Holy Week was… tiring and overwhelming.
Our chaplain advertised that holy week celebrations in the church would be the best in the city. I eagerly marked out all the activities such as prayer sessions and masses that I would attend. I reached out to my friends, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, asking them to join me for holy week activities.
I perspired a lot from the daily multiple trips to the church in 28 degree Celsius weather, with baby carrier in tow. I showered two to three times a day as a result.
Stress levels were high from managing the baby through two hour Maundy Thursday mass and Good Friday service, and a three hour Easter vigil. The baby cried, the baby wailed, the baby sure screeeaamed and made her presence felt :\.
Trying to volunteer with the church decorations with baby in carrier, and feeling inadequate from not being able to do much. At least it led me to pray the Litany of Humility.
But there were clear moments of grace. Thank God!
- The husband and I managed to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Wednesday, before Easter Triduum began.
- I attended a talk by our chaplain on the signs and symbols of Holy Week and learnt that Easter Vigil is the most important day of the year for Catholics. I will probably do a separate write up on this. See point 6.
- The baby lasted through the Stations of the Cross! I think I managed more Stations this Lent than any other… I participated in 4 or 5 in total.
- A (lapsed Catholic) friend and her baby attended Good Friday service with us. It was a challenge to keep two babies quiet, or rather, occupied, but we survived!
- Another friend attended weekday mass with me on Wednesday, her first mass in awhile… although she has been faithfully attending bible study with me.
- I attended my first Easter vigil and managed to nag/ persuade my husband to join me. Big bonus was that the baby was asleep all of the 3 hour long mass :).
- A (non-Catholic) friend and her toddler attended Easter mass on Sunday with my baby and I. Yes, my second Easter mass because… it’s Easter!
- I managed to send out 17 Easter cards, but there were people I intended to write to but I did not have enough cards to go around. I will do better next year.
I was more relieved than anything that holy week ended. My first holy week with a baby and I survived :). And now, to the continual pursuit of sanctity in the humdrum of daily life…
Hallelujah, the Lord is Risen!