This last weekend ushered in Passiontide. The last two weeks of Lent. The most visible sign of the season is that the statues are veiled with purple cloth. It’s a striking sight, somber but beautiful. We had our adoration period which lasted from Friday morning into Saturday evening. Over the last couple of years we have a youth lock-in. It’s become something that I and our youth minister look forward to each year. The lock-in begins with Evening Prayer and Stations of the Cross with other parishioners. We then typically play some games, one of which is a miniature game that I put on. This year it was a zombie game in which the kids or their characters had to make their way through an infested industrial dock to hop on a ship to take them out to safety. There were about 8 kids who played and I always find it interesting how they play; will they work as a team or will they split up? This year it turned out to be both. They started to split at the beginning but then came back together to work to defeat the zombie horde. I think this is the first game in which every character survived which helped all of them to have fun. Some of the kids who had played before were surprised that everyone survived. It did help that none of the players tried to do something silly.
After the zombie game was finished we headed back to church for Night Prayer and little adoration time. Then we came back played some board games. The first game was “8 Minute Empire” it is a fast and simple game about territory control. The second game was a newer game to me “Machi Koro” it is a Japanese city building game that uses cards and dice to build up your city. It’s very easy and fun to play. I don’t think I won a single. That’s a good thing when you’re playing with a youth group. After the board games I headed home for some sleep and the youth group took turns praying through the night before our Lord.
In the morning we gathered to pray Morning Prayer and then had breakfast. I and some other priests started to hear confessions after that. And I’m happy to say that I believe almost all the 25 kids went to confession before they were picked up by their parents. I think all of us priests heard around 100 confessions that day. The Passiontide adoration is always a great time of year. It’s exhausting for me but very life giving as the prayer and confessions truly make God’s grace very tangible and present.