Today, Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, we begin the holiest week of the Church Year. I encourage you to participate as fully as possible in the Easter Triduum liturgies. The schedule is again included in the bulletin.
The “Three Great Days” of the Paschal Triduum are the centerpiece and climax of the entire Liturgical Year. They are counted from sunset to sunset, beginning with the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper and concluding with Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday. Most parishes do not celebrate Easter Sunday Evening Prayer. However, many Religious Communities and some Cathedral Parishes publicly celebrate Easter Sunday Vespers (Evening Prayer).
These “Three Great Days” are not a reenactment of historical events. Like all liturgy we celebrate, we make memorial. In other words, we celebrate in such a manner that Christ’s life-saving Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension (the Paschal Mystery) are made present here and now. The Greek term for this is anamnesis. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is a one-time sacrifice which is made present time and again throughout history.
We celebrate the Paschal Mystery at every Eucharist, in every sacrament, and in the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours. We will celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours twice during the Triduum: Compline (Night Prayer) at the closing of Adoration (Prayer in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament), and Midday Prayer with the Blessing of Easter Foods on Holy Saturday morning.
If you plan on attending the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral on Tuesday at 10:30 AM and have not yet spoken to me, please call the Parish Office and leave a message with Alex no later than Noon on Monday. At this liturgy, the Bishop blesses the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of the Catechumens and consecrates the Chrism. Representatives of the parish receive the oils, and at Holy Thursday Mass, present those oils to the pastor or pastoral administrator. This demonstrates the ecclesiology of the connection of the Bishop to the diocesan parishes. The ministry of all priests, pastoral administers, and laity is an extension of the ministry of the bishop, the chief shepherd of the diocese.
Each parish has been invited to bring 10 parishioners to the Chrism Mass. Because of parking, we must carpool. Those attending the Chrism Mass are asked to meet in the church parking lot no later than 9:30 AM.
Please take some time this week to meditate on the rich Scripture Readings assigned for each day.
Blessings on this most Holy Week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ