The four-day celebration of the Triduum and Easter finished with a flourish. All of the prayers and liturgies came off very well--our presider was first rate, the music, creativity of liturgical ideas, and old and new guests were all a special part of the days.
One admission I feel obliged to make however: On the last day, Sunday, a guest was really gushing over with compliments in conversation with me: "Oh, everything was so beautiful and looked so smooth and easy. It must be just a delight to be part of it all." My outside self responded, "Thank you so very much, it takes a little work but, yes, it is our pleasure to share our prayer with so many friends--thanks so much for coming!" Meanwhile a little, but very strong inside voice was saying, "Smooth and easy? We practice and practice for hours to get everything coordinated and looking effortless. We've been singing those songs in choir for 3 months, ditto for handbell pieces!!! Nothing's easy...it's hard work!!"
Within minutes doesn't another guest stop me and say, "You must be beat you look so tired, so many events, so much to do--hope you can get a little rest!" My outside self responded, "Well, thank you but I feel pretty good; many of us have tomorrow (Monday) off, so we can relax a little; thanks so much for coming and joining us." That little, but strong voice inside piped up: "Tired? We're exhausted! This afternoon it will be as quiet as a morgue around here as everyone either goes to their room and closes the door to the world or takes a drive to the peninsula to get away from people and be surrounded only by the sounds of nature!! So glad you came to join us, now enjoy your trip home and we'll see you next year...or next month...or at the earliest, next weekend!"
But both voices sincerely say "thanks" to all our oblates, family members, friends and guests (especially first-timers) who were with us for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Tenebrae services, Holy Saturday and/or Easter Sunday. They really were great, great community and prayer experiences!