APRIL 5-11 2020
Palm Sunday is the final Sunday of Lent, the beginning of Holy Week, and commemorates the triumphant arrival of Christ in Jerusalem, days before he was crucified. On Palm Sunday weekend we have the Blessing and Procession of Palms, and the Reading of the Passion.
Palm Sunday is known as such because the faithful will often receive palm fronds which they use to participate in the reenactment of Christ's arrival in Jerusalem. In the Gospels, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a young donkey, and to the lavish praise of the townspeople who threw clothes, or possibly palms or small branches, in front of him as a sign of homage. This was a customary practice for people of great respect.
The Triduum, meaning three days, consists of Holy Thursday (Mass of the Lord’s Supper), Good Friday (Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion) and Easter Sunday (Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord). The Triduum, though consisting of three chronological days, is one continuous liturgical day celebrating the revelation of Christ’s Paschal Mystery.
HOLY THURSDAY – Mass of the Lord’s Supper – 7:00 p.m. We welcome the Passover of the Lord with the Liturgy of the Word, and the celebration of the Eucharist. At the presentation of the gifts, there will be a collection of the Rice Bowls which we have been contributing to throughout this season of Lent.
Holy Thursday is the commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, when He established the sacrament of Holy Communion prior to his arrest and crucifixion. Jesus celebrated the dinner as a Passover feast. It was at this meal that Jesus says the words seen in the quote from the Gospel of Luke above that we hear at every Mass.
It also commemorates His institution of the priesthood with "The Greatest Commandment", to "love one another as I have loved you" (John 13:34-35) . This establishment of the priesthood is reenacted at Mass with the priest washing the feet of several parishioners. Christ would fulfill His role as the Christian victim of the Passover for all to be saved by His final sacrifice.
On Good Friday we pray the Stations of the Cross at 3:00 p.m. The Celebration of the Passion and Death of the Lord is at 7:00 p.m. We prostrate ourselves in silence. We listen to the Liturgy of the Word and Passion; we make intercessions for the whole world. We venerate the Cross and receive Communion reserved from last evening’s Mass. There will be a special collection for the Holy Land. (The Church will remain open all day for prayer). Today is a day of fast (ages 18-59) and abstinence (14 years and over).
The liturgical observance of this day of Christ's suffering, crucifixion and death evidently has been in existence from the earliest days of the Church. No Mass is celebrated on this day, but the service of Good Friday is called the Mass of the Pre-Sanctified because Communion (in the species of bread) which had already been consecrated on Holy Thursday is given to the people.
Traditionally, the organ is silent from Holy Thursday until the Alleluia at the Easter Vigil, as are all bells or other instruments, the only music during this period being unaccompanied chant.
The omission of the prayer of consecration deepens our sense of loss because Mass throughout the year reminds us of the Lord's triumph over death, the source of our joy and blessing. The desolate quality of the rites of this day reminds us of Christ's humiliation and suffering during his Passion.
On Holy Saturday we join in the solemn Celebration of the Easter Vigil at 8:00 p.m. (There will be no 4:00 p.m. Mass) We will gather for the lighting of the new fire and blessing of the Easter Candle. We listen to the age-old stories of our faith and sing the first Alleluias of Easter.
BRING A BELL – If you attend the Easter Vigil, please bring a bell from home to be rung when the Glory to God is sung and the Church bells are ringing. We have been focused on the coming of the Kingdom during our Lenten journey. We now celebrate the coming of the Kingdom through Jesus' Resurrection with the Return of Alleluia!
THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD
EASTER MORNING – We celebrate the joy of Easter Day. Masses will be celebrated at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. There will be no 6:00 PM Mass.
Easter is the celebration of Christ's resurrection from the dead. His resurrection marks the triumph of good over evil, sin and death. Easter represents the fulfillment of God's promises to mankind, it is the most important holiday on the Christian calendar.