At the request of readers, I'm rounding up my favorite posts on Holy Week and Triduum. For wherever you are and wherever God may meet you this week...blessings on all of it, the mess and the joy. If you're expecting: Labor's Stages: A Triduum. If you have a new baby: Baby's First Holy Week. If you're a new parent, missing Triduum services for the first time: Wholly Weak (Or A Sick Mother's Reflections on Expectations). If you have little ones and can't make it to church: A Holy Week at Home. If you're busy preparing: The Forgotten Days of Holy Week. If you're burnt out: The Footwashing. If the weather (or world) doesn't look the way you hoped: Holy Snow. If you're gearing up to wrangle kids for many hours in the pews: Gospel, Interrupted. If you have a child with special needs: Where I Saw Christ, Back Row, Pink Coat. If you or your kids are sick and you're stuck at home: What An Upside-Down Holy Week Taught Me About Jesus. If you're grieving: Was It A … [Read more...] about how to Holy Week: a guide for where you are
Every year I struggle with Easter. Sounds strange, I know. But after the long, intentional season of Lent, I always find myself floundering with what comes next. How do you celebrate well for seven weeks? Easter Sunday? Simple. Church, feast, family, chocolate. Kids going bonkers for baskets. All of us scarfing down too much sugar. Delightful and delicious. All the Alleluias! But then comes Easter Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. Fifty full days of the Easter season. I'll be honest: I had no idea how to live it. Surprisingly, joy is hard to sustain. Easter should be a season of celebration, a long feast of gratitude, an abundance of praise. But how can we keep singing Alleluias for weeks, when the rest of the world packs up the Easter eggs and races ahead to the next holiday-of-the-month in the Target aisles? What does it mean to be an Easter people for 50 full days? I wanted to find out. After years of grief, I felt a tug last year to turn to the practice of … [Read more...] about introducing Risen: 50 Ways to Live Easter
Starting today, you can get Grieving Together: A Couple's Journey through Miscarriage from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or direct from Our Sunday Visitor (with free shipping)! We're thrilled that Grieving Together is making its way into the hands of parents who need it after infertility, stillbirth, miscarriage, or the loss of a child. The greatest joy has been hearing from couples who are reading it together or talking about aspects of grief they might not have shared or understood before. (In the words of Billy Collins' poem on sending a book out into the world, "stay out as late as you like, don't bother to call or write, and talk to as many strangers as you can.") Learn more here and here about what makes the book unique. To learn more about Grieving Together, check out these resources: Franco and I did a live webcast with Our Sunday Visitor to share more about why we wrote the book and how all of us can support people in our lives who are grieving. You can listen … [Read more...] about p.s. the book is here!
What's leftover after the bread has been eaten? Crusts and crumbs. If your kids' plates or lunch boxes look anything like ours, there's always something left behind. One doesn't like crusts. (Another doesn't like bread.) The oldest always picks apart the sandwich, leaving a pile of crumbs. The littlest throws his extra bits on the floor for the dog. But there's still good bread there! I find myself encouraging them. My mother's own words ring in my head from childhood: "It's not the heel's fault it's at the end of the bread!" (From time immemorial, parents have coaxed children to please, just eat.) . . . Today at Mass I heard a stirring homily. Our pastor can preach, and preach he does. Every Sunday he challenges, coaxes, and encourages us in the pews. This Sunday morning, like so many others, I caught small echoes between my life and the Scripture readings. Parenting and marriage are my primary callings right now. Naturally I see the world - and hear the Word - … [Read more...] about crusts & crumbs