16 April 2017

Now All the Vault

The final hymn of the Divine Service for the Resurrection at St. Paul's, Hamel today:

Now All the Vault

Lumen Christi!

As the darkness grew, the light grew more. It was wondrous feast for ear, for eye, for mouth and for heart. We began outside fighting the wind to keep our candles lit, but this is Illinois and the prairie. We relit upon entrance into the narthex. "Rejoice!" and "This is the night!" Then the readings. Pastor is no trimmer. We read all of them. Canticles after the crossing of the Red Sea, Jonah, and the Fiery Furnace. Two confirmations and remembrance of our baptism. The Litany of the Resurrection. Full light in the Church and the Easter announcement with the return of the Gloria in Excelsis, just like an old friend you've missed. The Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom, the triumphant Victimae Paschali with the "Christ Is Arisen" and a timpani played almost antiphonally. It was amazing. Then the joys of the Easter Eucharist and we went out with Wesley's "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today." No, it was not an all-night Vigil, but it was a great joy indeed. Bekah and David both commented at the end on why on earth would anyone miss that service and Bekah said, "I'm afraid tomorrow is going to be a bit of a disappointment after that." I think not, but that's how it felt: you couldn't imagine greater joy. And yet with the Lord there is always more. Matins shortly and then the Divine Service for the Resurrection. Alleluia! Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

15 April 2017

"And on the seventh day He rested..."

The hours of Holy Saturday creep past. Our faithful hound got us up at 4:30 to get her out and then again at 6:30 begging for food. Ugh. So we enjoyed our coffee and Treasury with that splendid writing from St. Ephrem the Syrian, the closed tomb and the closed womb. The Formula would add the bread and wine of the Eucharist! 

Then to the kitchen to work. Tomorrow we plan to celebrate not just the Easter feast, but Cindi's birthday a few days late. So I undertook to set up the menu and prepare the food. First, made a chocolate cheesecake (thank you, Abel James), then made two kinds of deviled eggs (one regular; one with bacon, avocado and hot sauce), made a big batch of coleslaw, put the porkbutt in the fridge after coating it with a boatload of spices and I'll slip that in the slow cooker right before we head out to Vigil tonight. Put together the homemade sauce for the pulled pork. David's bringing his now famous home-made light rolls; Bekah is bringing a pecan pie (we'll see if we get to eat it before Lucy this time!). Cindi chopped up some fresh and parboiled veggies and made the oh-so-popular Greek dip for those. She rolled up cheese and deli meats, which we'll enjoy after Vigil tonight, along with some brie and salmon. She also set up a tray of chocolates, to which we will add tomorrow the home-made fudge Stephanie gave us at Christmas. Paleo or not, Easter demands chocolate!

While I was occupied in the kitchen, Cindi did the Saturday cleaning.  We planted a lovely Azalea that Dave gave her for her birthday, and did a quick stroll around the neighborhood in the sun and wind. I thought we were done, but when we got home she set to work on a coffee cake for Easter breakfast tomorrow. 

Now, I think all that's left is to extend the table (there will be nine of us tomorrow) and wait for the fast to wend to its joyous end after sunset tonight as the Light of Christ illumines the darkness with a love that death could not hold.

14 April 2017

Good Start to Good Friday

So, we have this cool alarm. It's a light. About half an hour before you want to get up, it starts to glow dimly and then gets brighter and brighter. At the time you're supposed to be up, the light is at its brightest and a sound begins. One of the options for the sound was birds chirping. We did that for a long a time. Houston, we have a problem...

Now, when I hear the birds OUTSIDE start in at 4 a.m. or so, the old bod wakes up! So, yes, we were up bright and early on this fine spring day. We enjoyed our bulletproof coffee and said our prayers from Treasury, and did some planning for the day. Threw some eggs on to boil for Sunday's feast. Then did our workouts. Pushups and pullups done (well, may add a few more pullups as the day wears on) and sprints run. Cindi has started tackling planting her kitchen garden and I'm finishing up one more cup offrench press, straight java before heading out to mow our yard. Not too much dew last night, so the grass is actually quite cuttable, and they're forecasting rain.

Still ahead, Cindi is singing at a funeral, then we have the Chief Service at noon and Tenebrae this evening. The pool folks are coming to open the pool (optimistic we are!) before we're due back from chief service. Have some writing to do, one more run through the Passion to make sure of my lines and part, and then more food to prepare for the upcoming feast. 

Birds. You can't be mad at them; they're just singing their Matins to the Lord. 

13 April 2017


And so the great three days begins. What a glorious Divine Service this evening at St. Paul's. Pretty much straight out of the Altar Book, except pastor used the traditional Lenten preface with the old wording (yeah!). Maundy Thursday is one of the days we can usually count on Divine Service, Setting Five, and I dearly love singing “Isaiah, Mighty Seer” and “Lamb of God.” The choir sang a lovely piece, another Agnus by Jeffrey Blersch as the offering was gathered. The solemn singing of Psalm 22 as the altar is stripped...it just does something to you. The bulletin always instructs us to leave in strict silence, but I don't think we really need the printed rubric. The Psalm and the stripping hushes you all the way down deep inside. The Chief Service continues our worship tomorrow at noon with the Passion of John, the Bidding Prayer, the Reproaches, the Adoration of the Crucified. Tomorrow evening's Tenebrae will use the lovely sung Passion of St. John by Hillert at 7 p.m. And then we wait for the Vigil to commence on Saturday at 8 p.m.

01 April 2017

Just have to love Saturdays

The dog actually slept in! Leisurely cups of bullet proof coffee, sipped as we prayed Treasury together. Then planning the day. Breakfast was sausage and eggs (with mushrooms, onions and spinach!). I did my exercise, while Cindi tackled some wash. Cindi dusted. I vacuumed. She headed outside to start on her dad's yard while I made some loaves of paleo french bread. When the bread came out, I did our yard. A break for a bite of lunch (left overs: buffalo chicken wings with some artichoke spinach dip for veggies). A lovely walk in the sunshine. Home to sit out on the deck and enjoy a green smoothie, and it felt so good out there we decided to eat dinner on the deck. April 1st and we ate outside! Simple fare: a bowl of asparagus soup and some of that bread with cheese. Then Cindi was off to bowl. I swept the driveways and road to get off the grass clippings and then a stroll around the neighborhood, did my day's writing at the dining room table watching the sunset, sipping oolong. Then tackled the rest of cleaning up the kitchen: dishwasher emptied, counters cleaned, table extended. All done, all set and ready for Sunday brunch. And I'm guessing Cindi will be home before too much longer.