……from your Pastor’s Desk
Today we begin a time so sacred to us Catholics that it is called ‘Holy Week.’ It is true that as far as individual celebrations go, Christmas seems to overshadow Easter, but Holy Week is more than just Easter Sunday. Our Liturgy makes a diametrical shift from the celebration of our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the agony of His Passion and death as told in the Gospel of Mark. This day is an ‘Overture,’ if you will, of the days to come.
Holy Thursday: Mass of The Lord’s Supper at 6:30 pm. It is a great joy to celebrate the REAL event where Our Lord Jesus truly gave us bread as His Body and wine as His Blood. Where He establishes that we are to re-enter this moment in time every time we do the same, and where He empowers the apostles to do the same in His name. It is at this Mass that we have the true meaning of priesthood established – that of being a servant to the people of God, not one who is to be served.
Next we have Good Friday: The Service starts at 3 pm., to coincide with the time of Jesus’ death of the Cross. Good Friday is the only day in the entire year where no Mass is said anywhere in the world. This is the day Our Lord died. We relive his arrest, trial, crucifixion, death and burial. It is a solemn celebration with deeply moving ritual of the ‘Veneration of the Cross’ where each of us has the opportunity to approach the cross of Christ and bow reverently as the ultimate sign of respect and thanksgiving for His suffering for us. Reception of Holy Communion, for those who wish, is also part of this day’s service.
Holy Saturday is the last of the ‘Three Days.’ Begins at 8 pm. This is traditionally a day of quiet meditation as we contemplate the darkness of the world without a future and without hope apart from God and God’s Grace. It is also a time to remember family and friends who have died and await the Resurrection. This day ends with the celebration of all celebrations: the Easter Vigil.
We begin with the Fire and Water Ceremony in which our new Christ Candle is blessed. Then the Deacon sings the beautiful Exsultet. This is followed by a scriptural journey through salvation history. After the readings we have the Profession of Faith. Please note – this is a very beautiful and rich service, but also a rather long one.
This week ends with Easter Sunday Masses. A celebration of the center of our faith – Christ’s Resurrection from the dead. Our Easter Sunday masses are at 8 am [in church], 10:30 am [in church] and 1 pm [in the plaza]. I ask that even if you are a regular 10:30 am mass attendee to consider going to the 1 pm Mass just this once as the 10:30 am will be very, very full.
Do you have to go to all of these services? Of course not. Should you? If you possibly can, yes! I can tell you that you will benefit spiritually from each in its own unique way. Ask God which ones you need to go to.
God Bless you and yours,