Saturday, April 11, 2009

Paschal Triduum observances

Good Friday Procession, Cleveland, Ohio, from La Sagrada Familia to Saint Patrick to Saint Michael.

To-day is Holy Saturday, amongst slavonic christians, it is custom and tradition to have baskets of food blessed in church. Yesterday, was Good Friday. Theologically, they are part of one day, the Paschal Triduum. The mass, that began Thursday evening, did not end yet, the dismissal comes at the end of the vigil mass on what some slavs call ‘Great Night’*.

Friday, the day of the crucifixion and burial, has its traditions. The Via Dolorosa is the walk of sorrows in Jerusalem, but throughout the world, similar sojourns can occur. Now, on the west side of Cleveland, a procession left after the noon, angelus bell at La Sagrada Familia and went eastwards, first, on Franklin Boulevard. A hundred years ago, it was a fashionable street; it had lost its cache, but a renewal is sporadically underway. A few lots were under construction or being remodeled that day. This procession interrupted the lunch time of some, and was not expected by some. Non religiously observant residents would recall the procession from past years, but temporary interlopers might have had a novel experience.

For catholics the day has the highest solemnity. Generations of children had been taught that the hours from noon to three were to be reserved. The unaffected world goes by, often, unconscious of the singularity of the time. Perhaps, for some it might be a spur for investigation; for others a mere recognition; and for the uncharitable ― an occasion to complain. We live in a world, where, we exist in different cultures occupying the same society.

Gandhi had an attraction and respect for the devotion of the Way of the Cross, but as much as he loved Jesus, he did not become a christian. Some are not affected by such devotions. Some are sorely vexed, and will propagandise vigorously against. A painted egg will give them fits, a rabbit makes them livid. The definition of terms do not co-incide. Self appointed censors create their own universal banns, for others, by fickle fiat. While some celebrations foster a deep religious glow, and communal cohesion, that deepens the faith in some; others can not share in that. Some are of great good will, and do welcome all.
*Velika noč, Veľká noc, Velikonoce, Velja noć

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