Most people with some knowledge of Christianity know that the week between Palm Sunday and Easter is Holy Week. It’s when we commemorate the Passion of Christ, and is intended to be somewhat somber and sorrowful (but looking forward in anticipation to the resurrection!) It’s also the last week of Lent, a season of penance. Many families have specific customs they follow during Holy Week, Lent, and other seasons of the church.
What do we do for Holy Week? Well, let’s just say we’ve been blessed with some Holy Week events that allowed us to be somber, sorrowful, and/or penitent without having to do any advance planning. Here it is…a Holy Week Retrospective.
Exhibit A: Holy Week 2010
The birth of a baby is always a joyous time of celebration, right? Well…not always. Sometimes it’s a mixture of bitter and sweet, like when Nathan was born. We were excited for his birth, but within moments were hit with the news that he probably had Down syndrome. Preliminary tests confirmed it the next day, Palm Sunday. He went to Mass for the first time one week later, on Easter.
The next year, Easter 2011, was largely uneventful. Nathan played with (and ate for the first time) crawfish…
…the kids had Easter outfits, and both of them smiled for a photo. So far so good. But then…
Exhibit B: Holy Week 2012
I’m not sure where to begin to cover all of the horrors of Holy Week 2012, so I’ll hit the two low points: our cat, Doc, died after sustaining an unfortunate injury we prefer not to talk about involving another animal. Not only did he die, but…he died while Sarah Kate was saying goodbye. Heartbreaking.
Unfortunately, Sarah Kate and Mr. Andi had to bury Doc without Nathan and me, as he contracted chicken pox (or, more likely, in retrospect, a vicious case of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, per his pediatrician) and wound up in the hospital. Initially they were expecting him to stay at least 2-3 days, but…
They must have had a hidden camera in his quarantined hospital room, because shortly after I took this…
…they came and told me they were releasing him (when just an hour before they had said he might get to go home the next day, but no promises).
We missed Easter Mass that year, opting instead for the Pope on EWTN, because…contagious.
Exhibit C: Holy Week 2013
We caught a little bit of a break in 2013. No one was sick or injured, but Nathan was, technically speaking, in the hospital that week for his first sleep study. It was not an enjoyable experience for anyone, and it all came about because his doctor suspected he had sleep apnea after monitoring him in the hospital earlier the same month for pneumonia.
Exhibit D: Holy Week 2014
We missed Palm Sunday in 2014 – Sarah Kate’s surgery was that week and although she was released the day before, she was still in pain and in need of round-the-clock care. We were home for most of the week, however, and made it to Easter Mass without a hitch. Well, except for the behemoth wheelchair, the two casts from hips to toes, and the difficult task of wrangling her dress on over them.