Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter things on Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is a day of waiting.. a day of meditating on the death of our Lord. Our icon corner is clothed in black, mourning His death.. ..... Still, I love Easter. I love it so much I can barely sit still during the vigil Mass or Liturgy. I can't WAIT for Mass tonight.. T is always telling me to be quiet and sit still, just like I was a little kid. :) I keep wanting to sing the Resurrection hymn we sing in the Byzantine rite (for those of you who went to our wedding, you should remember it--we sang it at least 20 times, probably more: "Christ is risen! Christ is risen! Christ is risen from the dead! By death he conquered death! By death he conquered death! And to those in the grave, He granted life!"). But T kept telling me "Not yet, just wait a little longer." I was thinking about it today and I can't imagine how it must have been for those first Christians--those who watched Christ die on the cross and were there as he was buried. What would it have been like for them who didn't know He was to rise on the third day? But, on the other side of the coin, I can barely imagine their JOY when they heard (and, for some, saw) the Risen Lord was ALIVE! I am glad that we can remember our Lord's Passion with the alleluia always in the back of our mind. It is a great grace to live life knowing and believing in the Resurrection. Praise God for His goodness. Since we're "bi-ritual" Catholics (or, as bi-ritual as one can get..), we had to decide on how to celebrate our Triduum weekend.. We decided, rather than drive to New York and stay with family in order to attend the Ruthenian Byzantine services for the Triduum, that we'd stay here and go to St. Clement's parish, a Eucharistic shrine under the direction of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. Roman liturgy done well is AWESOME! We've really enjoyed the services so far! One of the Byzantine traditions we like is to prepare a basket of all the food we've been fasting from (though not always so diligently!) during Lent: eggs, cheese, all sorts of meat, sweets, wine, and butter (any any other dairy--but milk can be hard to carry in a basket). We contemplated preparing a basket this year and taking it to the Roman parish where we've been going to church, and asking the priest to bless it, but we ruled it out because of the weird-ness factor of 1) it sitting in the pew with us all during the Vigil, and 2) having to ask the priest to bless it: "Hi, will you bless this basket of food for us?" "Uh.. why?" "Well, we're Byzantine and we've been fasting from these types of food for, like, 8 weeks now, and it's part of our tradition to have our already-prepared Pascha food blessed so we don't have to cook on Easter Sunday and so that the food we eat is holy." "Oh.. uh: Lord, bless the food here before you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Is that alright?" I mean, it would work, but.. maybe next year :) Among the traditional items placed in the basket is the Pascha bread, a very rich bread made with lots of eggs, white flour, and butter. Last year, Taylor's mom got us one from their home parish, St. John Chrysostom's in Seattle. This year, since that wasn't an option, I made my own. I didn't have the right size pan to bake it the more usual way, so I made a braided loaf with a three bar cross on top. It turned out rather prettily, and we'll see how it tastes tomorrow! :) Also a Byzantine tradition is to make a lamb cake. Ha ha, no, this is not a cake made out of lamb meat, though that's what I thought when I first heard T and his siblings taking about it. It's a pound cake baked in a lamb mold and decorated to look like it has fleece (usually involving coconut). T's family usually puts chick-peeps around it to make it look more spring-y. I don't have a lamb cake mold, and the one I ordered won't get here till bright week. Luckily the "feast" of Pascha lasts for 7 weeks... :D
I've also decided that some traditions from Christmas should also be Easter traditions. Most notably egg nog and springerle cookies. After all, isn't Easter more about eggs than Christmas? And, I happen to have a cookie mold (prefect for springerles) of the Paschal Lamb. :)
All in all, then, despite being so far away from our families, it should be a delightful Great Pascha! I leave you with a link to St. John Chrysostom's Pascal Homily.

1 comment:

  1. I can hear the "Christ is Risen!" Hymn so clearly in my head! I miss it. I can even hear the Ukrainian. Next year Andrew and I will have to drive up to Dallas for Easter Liturgy at the Byzantine church.

    I am totally jealous of your lamb cookie cutter mold. I have been meaning forever to get a lamb mold to make butter lambs!

    I love you guys so much. We have to make every attempt to live close to each other. Y'all should just go back to the Seattle area and we will too. I am sure we can all find jobs there. And we can all go in on a farm together.

    Okay, enough fantasizing...but, think about it.