When I was on bed rest, pregnant with the Pudge, the thing that grieved me the most was missing Mass. I longed for the familiarity and the simplicity of the rituals of signing myself with holy water, hearing the organ and the choir, participating in the liturgy as one of the faithful...and partaking of the Eucharist--receiving my Lord, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.
When My Darling and the children would return from Mass, they would give me their sweaters, and I would spend the next hours inhaling the sweet fragrance of incense, which is used every week in our parish. With so many young men gathering to serve every Sunday in the vesting sacristy, there are always plenty of jobs to hand out, including Crucifer, candle bearers, thurifer, boat bearer, zuchetto, Vimpas for the miter and crosier, book bearer, etc., etc., etc.....Last year, because he was new-ish and rather on the small side, my Pickle was frequently boat bearer--which meant that he stuck to the thurifer like glue, and came home plastered with the smell of incense all over his clothes, in his hair, on his skin...you know, until he started to smell like boy again.
So today, because of the Pudge's measles, for Pete's sake, we went to Mass in shifts (which we pretty much never do!). My Darling went to our traditional Mass this morning, taking with him the Frog, the Monkey, and the Pickle. Reepicheep and Pudge and I stayed home. Pudge and I got a wonderful nap in, and Reepicheep was able to watch The Lord of the Beans unhindered by the Monkey, who often begs for the funnier scenes to be repeated many times over, until the whole point of even watching the movie becomes moot.
When the first shift returned home, My Darling sat next to me on the couch.
I could not help myself. I smashed my nose into his shoulder and took such a deep breath that fibers from his shirt landed in my very toes. He smelled sooooooooooooooooo good. The kind of good that makes you want to keep breathing it in until you absolutely explode from having so much goodness inhaled into your lungs, and upon exhaling, you groan involuntarily simply because.
I said to him, "They used a different incense today."
He responded, "Well, you know dear, it is Advent, after all."
Yes--Happy New Year, liturgically speaking. Welcome to cycle C of the readings. And since the priest now wears purple--now you can play the Christmas-y-type songs.
The measles, by the by, are on their way out the door--thanks be to God! The rash is fading quickly from her face--her forehead now looks slightly tanned, rather than angrily burned. The spots are still there, but a bit lighter, and mostly when she's overly warm or has been playing hard or crying. Last night marked the first night that she truly slept in better than a week--meaning that I, too, got a bit of sleep, which I desperately needed.
Keep up the prayers for our friends AJ and Sarah, for Rebekah and ber baby sibling, and for her cousin JP. They need them.