Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Holy Week Batman!

YOURS, MINE AND HOURS AND HOURS: Good Friday meant serving serious time
at St. Clement's, up the street from our house .
All year long, in my various capacities as husband, father, editor and nice guy, I write a lot of emails.

And typically, I sign off with versions of "Have a fun Thursday" or "Enjoy your afternoon" or  maybe "Hope you have an interesting evening."

I sometimes go with "Have a good Friday," but I immediately append that with "not in the Jesus sense of Good Friday, but you know..."

And now here we are: It's almost Good Friday Eve. End of Lent. End of Holy Week. And almost every one of us--Catholics, protestants, everybody!--gets the day off. It's great!

God knows why.

Weird thing is--and I'm sure I'm not alone in this--when I was a little Catholic kid, I loathed Good Friday.

It was the most ironically named worst day of the year.

Good Friday in the Carter household was all about church and suffering.

Sure there was no school, but in the very early years of my schooling, we didn't get "Spring Break" in March, we got "Easter Week" and Good Friday was a signal that the holiday week was coming to a close.

Plus, in the house I grew up, there was nothing remotely positive about this religious holiday.

Some Good Fridays, my mom  made us head up the hill to St. Clement's church twice in a 24-hour period. And the Lenten services were long and torturous and dark with no music to break up the tedium.

All the statues in the church were covered in purple and we always felt sad if not just a bit guilty as if we were just a bit personally responsible about what happened to Jesus.
Give Up For Lent"

To make matters worse, many of us had given up candy for Lent (the 38 days preceding Good Friday) and still had to wait a full two more days for Easter chocolate!

(While I'm on that topic, I could never wrap my head around that chunk of theology. We were encouraged to make sacrifices, like giving up candy for Lent, but underlying it all was this weird  motive. Why were we giving up candy? We were doing it to get to heaven! If we were truly unselfish, wouldn't we be trying to not get to heaven? Of course as I got older I became increasingly at one with Mark Twain, who figured hell would be where the interesting fun and people related to me would be. Is there any smoking or drinking or good old fashioned goofing off or, like, flirting going on in heaven? I digress.)

(Also, my mom was actually a pushover when it came to fasting for Lent and I don't think I ever went a full 40 days without candy, but probably some Catholic kids did. And I digress again.)

Still, Good Friday, when I was a kid, was anything but good.

The stores were closed.

It almost alway rained.

But now?

Most of us get the day off, with pay.

You don't have to shop ahead of time or decorate or choose presents or clean up the house because nobody hosts, like, Good Friday parties.

In fact there's really no reason to get out of bed before noon, and even then you might as well just stay put.

Stores are closed, so you can't make your weekly $175 deposit at Home Hardware.

And did I mention we almost all of us get the day off with pay?

The more I think of it, the more I think they should change the name to Great Friday.

Good Friday is the Roman Catholic Church's no-strings-attached gift to Western Civilization

On second thought, instead of saying "Have a Good Friday," I'm going with, "You're welcome."

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for me early morning smile ...oh yes, today is Holy Thursday !