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 the inauguration of our Heavenly Father’s plan for our salvation. These days of Holy Week are an intense re-presentation of Christ’s saving work. By prayer and ritual, we are invited to participate intimately in the work of our redemption.
Palm/Passion Sunday, Mother Church places branches in our hands, blessed palms, that we might honor Our Lord and King as we pledge loyalty and fidelity to Him. We are very much aware of our fellow Christians throughout the world, most especially Ukraine, who suffer and are persecuted for their Faith. We stand in solidarity with them and offer our fraternal love and support as we pray for peace.
On Holy Tuesday, Bishop Bambera summons his priests to join in the Mass of Holy Chrism as the three Sacred Oils are consecrated: Oil of Catechumens for the catechumens who will be Baptized; Oil of the Infirm for the sick; and the Oil of Chrism for Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders. The Mass will be at 4:00 PM in St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Faithful are encouraged to participate. Also at this Mass, the priests renew their priestly vows and call upon their parishioners to assist them with their prayers.
The Passion of Our Lord dominates the Sacred Triduum (Three Days). We begin with Morning Prayer (Lauds) on Holy Thursday Morning beginning at 7:25 AM in St Mary Magdalen. Holy Thursday evening at 7:00 PM 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 the repository in St Mary Magdalen with the Holy Eucharist for Adoration until 11:00 PM.
Good Friday begins with Morning Prayer at 7:25 PM (SMM). The Way of the Cross (Stations) at 9:00 AM (SMM) followed by the blessing of the relic of the True Cross on which Our Savior died.
The main celebration of the Passion is at Noon in St. John’s. We go in heart and mind to Calvary where we have been cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb.
At 3:00 PM we begin the Novena and Chaplet of Divine Mercy which culminates on the Octave of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday.
Good Friday evening at 7:00 PM 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 Prayer will be offered at 7:25 AM (SMM). Blessing of Easter Baskets will take place at 10:00 AM in the courtyard of ST Mary Magdalen. You may set your baskets on the porch. Confessions will follow.
We prayerfully prepare for the Great and Glorious Vigil of Easter at 8:00 PM 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. This year we will welcome two new members into the Mystical Body of Christ, Christine and Leeann. May they always find joy and peace in our family of faith.
Because there is no 4:00 PM Mass at St. Bernard’s there will be an Easter Sunday morning Mass there at 8:30 AM. The following schedule is: 7:30 AM @ St. Mary Magdalen; 8:30 AM @ St. Bernard; 9:00 AM @ St. Joseph; and 10:30 AM @ St. John.
These are the days most important in the spiritual lives of each and every one of us in the Family of Faith. May we avail ourselves to the abundant graces our Blessed Lord wishes to bestow on us.