Monday, April 6, 2009

The Holy Week of our Lord's Passion

Sunday - Passion or Palm Sunday

"Jesus enters into Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. He is hailed "son of David" by those who days later will cry out "Crucify Him!" Would we have done the same?

Monday - Watching "The Passion of the Christ" with fellow parishioners tonight.. Every year after seeing this movie, I realize that little else in life really matters compared to this most Holy Sacrifice...

"See I make all things new!" - Revelation 21:5

Tuesday - Chrism Mass

This is the Holy Mass where all the catechumens and candidates of the Diocese who are being Baptized and received into full communion with the Catholic Church get to meet in one place with the Bishop presiding.

The 'holy oils ' are brought back to the parish for use during the following year: the oils of baptism, confirmation, anointing of the sick.

It is a chance to see most of the priests of the Diocese all together; the procession to the altar, led by the Knights of Columbus in dress regalia, is wonderful to see.

I remember when I was a candidate, I was so excited to be finally 'accepted' by the Diocese and to know that within a few days, I too would be a member of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

A very exciting time right in the middle of a very holy week.

Let us pray for our catechumens and candidates that they will feel the grace of the Lord during this very special time in their lives.

Wednesday - Tenebrae

We are having a Tenebrae service in our Parish tonight.

In a Tenebrae service, the church is lit only with candlelight, including one larger Christ candle on the altar. The word Tenebrae comes from the Latin, meaning ‘shadows’.

The purpose of Tenebrae is to recreate the emotions of Christ’s Passion: His betrayal by Judas, the disciples’ abandonment and the beginnings of His Agony.

During the Tenebrae service, there will be Scripture readings and Gospel narratives. At the end of each reading, a candle is extinguished… so that by the end of the numerous readings, all the candles are out, leaving the nave in darkness.

The last reading will be Psalm 22, which Christ quoted from the Cross:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

When this Psalm reading is completed, the Christ Candle is extinguished. All is now darkness.

We have reached our most despairing moment: Christ has asked to be spared from drinking this bitter Cup but surrenders Himself to God’s Will. God seems not to answer: Christ will endure His Passion. The darkness of our sins prevails…

There is no benediction, no final blessing. The participants leave the Church in silence.

We wait…. in silence, in darkness…in grief…

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