What a joy it was today for the Liturgy to return to what we think of as "normal." Much as I love the great sacrifice of praise that is offered on Pascha, there is something simply sustaining about the return of our regular Divine Service. Well, almost. During the days of Easter the Gradual is omitted and the Alleluia Verse is lengthened. The hymns continued to bring us the bright joy of the Paschal Victory, yet this Sunday that joy was swathed in the familiar.
I've been a pastor for over 20 years, and yet when we come to the liturgical changes during Holy Week and Easter, I find myself nervous, jittery that the old habitual way of doing the service will take over, and I'll distract the people from their worship by my blunder. When Low Sunday arrives, except for the missing Gradual, it's back to the regular ordering of things and the Easter joy still is reigning. I confess it's a relief.