An Empty Church

This Holy Week was the first one I had ever fully participated in. I had pretty much no idea what to expect. When I walked into Mass on Holy Thursday, I was walking in blindly. The Mass was so beautiful! At the end, however, I was very confused as to why the church was being emptied of all decoration, why the candles were being taken away, and why the Tabernacle was being emptied and left open. When I had it explained to me that it was a representation of the stripping of Christ’s garments, I was filled with wonder. This was such an awe-inspiring act. The church was empty, stripped of everything that made it a Catholic Church.

When I walked into the church on Good Friday, I truly felt like Christ was dead; it was heavy, and I was truly upset. I had no idea how to act. I didn’t know if I still needed to genuflect; I was confused when there was no Holy Water to bless myself with. I felt strange knowing that the Tabernacle was empty. I truly believe that was the moment I fell in love with the Eucharist. Without it, I felt like I wasn’t whole. I was so happy when I was able to receive it! It felt like all wasn’t lost! But I still felt something was missing. Christ was missing from my church! When we venerated the cross and I knelt before the Jesus’ limp body, I felt what it must have been like to be at His death. I now look at the cross so differently. It is a reminder of the fullness of what Christ endured for me.

On Saturday, I went to the church to pray, but the emptiness made me so sad! There was no sanctuary lamp, nothing on the altar, and the Tabernacle was still empty. Where was everything that made my church a Catholic church?!

I woke up Easter morning, and I could feel that something was different. I was more joyful, which was odd for 4:30 in the morning! When I walked into the church at 6:00, It truly felt like Christ had risen. The Church was alive! The candles were back, the Tabernacle was filled with the Eucharist, and we could sing ALLELUIA! Joy filled my heart and I was truly thankful that I could fully participate in the resurrection!

In this Easter season, rejoice in the Lord! He is risen! He is present! He loves us so much that He gives Himself to us, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist! ALLELUIA! CHRIST REIGNS!

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