Christus resurrexit, alleluia!
A happy and blessed Easter to all of you!
I'm about to have a belated siesta, having had a rather fine festal lunch here at the presbytery - including, for the first time since I was 7 years old, some indoor fireworks (now, how Catholic is that?)! However, before I make my horizontal meditation I thought I better add something to the blog. Holy Week is one of my favourite times of year because everything is so focussed on the drama of the Sacred Liturgy. It started with the Chrism Mass at Westminster Cathedral on Holy Tuesday, marked by a lovely Monteverdi Mass setting and a good homily by the Cardinal on Sacramentum Caritatis (indeed all priests were given a complementary copy when they turned up to vest, which was very encouraging).
Here at Kingsland, things went well. Each day of the Triduum had its own flavour and momentum: the Maundy Thursday Mass (at which I 'presided') is, I always think, the most contemplative. Good Friday is edifying, despite the chaos caused by the congregation (numbering at least 850) - I was particularly impressed by the demand for confessions, on which subject Fr Tim has an excellent post. The Easter Vigil was full of beauty - and I just about got through the Exsultet (though I must gargle some port, as the experts recommend, before I do it next time, since my voice got rather dry). The highlight, however, was the Solemn Mass this morning, celebrated by the parish priest, at which I got to exercise my 'eternal diaconate' (Fr Albert, the National Nigerian Chaplain, joined me on the sedilia in a gold tunicle). A special choir sang Haydn's St Nicholas Mass, Mozart's Ave verum and (as a recessional) Handel's Alleluia Chorus, which attracted a spontaneous round of applause from the people. I'm not a great fan of clapping in church but I think an exception can be made for Easter - one thinks of the fifteenth century Bavarian custom of the priest singing comic songs at the end of Mass and causing the people to be convulsed in Risus Paschalis, 'Easter laughter.'
I should add that today is the first 'blogiversary' of Roman Miscellany. Thank you for your kind interest over the past year. Originally I thought I might stop blogging after a year but, with your indulgence, I think I might continue - at least for a little longer.