Written on: March 27, 2013
As Holy Week unfolds this year I am looking back and remembering what it was like for me growing up Catholic in Buffalo, NY in the 1950’s. Lent meant giving up candy, attending weekday Mass at St. Rose of Lima church and Stations of the Cross on Fridays with my classmates. When Holy Thursday arrived it was our custom to try and visit 7 area churches to pray at their altars of Repose. For my family several were within walking distance and others just a short ride away. Good Friday meant going downtown to St. Louis Church from 12-3pm for the Seven Last Words reflection and prayer. Back then the Lenten fast ended at noon on Holy Saturday and that meant that, at last, I could have some candy!
In 1955 a major change occurred when Pope Pius XII restored the Easter Vigil celebration to Holy Saturday evening. I remember attending our parish vigil service where for the first time we renewed our Baptismal Promises in English with candles lighted from the Easter Candle! I still remember the joy of seeing all those candles lighting up the Church and the faces of the people around me- each of us a living witness to Christ our Light, Risen in Glory! Looking back I now see how this liturgical highlight became the happy precursor of future changes that would come with the Second Vatican Council.
Sr. Joan Daly currently serves on the Leadership Council of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart. She is the Leadership liaison to the Grey Nun Associates and to Vocation Ministry and serves as Formation Director. Sr. Joan spent eight years in Atlanta serving in elementary education and twenty four as a pastoral associate during the time following the Second Vatican Council.