April 2, 2023
Today we celebrate Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. Today begins Holy Week. Mass begins with us commemorating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem amid cries of joyful Hosannas. We wave palm branches commemorating His triumph as King of Israel. As did the people of Jerusalem that day, we sing Hosanna to the Son of David. But the mood changes dramatically as we begin the Liturgy of the Word. It takes us into the moments when Jesus begins His Passion and leads us to His Cross and burial. For all Catholics, Holy Week is an opportunity to relive our faith in Jesus, the Son of God, who in one complete act of divine love, suffered and died for our salvation. It holds the Church’s greatest liturgies and the events that have shaped our Church for two Millenia. Here at St. Luke I encourage all parishioners to join me in celebrating each day. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the late days of Lent lead up to what the Church calls the Sacred Triduum. (The three holiest of days) Holy Thursday commemorates the institution of the priesthood and the Eucharist. There is no morning Mass this day in parishes. Priests gather with the Archbishop to renew and rededicate themselves to the holy priesthood. This is named the Chrism Mass as holy oils are blessed for the Sacraments of Baptism, the Anointing of the Sick, and Confirmation. Mass of the Lord’s Supper here in our parish will be at 7:00pm. On Good Friday, no masses are permitted throughout the Church. A service of the Lord’s Passion is celebrated in starkness that helps us reflect on Christ’s suffering and death. During the service, we acknowledge or faith as we venerate the Holy Cross and then receive Holy Communion from hosts consecrated on Holy Thursday. The Service of the Lord’s Passion will be at 7:00pm. On Holy Saturday the Church waits in silence and reflection as we prepare for the great Vigil of Easter. This mass is the Liturgy of all liturgies. It is a liturgy that has four parts. The first part begins in darkness and the Easter candle enters the Church to signify Christ our Light that no darkness can extinguish. The second part is a Liturgy of the Word where we recall the way God has saved His people time and time again throughout the Old Testament. It leads us into responding with the singing of the Glory to God, which we haven’t sung throughout Lent, followed by an epistle reminding us of the importance of our Baptism. We now sing a solemn Responsorial Psalm with the word we also haven’t sung during Lent, Alleluia. Climaxing the Liturgy of the Word is our Gospel in which St. Mathew describes the Resurrection of the Lord. Part three is dedicated to the celebration of Sacraments of Initiation. When there are no candidates to be baptized, as is our case this year, the congregation renews their baptismal promises which takes the place of the Creed. The fourth part is the joyful celebration of the Eucharist. Our Easter Vigil Mass will be at 8:00pm, after sundown. Though perhaps a longer Mass, it is well worth celebrating. In this Mass the power and meaning of Christ’s Resurrection resonates in our minds and hearts. Please make it a Holy Week by celebrating these high holy days as a family of faith.
God Bless! Happy Lent!
Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys. Fr. Pete