This was a banner weekend for the Bryant family, culminating in Parker’s first Easter.
On Friday, my wife drove Parker to meet his grandma to spend the weekend in Paulding, so that he could partake in Easter egg coloring and other ‘festivities’ with his 8 cousins.
On Saturday, I ran a few errands around town, most importantly picking up a gift for my sponsor at church from a Catholic gift store nearby (it only took me forever to actually find a gift store that catered to Catholics).
Easter Vigil Mass was beautiful. The three catechumen in my class were baptized first, followed by the confirmation of the 15 of us that had already been baptized in other Christian faiths. At the appointed time, I professed my faith, went up to the center of the church, was presented to the priest (using Arnold, my confirmation name), and marked with chrism. Before Eucharist, and after all my class had been confirmed, our priest presented us to the congregation, calling us, “the newest batch of Catholics.” It was a moment that I know meant a lot to me, my family, my sponsor, and, I’m sure, my classmates. We’ve been attending class diligently since September.
In a way, RCIA creates a sense of longing, and with the culmination of Easter Vigil, the longing is finally fulfilled. On the way back from Paulding yesterday, I looked at my wife and said, “I’m really glad to be Catholic.” And I meant that.
After Easter Vigil Mass had ended, we went downstairs for our reception (of course, in Catholic tradition, with plenty of beer and wine). Each of us was individually recognized and presented with our gift from the Church, a ‘Catholic’ Bible (aka, the New American Bible). From my sponsor, I received a plaque to display in our new house. I gave him a small statuette of his favorite saint, Francis of Assisi.
On Sunday, we got up early to head to Paulding to attend Easter Mass with our family (and specifically, Parker). It was nice actually being able to take part a little more ‘regularly’ in Eucharist (at Easter Vigil Mass, it was more, “God, please don’t let me look like a buffoon”). My brother-in-law also became Catholic this weekend, so after church, we had a combined Easter/welcome-to-the-faith celebration. I received some more Catholic gifts and Parker got his Easter presents.
All in all, it was a really great weekend, and it’s definitely nice to have Parker back. Hopefully this week we’ll hear back on at least the appraisal on the house, if not the loan itself. Have a great week!