20 April 2013
Experiencing Easter has felt like more of a challenge this year. Getting sick shortly after Easter meant that I spent a lot of time alone and more time than usual in bed. This resulted in a sense of lethargy instead of the more joyful energy that one expects with Easter. Being sick also meant that I did not attend chapel very often, and so I missed the constant repetition of “He is risen,” the white liturgical colour, and the many fresh lilies – a smell that immediately reminds me of Easter. And even though we have still been seeing Easter songs in the chapel and church, they are not ones I am immediately familiar with and thus do not so easily impress upon me the reality of Easter.
I thus know in my head that Easter has come, but it feels like my spirit and heart haven’t quite experienced it yet. Sitting down behind the piano with my hymnbook has helped somewhat, but it still feels as if my heart is liturgically stuck in the wrong time of the year (either back in lent or jumping forward beyond Easter time).
So it is with thankfulness that I spent this past week now visiting a monastery where every single refrain (antiphon) and every single prayer seems to focus on the resurrection. Dozens of times a day, I repeated Alleluia and was reminded that Jesus is risen. And slowly my spirit seemed to get that something wonderful has happened: He is risen! The world is changed for ever! The fact that my body had more than enough time to rest and I was with Matthijs in a delightful city (Brugge) where we could walk around, eat too many Easter eggs, explore culture, and delight in food and drink only further encouraged my body to experience the joy of Easter.