Once again, Easter has come and gone and with it the sacred Triduum. It is one of the most beautiful three days in the church year. I have attended this for most of my life, with the exception of a few years when college made me "too cool" to attend. However, for the first time in about the last ten years, I was glad it was over. And for selfish reasons, I am afraid. In fact, by the time the vigil mass was over, I was suffering with a horribly sore back from sitting on hard pews so much.
Many of you have read about the merger of my parish with another. Although we have not officially become one parish yet, our Easter Triduum was combined. And it was just not the same. Besides having a new pastor, we are two communities that I liken to the Hatfields and McCoys - not the best mix of people.
Now, I am the first person who gets frustrated when people complain that things are not the way they have always been, and I don't mind change. But this year, I felt as if the three days were a throwback to my youth when the masses and services lasted forever. I definitely preferred the simplicity of the previous few years.
Our Holy Thursday lasted an hour and a half. Good Friday took two hours and our Easter Vigil was two and a half hours long. Our new pastor, while young (under 45) is nice, he is a fan of the old ways and so every thing was sung and the longest versions of all the readings were used. About the only thing he cut was the readings at the beginning of the vigil from 8 to 4. We had three priests, three deacons and four altar servers in the sanctuary which, coupled with the repository and tomb made it quite crowded. I love these three days, but I love when they are done more simply - I am not one for lots of pomp.
So today my back is finally feeling better. And I pray that things will be better next year.