Easter is almost here, and thank goodness.
My husband and I gave up red meat for Lent, and it's been fish, chicken, and ground turkey everywhere I look.
It's been like that book that tells you to sneak pureed spinach into your children's brownies--ground turkey is showing up where you'd least expect it. For tacos, meatballs, meatloaf, you name it--where ordinary people use ground beef, the Buxoms have resorted to turkey. I am SO TIRED of ground turkey.
I COULD BITE A COW.
That's the good side of Easter coming. Meat, glorious meat, in all its splendor. Beef, lamb, pork, num num num, I can hardly wait.
The bad side of Easter coming is that it is the single busiest time in the life of a church mouse. And this, unfortunately, is what I am.
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that I sing with a church choir. A cathedral choir, actually.
This may or may not mean we're a bigger, better choir. The jury is still out about that. But one thing I do know: it means that we have more services than a normal parish church. Like priestly ordinations. And an annual chrism mass, where they bless all the chrism oil.
Chrism oil is a holy salad dressing made of extra-virgin oil and balsam. It's used at christenings, confirmations, ordinations, and consecrations. I don't know how often it gets used, but let me tell you, on the Tuesday after Palm Sunday, the bishop of Chicago blesses enough of the stuff to daub everyone in the diocese several times over.
I don't know how often you get daubed with holy oil, but I think it's happened to me twice at the most. Which leaves me wondering what they do with it all.
You had no idea I was this fascinating, did you?
Anyway, last year was the first time I had attended a chrism mass. I didn't know what to expect, but I didn't expect to see a huge glass bottle in the middle of the altar, the size of a moderate aquarium, with what looked like five gallons of olive oil in it.
"Must be extra-extra-extra virgin olive oil," I said to the woman who sits next to me. And then tried not to laugh.
So anyway. This means that after next Sunday, I'm going to have to be at the cathedral for the Chrism Mass, something on the Wednesday, and Maundy Thursday.
For you Unitarians out there, Maundy Thursday is the origin of the Last Supper. I admire--nay, revere it.
However, Maundy Thursday is also when all the liturgical rinkydinks crawl out of the woodwork and volunteer to help with the service. Which is fine. Except that in this service, the priest copies what Jesus did that night. And Jesus washed the feet of the apostles. And that means the rinkydinks let the priest wash their feet.
OK, I'm sorry, but I have a problem with feet. Therefore, this service makes me extremely uneasy. Thank goodness we sing throughout the whole procedure, so I can keep my eyes on my music. And not look up. And see anyone's large, pale, not particularly well-groomed feet waving around.
Right. Then there's Good Friday, which is positively awash in more lugubriousness. And then the Easter Vigil on Saturday night. And then two services on Easter Sunday.
Now all of this involves being in church and singing and all the stuff I usually do. But it also involves a lot of driving back and forth. Because I am a country mouse, and my cathedral is in the city. So it's drive drive drive, sing sing sing, listen to sermons sermons sermons. And? Hire babysitters to watch the kids while I do it.
On Easter Sunday I plan to leave church, get drunk, and eat a veritable buffet of mammals: wooly, cud-chewing, or cloven-hoofed--it's all good.