From the Pastor – April 4, 2009

Today marks the beginning of our Holy Week celebration. And if you’ve rarely experienced the events of Holy Week, consider doing so this year.

On HOLY THURSDAY we will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00 p.m., the Mass commemorating the institution of the Holy Eucharist where Jesus also washed his Apostle’s feet.  This Mass begins the Sacred Triduum, and it is when the Eucharist is taken out of the main Tabernacle and “reposed” in another altar to commemorate the arrest of Jesus and imprisonment of Jesus.  This year we will have Adoration at this Altar of Repose from the end of Mass until the sun rises on Good Friday at 6:00 a.m.

The GOOD FRIDAY service with Veneration of the Cross begins at 3:00 p.m.,the hour of the death of Our Lord, and Stations of the Cross will take place at 6:30 p.m. Finally, the EASTER VIGIL Mass at 8:00 p.m., which will be preceded by Confessions at 6:30 p.m. There will be no 4:00 p.m. vigil Mass, and Masses on EASTER SUNDAY will be at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

This Sunday’s feast commemorates an event mentioned by all four of the Gospels: the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before His suffering and death.  According to the Gospels, before entering Jerusalem Jesus sent two disciples to retrieve a colt. He then rode the colt into Jerusalem, and the people lay down their cloaks and small branches of trees in front of him. The people sang Psalm 118:  “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” In order to commemorate this event, palm fronds are blessed and a procession enters the church singing, re-enacting the entry into Jerusalem.

However, the “official” name of this Sunday is “Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord.” Last week and next week are part of what the Church has referred to as “Passiontide.” The “Passion” is the word that that Church as used from the earliest centuries to refer to the suffering and death of Jesus. Since last Sunday we have been using the Mass Preface for the Passion of Our Lord, and today we will remember his suffering and death as we prayerfully read the events of His Passion.  May our meditation on the suffering and death of Christ allow us to more fully appreciate the Glory of Easter!