Sunday, April 16, 2006

Damned if you Do and Damned if you Don`t....

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get to grips with the strange dissonance that happens when "Weaster" (Western Easter) is earlier than Pascha.

My uncle and aunt had travelled from Devon to visit my mum for the weekend, so mum wanted us all to go to her house for a big family dinner today. Traditionally in our family this involves roast turkey and all the trimmings, plus Christmas pudding. (Don`t ask.......)

A/ Refuse because for us it is Palm Sunday, and cause interfamily warfare
B/ Go and not eat everything which is put in front of us, also likely to cause interfamily warfare.
C/ Go and take own food. Ditto.
D/ Ask for fasting food. Ditto but worse.
E/ Go and enjoy.

I opted for E.

We went, ate gratefully what was put in front of us, laughed, talked, watched the little ones enjoy their easter egg hunt in the back garden, lovingly prepared by my mum and aunt at 07.00 this morning. My mum was delighted, my uncle and aunt had a great time, the girls enjoyed it immensely and DH loved his lunch.

I came home feeling guilty. Although I had a good time, and the company and food were wonderful, it felt flat because I knew I could have been in church to celebrate Palm Sunday with my church family.
But then my uncle and aunt would not have seen the little ones and my mum would have been very disappointed.

Going to church then having a family meal just simply wasn`t an option due to the logistics of the distance we commute to church anyway. We wouldn`t have been back till about 2.30 at the very earliest, which would have been much too late for dinner in my family`s eyes.

What is worse, to cause distress and arguments on a point of principle, or to give in , do what is needful to keep the peace and just put up with the guilt trip that comes as a result ?

I struggle with this one a lot, being the only church-goer (apart from the children) in the family.

I **love** the years when Pascha falls before Weaster :-)))))))))
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Unknown said...

Have you ever noticed that the feeling of guilt comes with a smokey smell, like something is burning? You know why? Because, as a favorite monk of mine is known to say, "Mr. D. is working hard. Poor chap."

Ditch the guilt. You followed the commandment to love one another. Good for you. Glory to God.

Anonymous said...

What our wise student Philippa said.

I feel a bit similar this year: I've been following the reception of various people into the Catholic Church: reading and seeing their experiences last weekend has sort of jolted me a bit.

Mimi said...

Every priest I've ever known says "E" is the best option!

I love it, though, when I get candy at half off!

I've never seen Pascha come first, by the way.