Sunday 22 March 2020

Laetare Sunday at Home

Future generations of Catholics are just not going to believe their eyes when they read that Masses were suspended over much of the western world, including Great Britain, Ireland and the United States, in 2020. I find it hard to believe myself, and yet there we were setting up the sitting-room and then getting dressed to attend Mass from 218 miles away.

We would have had roses in time for the 11 o'clock Mass, but Tesco was still closed when I ventured out at 7:30 and would not open until 10. The thought of crowding into Tesco with a desperate hoard at 10 did not appeal to me, so I have yet to go out and purchase Laetare Sunday supper.

Well, how was it? In our case, we were able to concentrate and pray and as I was reading my missal it was not terribly unlike being at Mass in person until there was no Communion of the Faithful, at which point I cried. As we have no sackcloth and ashes in the house, tears will have to do.

However, it is Laetare Sunday, so let us be happy now and eat delicious things, like another batch of zeppole in honour of St. Joseph. I was not happy with my St. Joseph's Day batch, for I didn't use the oven thermometer and the zeppole didn't rise. However, today I did, and here we are:

B.A. and I ate two zeppole each with coffee at our homebound version of the After-Mass Coffee and Tea of Peace. B.A. called members of the Schola, too, for verisimilitude and to ask after their mothers. He had already called his own mother, who has been sent home from her job for having a cough. Although she no longer has the cough, they won't let her back for two weeks

It is Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom, which is our Mother's Day, and a much older holiday than the American one it is, too. Traditionally one goes home to one's home parish with a cake for one's mother--although when I say "traditionally," I mean in the late Middle Ages or wherever it was when people started going to the towns for non-agrarian work and fun.

This can be a sad day for childless-not-by-choice women, but the traditional Epistle says that we in particular are supposed to rejoice. While I read it today, I thought about how much easier it probably is to wait out a pandemic when you don't have tiny children to keep occupied/amused/clean/healthy/fed. So mad props to the physical mothers of the world in particular as well as greetings to my fellow spiritual ones. I'm thinking of my godchildren, too, especially the baby girls.

I am not sure whether or not we are advised to leave our properties at all. Fortunately we have a   private garden (Yay, apple tree! Yay, roses!), but we've been going for long walks for exercise. Yesterday we were tempted into the local shopping district by our need of a spice rack (more anon) and then by curiosity about the famous local Italian ice-cream shop.  (Ice-cream in Scotland came from Italian immigrants. It is a long and noble story.)  We thought the Local Treasure would be closed, but behold! Although the dining area is closed, the ice-cream counter was open. So we took our lives into our hands by standing near some local lasses and ordering two waffle cones (hazelnut and vanilla).

But I ended our search for a spice rack when I heard too much coughing in the five-and-dime. What were we thinking? I demanded of my panicking self. So we returned home, and eventually I taught two not notably enthusiastic homeschoolers a writing lesson over Skype. The poor critters learned late that they were having any lesson at all, and there was a great carry-on as they belatedly wrote essays about Julius Caesar without recourse to any but online books. I would pity them, had they not had three weeks to write these papers. Meanwhile I must get over my technophobia to figure out how best to use screens to teach children writing. Can one present Powerpoint over Skype? I must talk to my computer-genius brother.

The sudden desire for a spice rack was awakened in our bosoms when I washed, disinfected and rearranged the pantry cupboards. When we lived in the Historical House the spices all lived in a tidy (or  tidier) alphabetical row on a shelf running the length of the wall. But until yesterday the spices in St. Benedict over the Apple Tree were jumbled up on the pantry shelves. They are now living alphabetically in a polystyrene insert that protected the printer in its cardboard box, and the cupboards look much nicer.

Yes, this is what we have come to: attending Mass online, teaching online, rearranging the kitchen shelves and then blogging about it. However, life is about to get exciting again, for I am going to risk death by the Dread Germ by going back to Tesco.

Update: Zeppole are supposed to be topped by cherries preserved in syrup, but we don't have any, so ours have been topped by very Scottish raspberries instead. Well, topping things with raspberries is very Scottish. I think those particular raspberries came from Spain.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of joyful things I wonder are you aware that the Met are streaming old productions nightly to cheer us all up? Each one is left online for 23hrs. Last night I watched the terribly depressing Lucia di Lammermoor where the tenor was brought in at the last minute due to a sickie. I was impressed he pulled it off and looked him up. I found his interview edifying and gave a lovely snapshot of his marriage and lifestyle. His wife was quite vocal about wanting him to succeed and her desire to be a good supportive wife while acknowledging the career sacrifice she made to make it happen and the joyful life she now has as a result of that decision.

    I include the links below. They are Poles so I thought you'd be interested.