As far as Easter traditions go, I really have only one: I don't go to church on Easter Sunday.
That's right. I don't go to Mass on the holiest day of the year. Why?
It started when I was in fifth or sixth grade when my mom took me to my first Easter Vigil Mass. For those who might not know, this is the Mass on the night before Easter. Despite its lengthy running time (anywhere from two to four hours), I fell in love with the Mass right away. I love the way we start in darkness. I love the way the church lights up with candles. I love watching people new to the faith being baptized. I love the readings. I love the songs.
But mostly I've come to love it because it's that great night of anticipation.
Many Spin Cycles ago, I wrote about the connection between Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday (see this post). Together they are symbolic of our lives. We all go through Good Fridays when we have to suffer and perhaps even "die" to some area of our lives. Then we go through a period of waiting, like the Apostles did on Holy Saturday. And finally, we come to Easter Sunday, when a new life begins. Easter Vigil Mass is that final moment of anticipation. After we've been waiting in darkness for so long, we finally get to see the sun (or is it Son?) rise. We are right on the edge of starting a new life.
That's exactly how I feel tonight. In a matter of hours, I'll be headed to Rome. My flight takes off on Easter Sunday. How fitting that this is the day my flight leaves! I'm waiting, in those final hours of anticipation, knowing that something wonderful is right around the corner.
Have a blessed Easter, everyone! May you always feel like something wonderful is right around the corner!