From the Administrator
Well Folks, Holy Week is upon us! I thought I’d take this week’s article to explain a few of the traditions as we enter this most sacred week of the Year.
Palm Sunday—Today we celebrate the entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem. We’re all familiar with carrying the palms in Church. The rite recalls Jesus coming into Jerusalem as the crowds cheer him on, only to have them turn on him a few days later.
Monday—Chrism Mass (Altoona Cathedral) — The Chrism mass is the annual mass where the sacred oils are blessed. This sacred Chrism recalls Jesus as being anointed as King. The oil of catechumens strengthens those preparing for their entrance into the faith, and the oil of the sick prepares those who may soon embark on their final journey home
Tuesday—(St Stephen) ”Spy” Tuesday—The readings at daily mass recall the betrayal of Jesus by his disciple Judas Iscariot
Wednesday—(St. Stephen) ”Betrayal” Wednesday—the readings at daily mass recall Judas turning Jesus over to his persecuters
Holy Thursday—(St. Stephen) We celebrate the Mass of the Lor’d’s Supper. There are 4 basic parts to this mass. 1st, the reception of the blessed oils from the Chrism Mass. 2nd The washing of the feet of the disciples, symbolizing Jesus, who leads by serving others. 3rd, the Mass of the Last Supper, the institution of the Eucharist and of the Priesthood, and 4th, the transfer of the Eucharist, where Jesus is taken in procession through the Church, as a symbol of his final journey to Calvary. Then, after a period of adoration until midnight, is removed from the Church in preparation for Good Friday
Good Friday—(Both Churches) — The celebration of the Lord’s Passion. We again read the psssion story, and we venerate the cross. This is a time for us to recognize just how much our God loves us, how he was willing to suffer anything, even death on a cross, for us.
Easter Vigil (IC) - This is the great feast of the resurrection of our Lord, the holiest day of the year. We gather after dark with an outdoor fire, we enter a dark church, we bless holy water, we hear the great stories of how God saves his people, and we celebrate the single greatest reality that changed the world forever. Jesus Christ is risen from the dead!
I hope that all of you will take the time this week to participate in as many of the Holy Week Services as you are able. I know this will involve a trip for some, but I do hope we can together make this Holy week a meaningful one for everyone.