Sunday sudoku. I help a little, happy to have my beloved sudoku back after having painfully given it up for Lent. I talk to Will next door, who has had something of a similar experience at his Easter service this morning, with all the people there who otherwise never come. We get out the ladder and explore the construction next door, trespassing guiltily. Kevin comes by and I go back up with him. Later Dawn works on the wainscoting while I cut and build some templates for the new stair railings. I’m glad Kevin suggested his electric miter saw, since I end up having to do some compound angles, both mitered and beveled. I couldn’t do that with my hand miter box. We go for a walk and hear & see a woodpecker going at it rat-a-tat way atop a tree. And Dawn makes a special risotto for dinner. It ends up being a lovely day.