When I worked on liturgy committees or was on staff in parishes, by the time Easter finally rolled around, I'd have the bends. We'd typically begin preparations for the big seasons and feast days several months ahead. It wasn't unusual to have a staff Epiphany party end with everyone pulling out calendars and penciling in the date for the meeting to prepare the Lenten reconciliation service. To help catechists prepare for Ash Wednesday with their students, resources had to be ordered at least three months in advance and meetings for additional background and questions had to be scheduled.
Working in prison for 11 years, that sense of the bends was still there, but to a lesser degree. As long as I was two weeks ahead of events, things were okay. The liturgical calendar sometimes bumped up against the secular one (who takes down a Christmas tree at 5pm on December 25th?) but Fr. Joe would be there for Christmas Mass the Sunday after Christmas and all was right with the world.
This year, jail lives a different story. There have been no frantic requests for cards, unlike Christmas and Valentine's Day. No one has confessed feeling a failure for not being home for Easter. There hasn't been a rush to see Fr. Lyle for confession. And this week we'll celebrate Easter.
One group will celebrate Palm Sunday, though, on Wednesday. Another group, on another floor, will celebrate Easter on Holy Thursday. The Good Friday service had to give way to a GED class on the 8th floor on Friday. Saturday's afternoon gathering will celebrate Easter. Next Tuesday and Wednesday, two more groups will celebrate Easter because they use the previous Sunday's readings for their service. And somewhere in there, on Saturday night, I'll be at the Vigil in my home parish.
What I appreciate in all this, what makes me laugh and enjoy the work I do so much: you just never know when the resurrection is going to bump into your life and make a mess of things. Just pay attention, be open, it doesn't always happen according to the calendar.