As I sat in church yesterday and looked at the palms on the altar, I thought about the person who put them there, the same person who purchases flowers and arranges them for the altar every week.
I thought about all the work that went into draping the crucifix high up on the wall above the altar and all the other religious art in the church. I admired the freshly-ironed altar linens.
I listened to the choir struggle, even though they have been practicing almost every night. I thought about the ones who stay after Mass to file sheet music and put the books away.
As I knelt at the altar rail, I saw the long sweeping patterns made by the vacuum cleaner.
Someone will prepare the Altar of Repose for Holy Thursday.
Soon the church will be decorated for Easter. The same ones who drag and carry multiple unwieldy boxes of Christmas decorations from attics and storerooms near the end of Advent each year, will transform the church to reflect our Easter joy.
All year long there are laypeople behind the scenes who devote their time and talent to serving the Lord in a way that benefits the whole parish.
I think Holy Week is a good time to remember them in our prayers, and if you know who they are in your parish, to thank them.