On Saturday, Chris took the oldest three children for our Parish Service Day. Some people sign up to make repairs around the parish, others to make landscaping installations, while a group of children go perform (songs, poems, and so forth) at the nursing home across the street from the church.
I stayed home with the littlest boys, and Joseph (4) helped me stuff 200 plastic Easter eggs with candy for a volunteering event, and organize all my supplies to make 1,300 Easter cards for next week's Easter meals event.
Then some little neighborhood friends came over to play, and I documented the blooming spring flowers before heading to Confession and making an attempt to buy Easter dresses for the girls (report: they're all sleeveless, so I am, as yet, thwarted).
During Passiontide, I try my best to veil our holy images with purple cloths in the home, as churches, do, and it's always been a chore: This year, my chore consisted of asking my 10-year-old to go into the attic by himself to get the bin of supplies, and then telling four kids to open the bin and "go cover everything with cloth." They ran around like happy mice for half an hour . . . while I didn't!
|Running around covering holy images|
Palm Sunday Mass is one of the longest of the year with both a procession and a 30-minute chanting of Jesus' Passion: It is so beautiful and so challenging for parents with children to last two and a half hours.
The professional photographer at Mass that day captured a beautiful photo of Chris carrying cherubic Thomas (20 months) about. Thomas does very well with Daddy, which is why Daddy has taken Thomas duty during Mass for months now. Mary chooses to sit in the front row and John is serving the alter, so I sit with the 4- and 6-year-olds.
|Daddy and Thomas during Mass|
I'm glad the photographer did not capture me during Mass: I had barely slept the night before and had no energy left to battle with my two children who couldn't handle the length of the Mass. After exiting twice, and trying a session in the cry room, I finally sat us outside in the courtyard, my only parental goal being that the two kids would remain sitting in chairs (instead of running gleefully in the sunshine) while drawing on a scrap of paper from my purse and chatting quietly.
Below are a small sampling of the gorgeous photos taken by the photographer during Mass.
|John (10) in the center|