Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Hosanna to the Son of David: “Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord!”
Today commemorates our Divine Savior’s entrance into the Holy City of Jerusalem and His accomplishment of Our Heavenly Father’s plan for our salvation. These days of Holy Week are an intense representation of Christ’s saving work. By prayer and ritual we are invited to participate intimately in the work of our redemption.
On Palm/Passion Sunday, Mother Church places branches in our hands, blessed palms, that we might honor Our Lord and King and pledge loyalty and fidelity to Him. We are very much aware of our fellow Christians throughout the world who suffer and are persecuted for their Faith. We stand in solidarity with them and offer our fraternal love and support.
On Holy Tuesday Bishop Bambera summons his priests to join him in the consecration of the new Sacred Oils: Oil of Catechumen for those who are candidates for Baptism; Chrism for Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders; Oil of the Infirm for the anointing of the sick. The Chrism Mass will be at 4:00PM in St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Faithful are encouraged to participate virtually this year. At this Mass the priests renew their priestly vows and call upon their parishioners to assist them with their prayers.
The Passion of the Lord dominates the Sacred Triduum (Three Days). We begin with Morning Prayer (Lauds) on Holy Thursday morning at 7:25AM in St. Mary Magdalen. Holy Thursday evening at 7:00PM in St. John’s we commemorate the Lord’s Last Supper wherein He institutes the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (the First Mass) the Holy Priesthood; and the giving of the Mandatum (the new commandment) “love one another as I have loved you”’ Following the Mass, there will be a procession to St. Mary Magdalen with the Holy Eucharist for Adoration until 11:00PM.
Good Friday begins with Morning Prayers at 7:25AM (SMM). The Way of the Cross (Stations) at 9:00AM (SMM) followed by the blessing of the relic of the True Cross on which our Savior died.
The main celebration of the day begins at Noon in St. John’s as we commemorate the Lord’s Passion. We go in heart and mind to Calvary where we have been cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb.
At 3:00PM we begin the Novena and Chaplet of Divine Mercy which culminates on the Octave of Easter-Divine Mercy Sunday.
Good Friday evening at 7:00PM in St. John’s we chant in Hebrew, Latin, and English the most ancient and hauntingly beautiful dirges of the burial of Christ in the Office of Tenebrae.
On Holy Saturday, Morning Prayers will be offered at 7:25AM (SMM). Please note that this year the Blessing of Easters baskets will take place at 10:00AM in the courtyard of St. Mary Magdalen, NOT in Holy Family Hall. We prayerfully prepare for the Great and Glorious Vigil of Easter at 8:00PM in St. John’s. During this Night-of-Nights, we recall the history of our salvation and renew all things in Christ, Who has conquered sin and death.
These are the days most important in the spiritual life of each one of us in the Family of Faith. Let us therefore either in person or virtually come to be with our Blessed Lord and avail ourselves of the abundant graces that come from celebrating these holy days.