This post is a bit of a pep talk for myself. You are welcome to listen in.
For our family, as for many, Lent and Holy Week is a time full of unique traditions and once-a-year liturgies, foods, and events. It culminates during these holy days of the Triduum. Our family begins with a Christian-style Seder Meal on Holy Thursday and ends with a grand party after the Easter Vigil. But, as everyone knows, this year is very different.
Veronica said to me last night, “Mom, it doesn’t feel like Holy Week.” I know what she means. I don’t feel it either.
But, as a mom, I know how important this time is for my family. I know how vital traditions and shared memories are for my kids. These moments root us deeply and help form our identity. They serve as reference points far into our future and solidify the deep relationships between siblings, parents, and family friends.
If I only did what I feel like doing, I would be a pathetic soul. Separating out feeling from obligation, well, that’s the stuff of adulthood. And being an adult is tough and comes with a sink-full of dishes. I never want to take for granted that there will be a next year.
So, we will still have our Seder Meal, eat lamb, and watch the movie “The Prince of Egypt”. We will enjoy a lamb cake and delicious Haroseth. We will gather in silence on Good Friday, pray the Stations of the Cross, and eat a simple meal of fish and rice. On Holy Saturday, we will dye Easter eggs (if there are any left at the store). On Easter we will hunt for baskets and enjoy an epic family Zoom chat.
No matter how hard I try, it won’t be the same and some traditions will fall by the wayside. But the same isn’t what matters this year. Maybe it doesn’t matter any year.
So, whatever you celebrate during this time, or if you celebrate nothing at all, I encourage you to do what you know to be important for you and your family. Regardless of your feelings. Maybe it’s a phone call or text. A walk to enjoy the first signs of spring. A favorite movie or puzzle. Whatever these days looks like, whether you are alone or gathered with others, may it be a time of blessing and grace.