Monday, April 05, 2010

Days of Solemn Recreation

Our Redeemer
 has risen from the tomb;
let us sing a hymn of praise
to the Lord our God,  alleluia.

Antiphon 2, Morning Prayer, Easter

Liturgically speaking, Easter Week is one long series of Easter Sundays, one right after another. This is the octave of Easter, eight days of profound rejoicing in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Mass is the same and includes the Gloria which is not usual for weekdays. The Liturgy of the Hours is the same each day with only minor changes in the Gospel canticle antiphons. In accord with this effort to underscore the meaning of Easter for eight days, we are singing the major offices of Morning and Evening Prayer each day. I love this week of singing and wish that I could communitcate to you the loveliness of the melodies with which we sing the great Easter antiphons. Wish my technological capacities would catch up a bit faster. Maybe one day they will.

It is also monastic custom to have days of "solemn recreation." That phrase may seem an oxymoron. How can one be solemn and recreate at the same time. The meaning of "solemn" here is "deep". We are to fully recreate, fully rejoice is the great gift that has been given us. In the case of Easter, two days of solemn recreation follow the feast. 

Here in the Husdon River Valley all is bursting into bloom as if perfectly timed to emphasize our new life in Christ Jesus. This certainly adds to our abiltiy to profoundly rejoice in the Lord; to thoroughly enjoy a day of solemn recreation.

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