Easter is a wonderful time to adopt new traditions and impose them upon the ones you love. For example, I make Polish white sausage soup, i.e. żurek, for Easter Sunday breakfast as well as a baranek (lamb-shaped cake) and the traditional Anglo-Saxon simnel cake. Fortunately B.A. likes żurek and finds baranki adorable, even if he doesn't have much of a sweet tooth. I am not sure what he thinks of the simnel cake although he obviously approves of its inherent Britishness.
For his part, B.A. goes to the Extraordinary Form of the Easter Vigil every year, so naturally I go too, and very long it is. My missal is from 1945 and therefore doesn't have the Easter reforms of Pope Leo XIII, which means a lot of mad page-flipping in the dark by me. Annually I accidentally set my paper lantern on fire. Still it is a beautiful and palpably holy liturgy, full of joy when the bells ring out through the Gloria and we all get to sing "Alleluia." If one is distracted by wordly concerns, one is probably thinking guiltily about how often one broke one's Lenten promises and how much one is going to enjoy one's Easter Season treats, which is much holier than working out a shopping list or how to make gluten free cake. My personal preference is for Easter Sunday morning Mass, which I have always thought the liturgical high point of the year.
It is, incidentally, an immeasurably joy to be a Catholic married to another practicing Catholic. I have a lot of thoughts about this, as I am sure you already know or can imagine.
This is the busiest time of year at the Historical House, so B.A. has not partaken in as many Easter parties as I have. So far I have been to an Easter Sunday Lunch and an Easter Sunday supper, and hosted a Holy Tuesday supper, an Easter Tuesday supper and an Easter Thursday tea party. This involved much baking on my part: the simnel cake went to the Easter Sunday Lunch with me. I carried it in a big wicker basket as if I were Little Red Riding Hood. The only Christians (as opposed to post-Christians) at Easter Sunday supper were B.A. and I, which made for an entirely different atmosphere. Christian festivals without Christian belief are a bit odd at best, and pretty disgusting (e.g. Mardi Gras) at worst.
I was thinking about interfaith dating yesterday and how tragic it can be, and how although men seem to
This morning I realized this was complete nonsense. One of my Irish-American Catholic great-grandmothers became Lutheran when she ran away and married my Lutheran German-American great-grandfather. (She reconciled with the Church on her deathbed; according to family legend this was thanks to a Polish priest.) Her Lutheran second daughter, my grandmother, became a Roman Catholic to marry my Irish-American Roman Catholic grandfather. Then my Scots-Protestant mother, who had long wanted to become a Catholic anyway, became a Catholic a few months before she married my Irish-German-American Catholic father. Finally, after bouncing about from English Novus Ordo Mass, to German Novus Ordo Mass, to Praise & Worship Mass, depending on how I felt that Sunday morning, I came over all traddy when I met delightful B.A and determined to go to the EF from then on.
I wonder how significant it is that all these women switched BEFORE we got married. (I also wonder how significant it was that before 1971 the Church bewailed mixed marriages and tried to discourage them.) Being a cheerful cynic, I have observed that people who undertake enormous efforts and go to great lengths to get married do not stir themselves to such dramatic changes after marriage. As the playground rhyme goes, first comes love and then comes marriage. Non-Catholics who think they can tolerate the Catholic program before they get married feel increasingly impatient with it afterwards.
Of course, this is a generalization and I know many cases of men converting to the Catholic faith of their wives and children. However, I can't think of many cases of women converting to their husbands' Catholicism after years of marriage although perhaps you can. Perhaps it comes down to personality--and of course, faith is ultimately a gift from God. Therefore, the appropriate response to the challenges springing from mixed marriage is concerted prayer by the Catholic spouse and his or her Catholic relations and friends. Of course, being good examples of integrity would most likely help, too. The non-Catholic surrounded by Catholic hypocrites is not likely to be that impressed by Catholicism. Naturally, Catholicism should be presented as a gift and a blessing, not as a series of "Don'ts." Fasting, for example, should be undertaken not as a pain in the neck, but as a bracing form of spiritual exercise, the religious equivalent of skipping dessert and going to the gym to lose a few pounds.