This Sunday we enter into the holiest week of the Church Year as we celebrate Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. Following the Blessing and Dismissal at Eucharist today, we depart from church in silence and enter into a “week of retreat.” Lent ends on Holy Thursday evening as we enter into the Sacred Paschal Triduum, the “Great Three Days,” the center point and climax of the entire Liturgical Year. Thursday of the Lord’s Supper, Friday of the Lord’s Passion, and the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night are actually one liturgy over the span of three days. We celebrate the Paschal Mystery in a most solemn manner, making memorial of the life-saving Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. I encourage all of us to enter fully into the celebration of the Easter Triduum. All three days of Triduum this year are taking place at the parish Church. Please note the schedule in today’s bulletin.
The Chrism Mass is taking place this year at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church on Tuesday at 10:30 AM (as the Cathedral is presently undergoing restoration and renovation). The Chrism Mass is the liturgy at which Bishop Cistone blesses the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of the Catechumens, and consecrates the Chrism for the coming year for the Cathedral parish and all of the parishes throughout the diocese. It is also the Eucharist which celebrates priesthood: the priests concelebrate Mass with the bishop, a sign of the unity and communion of the priests with their bishop, and a sign that the ministry of the priest is an extension of the ministry of the bishop. At this liturgy, the priests take part in the Renewal of Priestly Promises. At the end of the Mass, representatives from all of the parishes receive the holy oils to take back to their respective parishes and present them to the pastor or pastoral administrator as part of the ritual of the Holy Thursday liturgy. Those attending the Chrism Mass from Saint John Paul II Parish are asked to meet in the church parking lot at 9:00 AM on Tuesday in order to carpool together. The plan is to arrive at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church by 9:15 AM to insure that our vessels for the holy oils are in place, and individuals needing instructions will be on time.
Blessings on your Holy Week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ