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Beautiful Easter options

Gabriel Orlet | Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Students staying on campus over Easter break, fretting over what to do with so much time on your hands – you have options. You can sleep in. You can check out some of the (many) hotspots of South Bend. But here’s something that might not be so intuitive: Why not experience one of the most beautiful ecclesiastic atmospheres in the world?

You hear enough of that “Catholic obligations” shtick. You want an incentive? How about, “Holy Week is a unique chance to contemplate your faith (whichever it is) and your connection to the Notre Dame family.” It celebrates rebirth and salvation!

And Notre Dame does a heck of a job celebrating it. Imagine our commemoration of the foundations of Christian faith: “The mystery of Holy Thursday, the tragedy of Good Friday, the utter glory of Easter,” to quote a wise friend.

Come hear the agony in the garden in the dramatic retelling of the Passion of Christ and understand the ultimate sacrifice he made for us. Or immerse yourself in the silent darkness of the Basilica at Thursday night’s Tenebrae and reflect on how you can be a light for others. Or bask in that utter glory of Easter Morning, when you are part of the family of the faithful around the world that greets the new day and rejoices in our salvation.

  As a proud member of the Notre Dame Liturgical Choir, I experience that glory firsthand. I want you to feel it as well. And let me tell you, the music of Holy Week is enough to put any man, woman or child in the pew. The only words I could use to describe the sounds of Easter are “stunning,” “surreal” and “insane.” Knowing the hard work we’re putting into this amazing week, I’m sure that everyone else involved is doing their part too.

I understand what many readers are thinking: It’s just not your thing or you’re not even a practicing Catholic. Please, don’t let that stop you. You wouldn’t believe how many non-practicing and non-Catholic friends I’ve had tell me how much they love Easter here. This can resonate with anyone, but you have to challenge and open yourself to it. I’m certainly no “über-Catholic” and I’m not trying to convert anyone. I just want everyone on campus to consider the opportunity of an unequivocally beautiful Easter. It doesn’t get much better than that.


Gabriel Orlet


Morrissey Manor

April 2