Saturday, April 22, 2006

Easter Week

One of the Protestant criticism of Catholics is that they focus on the crucifixion and penitence to the exclusion of the of the resurrection and joy.

It saddens me to report that, on this, they are indeed correct. As soul-satisfying as my first Catholic Lent was, my first Catholic Easter has been a disappointment. It's not that Catholics do anything less or different than Protestants, but after the emotional, soul wrenching, forty days building up to the crescendo of the resurrection, Easter fizzles out completely after Sunday.

Internet sites that were full of advice on Lenten practices are silent about Easter Week. Bloggers who enumerated how they were going to observe Lent and Holy Week with reading lists, menus, and even wardrobe selections, suddenly have nothing to say.

The only internet references I could find to Easter Week concerned prayers or were mistakenly referring to 'Holy Week' as 'Easter Week.'

Easter Week is supposed to be The Feast of Feasts.

Catholics are supposed to observe eight days of Easter feasting to make up for forty days of Lent, and then some. It should be more joyous and extravagant than Christmas. Fresh flowers should be as abundant as evergreens in December. It should be a week of idyll.

Catholics should spend it at fairs and festivals, outdoor concerts, at pick-your-own berry farms, on nature walks, bicycling, horseback riding, dancing, eating and drinking, visiting art museums, barbecuing, picnicking in fields of wildflowers or under blossoming trees, in the country, at the zoo, at the races or ball field, reading charming witty novels, throwing parties, going on pilgrimages, visiting long distance friends, fishing at the lake, watching fun lighthearted movies, playing games in the yard, shooting the breeze with neighbors, and napping in the hammock.


At 7:52 PM, Blogger Ma Beck said...

Hi, Isabel!
Well, speaking for myself, I really didn't blog Easter Week because I had family in town, my husband had just been received into the Church, and the computer just wasn't a priority for us in that most joyous of weeks.
But, like someone said, having the Protestant Easter celebrations without the Catholic mourning and grief of Lent is a bit like going in at the end of a movie: "So, they all ended up happy and hugging. So what? Big deal!"
The grief of Lent giving way to the joy of Easter just leaves me no time to do anything but enjoy my family and rejoice.
It's a bit like having a baby, I imagine. Blog? Watch TV? Read? No way! I'll just sit here and bask in my overwhelming joy. :)
I really enjoy your blog!

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Isabel said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your Easter and spent your time living it instead of writing about it. That I completely understand.

My remarks were aimed first at those I saw in church and at work (there were no outward signs of extended celebration) and secondly at bloggers who normally love to share their plans ahead of time and at internet sites like Catholic Culture that have suggested activities for nearly every significant date in the liturgical calendar. They really dropped the ball.

This year my Easter Week was limited to private observance, but I'm going to have big plans for next year when I join the church. ;~)

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Ma Beck said...

Wow! Congratulations!
Next year will be a celebration for sure.
Welcome to the Church!


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