As we enter today into the Sacred Triduum, my favorite time of the year, I feel a bit disconnected. This is the first year in at least two decades that I find myself without the work of any preparations for these days, whether it be practices with servers or preparing sacristies, cleaning churches or candlesticks, writing homilies or double-checking rubrics, or even the last minute fitting of the Easter Candle into its socket. None of these this year are mine and it feels very strange.
Each of these tasks, tedious as they sometimes maybe, I enjoy very much and find them life-giving. There is, ordinarily, something exhausting and frantic about them, but also something that gives structure and calm to these days, a sense of purpose.
This year I am a priest in Rome without any of these tasks, one who simply attends the various liturgical celebrations marking the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and I feel a bit like a tiny row boat simply drifting on the waves. In years past, if you will, the tasks associated with Holy Week have always served as something of a rudder for my prayer, guiding me and leading me into these mysteries. Now I must simply yield and allow myself to be carried.