My Dear Friends:
Holy Week is here! The most important week of the year. And so I present you with a very simple question: how do you intend to spend this week?
We cannot go about the activities of the next seven days as if it were just another week. The events of Holy Week transformed human history, and it should transform our lives as well. Today we begin with Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. Last Monday on our parish podcast, I bemoaned the fact that the palms that we give out distract us so much from the most important aspect of today’s liturgy: the Passion of our Lord. I invite you today, and I know that this is a fool’s errand that I’m about to request from you: how about we wait until we get home to make our palm crosses? Let us put the palm down so we can listen to the richness of today’s Scriptures including the crucial details of the Passion of our Lord. Just a pastoral suggestion so that we can squeeze every ounce of spiritual fruit out of the Palm Sunday liturgy.
This coming Wednesday, we offer our annual Lenten Confessions evening at 7pm in our church. As of this writing, we have 7 priests confirmed to be present to hear our confessions. We will be there until the last penitent has received absolution. Do not pass up this opportunity the Lord is offering you to cleanse your soul.
Holy Thursday we celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper where we will have the traditional Washing of the Feet and Eucharistic Procession to the Altar of Repose. On this day, we commemorate the institution of the priesthood and the Eucharist. Two central realities of our faith that make us uniquely Catholic. The altar of repose will be open until Midnight, and for those who wish to make the pilgrimage of the Seven Monuments that evening which is so common in Latin America, here is a list of six other churches that will make it easy to finish by Midnight: St. Thomas, St. Augustine, St. Raymond, St. Michael, St. Hugh, and the Shrine of Lady of Charity (La Ermita).
On Good Friday, we observe a day of fasting as we focus on the death of our Lord. The cross is presented to us as a sign of Christ’s victory over sin and death. We will be invited during the liturgy to come forward to venerate the cross and stare on Christ’s broken body. Broken for our offenses. Broken so that we may live! After the last liturgy of the day, we will have a procession around our neighborhood with the statue of the corpse of Christ. A truly somber and moving experience.
Holy Saturday marks a day of silence as we stare upon the reality of the tomb and anticipate what is to come that evening at the Great Easter Vigil. I say it every year: if you have never been to an Easter Vigil, join us as we celebrate the most beautiful liturgy of the year. We live for this night! We begin in darkness and slowly build towards the celebration of Christ’s resurrection! There is nothing like hearing the Gloria sung during the Easter Vigil. We also welcome new members into our parish family who have been preparing for baptism. It is the night of all nights. And if I may tempt you to come in a very practical way: if you wish to avoid the big crowds of Easter Sunday, come to the Easter Vigil.
Yes, this a week like no other. Let us treat it as such. The detailed schedule for Holy Week is printed later in this bulletin. Join us for the Holy Triduum. May we walk with Jesus on the road to Calvary and wake up on Easter morning renewed by the Risen Christ!
God bless you all,