Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Monday Blues

I feel at a loose end today. After four days where the focus has been God, Catholicism and the parish community, it's strange to be back in the secular world.

I miss having things to do, an accepted reason to focus on God, but also people in my parish. Those of us involved in my parish sometimes feel like a huge extended family. What is great about big events like Christmas and Easter, is that we get hang out together and work together - which we just never get to do during 'ordinary time'. We just about manage to say 'hi' once a week as we dash into church five minutes before Mass starts and dash out again as soon as the choir stops singing the final hymn.

We compartmentalise our lives. It's only acceptable to be openly Catholic and spend time doing Catholic things during these brief windows - Sundays, Easter, Christmas and other Feast Days. Because we only have such a short time to be Catholic, we focus on what is essential - God, prayer and attending Mass. We miss out on other things like talking, wasting time, joking - all the things that are part of belonging to a community.

But at Easter, we have four intense days together. We work hard and pray hard, and and get to play around the edges. Like trying hard not to giggle when the girls pretend to weep during the Children's Stations of the Cross or singing 'This is the day' for the millionth time on Easter Day (but with drums and tamborine) or joking with the altar servers during the hour we hang around getting ready before Mass or getting roped (or watching someone else get roped) into doing something at the last minute and really not having a clue what's going on. It's really REAL life and it's fun.

'Normal' life just seems boring and unreal by comparison.

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