March 25, 2018

Friends,

This is Palm Sunday weekend and begins the most sacred week of the Church year. Lent will be ending as we begin the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday & Holy Saturday), which leads us in a dramatic way to the celebration of Easter. In my notes this weekend I want to do all I can to encourage you to participate in our Holy Week services.

Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus entering into Jerusalem as his death and resurrection begins to unfold. We distribute palm branches at our liturgies in memory of that event. Traditionally, Catholics take the palms home and place them somewhere in their house that is visible. It is a symbol of Christ’s victory over death. I usually have my palm either behind a crucifix or holy picture somewhere on the wall of my room; I then replace it every year. It’s one of my many reminders of my Catholic faith.

Holy Thursday (St Anne’s this year) is the evening on which we commemorate the Lord’s Supper and the institution of the Eucharist. We include the traditional washing of the feet of 12 of our parishioners. It is a very moving re-enactment of Christ’s actions commemorated in John’s Gospel. Traditionally, we also celebrate Holy Thursday as a memorial of the institution of the priesthood. The new rubrics (guidelines) for parishes in a collaborative tell us “If the Good Friday liturgy and Holy Thursday Mass are celebrated in different churches, the Thursday evening Mass ends with the Blessed Sacrament placed in the tabernacle. There is no adoration following the Mass.” 

On Good Friday (St Pius X this year), the service is very solemn as we remember the death of Christ. Traditionally, the Passion read. We have it re-enacted by the students in our grades 9 and 10 Faith Formation program. The service also invites everyone to venerate the cross and concludes with Communion. (We receive the Body of Christ only because Good Friday is not a Mass and we don’t consecrate the wine. We use the bread consecrated on Holy Thursday for the Good Friday service.)

Holy Saturday (Most Precious Blood this year) is highlighted with the lighting of the new Easter candle and the singing of the Exsultet. We then read about our salvation history in scripture passages that lead us to the account of the Resurrection. At all Easter Masses including Holy Saturday, we are invited to renew our Baptism vows. 

All three services (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) begin at 7:30 PM.

We invite your family, friends, and all our parishioners to celebrate Easter Sunday with us at the churches of the Blue Hills Collaborative.

May you spend the day surrounded by those you love.

Happy Easter!
Fr. Coyne

 

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