07 April 2015

Easter In Mexico

Easter came! There was no Easter bunny- only Christ Resurrected. Honestly, my kids have been terrified of the Easter Bunny since they were small, so it's not a big loss to them.

I was very excited to experience Easter and Holy Week in Mexico. It was very different from any Holy Week celebration we have ever experienced in the US.

On Holy Thursday Evening, I attended my favorite Mass of the Year. Holy Thursday is the celebration of the Institution of the Eucharist, and to me as a Catholic, that is second to the celebration of the Resurrection on Easter. I arrived an hour early, the three kids in tow. The Church was already packed! I did manage to find us some pew space, or I don't think I could have managed all three kids in church for that long by myself.

Yes, those are the Missionaries of Charity nuns who attend my church. I get giddy every time I meet them. I love their work, all the work that Mother Teresa did, and I really just think they are rockstars. The priest at my church whom I really have grown to love is Father Ackerman. He preached a great sermon on service to one another and the priesthood. We went home at the end of the night, ready for the "Gland Slam" weekend of Holy Week.
Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter Sunday, where we follow Jesus through his triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, through his Last Supper, his betrayal, his Passion on Friday, his death on the cross on Friday afternoon, his mother's mourning on Saturday, and finally his Resurection on Saturday night/Sunday Morning. Whew... that's a lot of Masses.
On Good Friday, I raced home from work wanting to not miss the Viacruicis. I have never actually seen a reenactment of the Passion, because it is not done in Oregon. When we did Stations of the Cross at school as a kid, we sat in church and the altar servers carried the crucifix and candles around as the prayers and reflections were read for each station. I like doing this as well, but everyone was telling me how great Buena Vista's Viacrucis was.
I took Isaias and Cecilia down to the other end of town. It was hot and uncomfortale, and I reminded the kids that Jesus was more than uncomfortable in his suffering.

The best part of the Viacrucis was that it was mostly the youth and young people who put it on. It's so great to see young people in love with he Gospel like that. We followed Jesus down the main stretch of road in town through the stations, pausing at each station to reflect on what it meant for Jesus to fall, to meet his mother, to meet the women, to be stripped of his clothes, to be nailed to the cross. It was very intense, and it was a bit difficult to follow because of he crowd. But even in that I was able to reflect on the difficulty the disciples and friends of Jesus were having trying to follow Jesus through the crowd. It can be hard to find Jesus in the world; sometimes you have to actively look.
In the evening, I met with the priest as other people from the neighborhood, including the nuns, to march in silent procession behind the statue of the Sorrowful Mother. Not only is the Sorrowful
Mother my favorite image of the Blessed Virgin, but I have never done anything like this. We don't have many processions in the US. As I we walked silently, I read my devotional to our Lady of Solitude, the patroness of Oaxaca. Once we arrived at the church, Father Ackerman provided Confession and the congregation prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. At the invocation of the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, even Hector said he could feel the power that the Rosary provides, and he is not one say things like that.
Holy Saturday was calm until we went to Mass on Saturday night. The Mass was hard on the smaller kids, but Cecilia did just fine. They projected the readings up onto the wall so that everyone could see them, which was helpful for Cecilia who can get lost listening to Spanish. I didn't take any pictures of the Mas, but it was really beautiful awesome when the lights came on the statues were unveiled.
Sunday Morning we woke up early despite the long night, and attended the 9am Mass. Then we went home and rested before heading to Rosarito to have a barbeque with some friends and family.

From our family to yours, Happy Easter and ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

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