After a wonderful night of dancing at Glen Echo, we were unable to get up in time to get to the 8 a.m. Mass. We wound up at the 9:30 Mass, where the music and singing were provided by the youth group. They did a great job which my wife especially appreciated.
The kids didn't appreciate the music as much as they could have because Jacob decided to go straight to the children's chapel. We managed to get some good seats since we were a minute or two early. The room did eventually fill up with a bunch of familiar faces. All the kids were a bit noisy but not too bad.
Jacob did participate in the music this week--he sang the refrain of the Glory to God and parts of the Lamb of God! He also prayed the Our Father with us. Sans a book, he even shook hands at the sign of peace. Lucy was more reluctant this week. They both gave at the offering, though Jacob and I almost did not make it back from the upstairs bathroom to donate. Jacob went once and asked to go a second time, which we allowed but he did not have success.
After Mass was over, we did go to the playground. Jacob is quite the climber lately, giving gray hairs to his parents by his feats of daring. Hopefully we'll relax about it all soon. Lucy enjoyed it but wasn't as daring. Lots of other kids were there too.
Since we are ten days from Ash Wednesday, the sermon was about preparing for Lent. Classically, three areas of sacrifice are encouraged by the Church to prepare for the Easter Triduum. The first area is prayer. Father recommended the little black books that will be available next week at our parish. The books include daily meditations and reflections for each day of Lent. Each one only takes six minutes, an amount of time that should be easy for everyone. The second area is fasting, forsaking legitimate pleasures for the sake of higher goods. Father's recommendation is to come to the Friday Stations of the Cross at church, where they will have simple meals provided by the Knights of Columbus and one of the ladies' groups. The third area is almsgiving, a perhaps old-fashioned word for giving money to those in need. Here we had an audio presentation from our archbishop telling us about the Lenten appeal and asking us to donate to it. Father also encouraged us to participate in that as well. I guess this message was important for me since I was not distracted by the kids much at all.