Offline till Easter
Sunday Night Journal — April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

I have returned from my time offline, and I must say it was both more difficult and more rewarding than I had anticipated. I was surprised at how strong the pull was, and how I found myself sometimes briefly at a loss for what to do with myself when I couldn't browse around the net in an idle moment. But sometime into Good Friday I began to feel considerably more recollected, more able to concentrate, and less jumpy. I can see that this is something I need to do on a regular basis, perhaps every Friday. I wonder if I could make it through an entire Lent...well, there are things I actually need to do online, so it wouldn't be possible to give it up entirely, and I don't know if I could resist the urge to surf if I got online at all. Although I did wake my computer from its slumber and reload this page on Friday and Saturday mornings just to make sure there were no spam comments, and was able to make that check and immediately put the computer back to sleep without wandering anywhere else. Anyway, it was an interesting experiment.

We went to the Easter Vigil at the cathedral last night. In the past it's usually been packed, but for some reason last night the attendance was pretty sparse. I don't have any explanation for that but I hope it's not a permanent trend.


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I tried to go offline over the Triduum as well. Mostly managed it. I liked it too.

In any case, Happy Easter!

We attended the Vigil last night at our parish, and it was very well attended. Beautiful too, as usual.

Happy Easter!

And our Vigil was packed, so obviously the sparseness is not a widespread trend. I don't know whether that's actually comforting to you, in your particular parish, or not . . .

I have been giving up surfing for pleasure at Lent for about a decade. Some years I'm more successful than others. I need to surf for work too. For instance, I use google images to get pictures for my students' handouts. They always get *very* pictorial handouts during Lent!

I was in New Jersey for most of the Triduum. The church was only about 2/3 full (at most) for the Vigil. The thing is, the parish is about 2/3 Spanish and 1/3 English. And the Vigil therefore took nearly four hours, because they either alternated Spanish and English or did both. Obviously, you can't do the Vigil twice, once in Spanish and once in English. I began my being frustrated with it, but then I got into it and realized it was a helluva service. As the PP said to me at the end, 'if you don't like that, you don't like ANYTHING'. In the morning, they reverted to their normal segregation of English and Spanish services. They had about five services between 9 and 1 pm, and the church was continuously nearly full. I know because my brother in law is the organist and was there until 2 pm.

Good to see you, Francesca.


Yes, it's great to have you back. What exactly was it that was so great about the service? Not just the languages, I assume?

Re giving up surfing for Lent: I'm glad to hear you say you aren't 100% abstinent, because the inability to do that is what really gives me pause.

I really am puzzled about the sparse attendance at our vigil. I say "our"--it's not my parish--it's the diocesan cathedral in downtown Mobile, 20 miles from home. It's always had a pretty strong attendance from old Mobile Catholics (unlike most of the South, Mobile has a very old and significant Catholic presence). The surrounding area is sort of an entertainment district, and there have been a few shootings and other crimes in the area over the past few years, so I wondered if that's spooked some people. My wife wondered if it had something to do with the departure of the popular former rector. I just don't know...I hope it's not a permanent trend, though.

It was just very vigorous. I tried to write a long explanation of what I mean by that, but deleted it because it's wrong. If I say, well they don't do this and that (good and bad) things, and they do this or that good thing, it seems as if doing those things in particular brought it off. But it was not that. There isn't a recipe. It was just spiritually vigorous.

I think I have an idea of what you mean. I remember having similar feelings when I went to a Mass celebrated in Spanish for the Hispanic community here.

It wasn't all in Spanish. It was both, either alternating or repeating.

You know, there's all the stuff Middle Class White Guys hate, like people taking photos all the time and such. But it did not dent it at all. It was partly the vigour of the PP and assistant pp.

Right, I didn't mean it was distinctive because of the language per se, but because of the culture, so to speak. I was thinking your 2/3 Spanish-speaking parish might be similar.

The Easter triduum service(s) in our suburb were packed, partly because we only have one (catholic) church so even normal sunday services have a lot of people outside church listening to the service over loudspeaker. I attended, though didn't understand much (no english triduum masses here.) It was a bit cold, so outside-attendees were drifting away by the end of the saturday service; it actually snowed on Sunday, unexpectedly (no white Christmas this year, but a white Easter.)

I left my laptop at work over the weekend and benefitted greatly... now I have it back and it's causing detrimental moral effects with games and websurfing. H'mmmm.

Happy Easter, y'all.

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