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Easter Customs for the Home

April 20, 2014

Celebrate all 50 days of Easter!

Here are some ideas…

Easter Breads: Jesus is the Bread of Life.
Rising bread reminds us of His Resurrection
& the Kingdom of Heaven is like a little yeast that made the whole mass of dough rise (Luke 13:21).
Easter breads are sweet & rich.
For one version, braid a sweet bread dough (braid symbolizes the Trinity),
shape into a circle (circle symbolizes eternity) & let rise.
Then place 5 raw, washed eggs into the top of the bread (symbolizing Jesus’ 5 wounds) & bake.
The eggs can be “painted” with food coloring after baking.

Eggs: symbolic of new life
(chick comes from a seemingly dead egg as Jesus came from a seemingly dead tomb).
Decorate eggs with religious themes
(including the symbols listed on the “Christmas Customs” handout, palms for Palm Sunday, “Alleluia”, “Gloria”, lilies, shell for Baptism, rising sun, wheat & grapes, etc).
Decorate a “tree” (branch stuck in a flowerpot) with decorated blown eggs.

Easter week: the first 8 days of Easter are all Solemnities (the highest celebration of the entire year). Celebrate all week! Go to daily Mass if you can (spend time with the Risen Lord).

New clothes: Since we renew our Baptismal promises at Easter,
we “put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27) all over again.
New clothes symbolize this new life (consider giving away clothing you no longer wear).

Easter Walk: Go for a walk in remembrance of Jesus’ walk with His disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Talk about stories from the Bible, as they did.
Walk to Mass if you can, since the walk to Emmaus ended with “the breaking of the bread”,
a phrase used in the New Testament to refer to the Mass.

Picnic Breakfast: Have a picnic breakfast outside (if it’s warm enough) or on a blanket on the floor
in honor of the picnic breakfast Jesus had with His disciples on the beach (read John 21).
Go to a beach if you can.

Meditate on the Stations of Light (the Easter version of the Stations of the Cross):
These stations were inspired by an inscription of I Corinthians 15:3-8
in the Catacombs of St. Callistus in Rome.

1) The Women Come to the Tomb and Encounter an Angel (Mark 16:1-3, Matthew 28: 2-8).

2) The Disciples Discover the Empty Tomb (John 20:3-10)

3) The Risen Lord Appears to Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles (John 20:11-18)

4) The Risen Lord Appears on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-27)

5) The Risen Lord is Recognized in the Breaking of the Bread (Luke 24: 28-35)

6) The Risen Lord Appears to the Community of Disciples (Luke 24: 36-45)

7) The Risen Lord Gives the Disciples the Power to Forgive (John 20: 20b-23)

8 ) The Risen Lord Confirms the Faith of Thomas (John 20: 24-29)

9) The Risen Lord Eats with the Disciples on the Shore of Tiberias (John 21:1-14)

10) The Risen Lord Forgives Peter and Commissions Him to Lead His Church (John 21: 15-19)

11) The Risen Lord Sends the Disciples to All Nations (Matthew 28: 16-20)

12) The Risen Lord Ascends into Heaven (Mark 16: 19, Acts 1:10-12)

13) Mary and the Disciples Keep Vigil in the Upper Room for the Spirit’s Advent (Acts 1:4-5, 13-14)

14) The Risen Lord Sends the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-6, 14, 37-38, 41)

Decorations: uncover the religious images you covered during Passiontide (the last 2 weeks of Lent)

White: decorate your home & yourself in the liturgical color of Easter

Easter Scene: Consider using greenery (or Easter grass), an empty cross (2 sticks tied together ) draped with a white cloth, a lamb (from a nativity scene), empty tomb (make one of paper mâché),
have a figurine of Mary (from a nativity scene) looking into the tomb, add flowers–be creative!

Alleluia & Gloria: Make a sign or banner of these, now that they’ve returned.
Sing songs with Alleluia & Gloria. Use these words in decorations, cards, etc.

Candles: Christ is our Light. Light a white candle at home like the Easter candle at church.

Blessed Fire: Families used to light their family hearth from the blessed Easterfire
& keep it burning all year.
See if you can keep the fire burning through the Easter season.

Lilies: symbol of purity, and of the joy of Easter.

Butterflies: Symbolic of new life (coming out of the “tomb” of the cocoon).

Lambs: Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away our sins (butter lambs & lamb cakes are fun too).

Water: symbol of Baptism. Surround a fountain or a bowl of water with flowers or greenery.
Put holy water fonts in your home & bless yourself with the holy water often.

Jonah & the whale: also symbolic of new life. Tell the story, act it out, and/or use it in decorations.

Easter Scavenger Hunt: Take turns finding items symbolic of Jesus’ Resurrection,
reading the Scripture verses & talking about them (maybe one/day at supper).
Use these or make up your own:
3 (the third day, Luke 24:21);
1 (first day of the week, Mark 16:2);
wax & string (tomb was sealed, Matthew 27:66–breaking a Roman seal was punishable by death);
alarm clock (early morning, Mark 16:2);
women (first at the tomb, Mark 16:1);
sweet spices (took spices to the tomb, John 24:1);
shake a box of rocks (earthquake, Matthew 28:2);
angel (announced resurrection, Matthew 28:2);
snow (garments dazzling as snow, Matthew 28:3);
soldiers (guarded tomb, Matthew 28:4);
stone (rolled away, Mark 16:1-4);
running shoes (Peter & John ran to the tomb, John 20:3-9),
white cloth (shroud, John 20:1-10);
salt water (Mary Magdalene’s tears, John 20:11-18);
garden tools (Mary thought she saw the gardener, John 20:14-15),
cling wrap (Jesus told Mary to stop clinging to Him, John 20:17),
coins (soldiers were bribed, Matthew 28:11-15);
road (disciples were traveling, Luke 24:13);
? (disciples were confused, Luke 24:17-24);
Bible (Jesus explained Scriptures, Luke 24:13-27, 45);
invitation (disciples urged Jesus to stay with them, Luke 24:29);
unleavened bread (it was still “the Feast of Unleavened Bread”;
knew Jesus in the breaking of bread, Luke 24:28-35);
fire (“weren’t our hearts burning?”, Luke 24:32);
picture of the pope (Jesus appeared to Peter, Luke 24:34, I Corinthians 15:5);
key (doors were locked; Jesus enabled disciples to forgive–unlock sins, John 20:19-23);
dove (“Peace be with you”, John 20:19);
ghost (disciples thought Jesus was a ghost, Luke 24:37);
shake a finger (disciples scolded for disbelief, Mark 16:14);
fish (ate a piece of fish, Luke 24:36-45);
hand (“Thomas, put your hand My side”, John 20:24-29);
sand (Jesus appeared on the beach, John 21:1-7);
net or boat (the great catch, John 21:7-14);
charcoal (charcoal fire, John 21:9);
heart (“Peter, do you love Me?”, John 21:15);
sheep (“Peter, feed My sheep”, John 21:15-20);
rope or belt (prediction of Peter’s martyrdom, John 21:18-19);
crown (Jesus spoke of the Kingdom, Acts 1:3);
globe (“go into the whole world”, Mark 16:15);
water (command to baptize, Matthew 28:19);
triangle or triquetra (Trinity, Matthew 28:19);
apple (symbolizing teachers–disciples are to teach Jesus’ commands, Matthew 28:20);
clothing (wait to be clothed with power from on high, Luke 24:49);
Tabernacle (“I AM with you always”, Matthew 28:20);
blessing (Jesus blessed them, Luke 24:50-51);
tuft of cotton (cloud took Him from sight, Acts 1:3-11);
Mary (praying with Mary, Acts 1:12-14);
long & short sticks (drawing lots to replace Judas, Acts 1:15-26);
fan turned on high (mighty wind, Acts 2: 1-3);
tongue (everyone understood them, Acts 2:3-47);
pile of books (couldn’t contain all Jesus did, John 21:25)

Regina Coeli (“Queen of heaven”)
During the Easter season, this prayer replaces
the Angelus, which is prayed 3 times a day
(morning, noon & night)

Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia!
The Son whom you merited to bear, alleluia!
has risen as He said, alleluia!
Pray for us to God, alleluia!

Verse: Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia!
Response: For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia!

Let us pray.
O God, who by the Resurrection of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
have given joy to the whole world,
grant, we beg You, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother,
we may attain the joys of eternal life.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Angelus

Verse: The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary
Response: and she conceived by the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee…(etc.)

Verse: Behold the handmaid of the Lord
Response: be it done unto me according to Thy word
Hail Mary… (etc.)

Verse: And the Word became flesh
Response: and dwelt among us
Hail Mary… (etc.)

Verse: Pray for us, O holy mother of God
Response: that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Pour forth, we beseech You O Lord, Your grace into our hearts,
that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Your Son,
was made known by the message of an angel
may, by His Passion and Cross,
come to share in the glory of His resurrection,
through this same Christ our Lord. Amen.

May devotions: In the 16th century, St. Philip Neri began the custom
of decorating a statue of Mary with spring flowers.
Jesuit priests later proposed devotions throughout May in her honor.
Surround a statue of Mary with flowers (and perhaps a candle)
and make a point of asking her intercession during this month.
There may also be a “May crowning” at church, in which children crown a statue of Mary with flowers.

Easter Sunday

April 20, 2014

JMJ

Blessed Resurrection Sunday!

Entrance Antiphon:
I have risen, and I AM with you still, alleluia.
You have laid your hand upon me, alleluia.
Too wonderful for me, this knowledge, alleluia, alleluia.
Or:
The Lord is truly risen, alleluia.
To Him be glory and power for all the ages of eternity, alleluia, alleluia

Collect:
O God, who on this day,
through Your Only Begotten Son,
have conquered death
and unlocked for us the path to eternity,
grant, we pray, that we who keep
the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection
may, through the renewal brought by Your Spirit,
rise up in the light of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings:
Acts 10: 34, 37-43 (St. Peter proclaims Jesus’ death and resurrection)
Psalm 118: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23 “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad”
Colossians 3:1-4 (set your heart on things above)
OR I Corinthians 5:6-8 (celebrate, not with corruption, but with sincerity and truth)

Sequence:
Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems: Christ,
Who only is sinless,
Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous:
The Prince of life, Who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring
What you saw wayfaring.
“The tomb of Christ, Who is living,
The glory of Jesus’ resurrection;
Bright angels attesting,
The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen”
To Galilee He goes before you.”
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.
Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
Amen. Alleluia.

+John 20:1-9 (At Mary Magdalene’s word, Peter and John run to the empty tomb)
OR +Luke 24:1-12 (The women meet an angel at the tomb, Peter runs to the tomb)

Darkness passing,
light is dawning,
tomb is empty–
I am running!

Lift my eyes
to things above;
there’s nothing in the tomb
for me
but remnants
of a life
I’ve left behind.

You’ve struck
with power!

Am I living the dynamism of resurrection?

Holy Saturday

April 19, 2014

JMJ

Blessed Holy Saturday!

Today

the Church is, as it were, at the Lord’s tomb,
meditating on His Passion and death,
and on His descent into hell,
and awaiting His Resurrection with prayer and fasting
~Paschalis Solemnitatis, paragraph 73

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Easter Vigil
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Dear brethren,
on this most sacred night,
in which our Lord Jesus Christ
passed over from death to life,
the Church calls upon Her sons and daughters,
scattered throughout the world,
to come together to watch and pray.
If we keep the memorial
of the Lord’s paschal solemnity in this way,
listening to His Word and celebrating His mysteries,
then we shall have the sure hope
of sharing His triumph over death
and living with Him in God.

Let us pray.
O God, Who through Your Son
bestowed upon the faithful the fire of Your glory,
sanctify + this new fire, we pray,
and grant that,
by these paschal celebrations,
we may be so inflamed with heavenly desires,
that with minds made pure
we may attain festivities of unending splendor.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Christ yesterday and today
(the priest cuts a vertical line in the Easter candle)
the beginning and the end
(he cuts a horizontal line)
the Alpha
(he cuts the letter Alpha above the vertical line)
and the Omega
(he cuts the letter Omega below the vertical line)
All time belongs to Him
(he cuts the first numeral of the current year in the upper left corner of the cross)
and all the ages
(he cuts the second numeral of the year in the upper left corner)
To Him be glory and power
(he cuts the third numeral in the lower left corner)
through every age and forever. Amen.
(he cuts the last numeral in the lower right corner)
By His holy
(the priest inserts a grain of incense in the top of the cross)
and glorious wounds
(the priest inserts a grain of incense in the center of the cross)
may Christ the Lord
(the priest inserts a grain of incense in the bottom of the cross)
guard us
(the priest inserts a grain of incense in the left tip of the cross)
and protect us. Amen.
(the priest inserts a grain of incense in the right tip of the cross)

The priest lights the paschal candle from the new fire, saying:
May the Light of Christ rising in glory
dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.

As the people process into the darkened church behind the paschal candle,
the priest or deacon carrying it sings three times:

The Light of Christ
to which the people respond three times
Thanks be to God
After the second time, all light candles from the Paschal candle and continue in procession.
Once everyone is in their place, the lights of the church are turned on.

The Paschal Proclamation (Exultet)
Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven,
exult, let Angel ministers of God exult,
let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph!
Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her,
ablaze with light from her eternal King,
let all corners of the earth be glad,
knowing an end to gloom and darkness.
Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice,
arrayed with the lighting of His glory,
let this holy building shake with joy,
filled with the mighty voices of the peoples.
(Therefore, dearest friends,
standing in the awesome glory of this holy light,
invoke with me, I ask you,
the mercy of God almighty,
that He who has been pleased to number me,
though unworthy, among the Levites,
may pour into me His light unshadowed,
that I may sing this candle’s perfect praises.)
V: The Lord be with you.
R: And with your spirit.
V: Lift up your hearts.
R: We lift them up to the Lord.
V: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R: It is right and just.
It is truly right and just,
with ardent love of mind and heart,
and with devoted service of our voice,
to acclaim our God invisible, the almighty Father,
and Jesus Christ, our Lord, His Son, His Only Begotten.
Who for our sake paid Adam’s debt to the eternal Father,
and pouring out His own dear Blood
wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness.
These then are the feasts of Passover,
in which is slain the Lamb, the one true Lamb,
whose Blood anoints the doorposts of believers.
This is the night,
when once You led our forebears,
Israel’s children, from slavery in Egypt
and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.
This is the night
that with a pillar of fire
banished the darkness of sin.
This is the night
that even now, throughout the world,
sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices
and from the gloom of sin,
leading them to grace,
and joining them to His holy ones.
This is the night
when Christ broke the prison-bars of death, and rose
victorious from the underworld.
Our birth would have been no gain,
had we not been redeemed.
O wonder of Your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling,
to ransom a slave You gave away Your Son!
O truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!
O happy fault
that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!
O truly blessed night,
worthy alone to know the time and hour
when Christ rose from the underworld!
This is the night
of which it is written:
The night shall be as bright as day,
dazzling is the night for me,
and full of gladness.
The sanctifying power of this night
dispels all wickedness, washes faults away,
restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners,
drives out hatred, fosters concord,
and brings down the mighty.
On this, Your night of grace,
O holy Father, accept this candle, a solemn offering,
the work of bees and of Your servants’ hands,
an evening sacrifice of praise,
this gift from Your most holy Church.
But now we know the praises of this pillar,
which glowing fire ignites for God’s honor,
a fire into many flames divided,
yet never dimmed by sharing of its light,
for it is fed by melting wax,
drawn out by mother bees
to build a torch so precious.
O truly blessed night,
when things of Heaven are wed to those of earth,
and divine to the human.
Therefore, O Lord,
we pray You that this candle,
hallowed to the honor of Your name,
may persevere undimmed,
to overcome the darkness of this night
Receive it as a pleasing fragrance,
and let it mingle with the lights of heaven.
May this flame be found still burning by the Morning Star:
the one Morning Star who never sets,
Christ Your Son,
who coming back from death’s domain
has shed His peaceful light on humanity
and lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.

Dear brethren,
now that we have begun our solemn Vigil
let us listen with quiet hearts to the Word of God.
Let us meditate on how God in times past saved His people
and in these, the last days, has sent us His Son as our Redeemer.
Let us pray that our God may complete this paschal work of salvation
by the fullness of redemption.

Readings:
Genesis 1:1-2:2 (Creation)
Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24, 35 “Lord, send out Your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth”
or Psalm 33:4-7, 12-13, 20-22 “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord”
Genesis 22:1-18 (Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac–foreshadowing of Jesus’ crucifixion)
Psalm16:5, 8-11 “Keep me safe O God; You are my hope”
Exodus 14:15-15:1 (the parting of the Red Sea–foreshadowing of Baptism)
Exodus 15:1-6, 17-18 “Let us sing to the Lord; He has covered Himself in glory”
Isaiah 54:5-14 (God, our Bridegroom, will take us back, and love us)
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13 “I will praise You, Lord, for You have rescued me”
Isaiah 55:1-11 (God offers us food and water without cost from His abundance)
Isaiah 12:2-6 “You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation”
Baruch 3:9-15, 32-4:4 (we are in need because we have forsaken God, the Source of everything)
Psalm 19:8-11 “Lord, You have the words of everlasting life”
Ezekiel 36:16-28 (God will forgive and renew us for His own sake)
Psalm 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4 “Like a deer that long for running streams, my soul longs for You, my God”
or Is 12:2-6 “You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation”
or Psalm 51:12-15, 18-19 “Create a clean heart in me, O God”
Romans 6:3-11 (because we have been baptized into Jesus’ death, death has no more power over us)
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23 “Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”
+Matthew 28:1-10 (the two Marys meet an angel, then the risen Lord)

The Lord will see
to it
that we have light
and life and home.

And when we fail,
He sees to it
that there’s a way
to bring us back
while we’re still enemies.

He parts the sea
of death
again
and leads us through
protected,
right and left.

He sprinkles us
to make us clean
with water
pure and blessed.

He will provide
(“to see ahead”)
the sacrifice
we are to offer
on His mount
(where “the Lord sees”
Moriah/Calvary)

in every Mass.

And there’s no need to fear
that we’re not good enough
of course we’re not!
He does all this
because that’s Who He Is.

Our Risen Lord
is He Who Sees
and death itself
confirms His victory.

God is He who sees.
But His seeing is an act of love.
With His seeing He embraces His creatures,
affirms them and encourages them,
since He hates nothing that He has created.
When He had created the world
He saw that “everything was very good.”
He sees men’s possibilities and calls them to use them.
He sees the evil in the world and judges it;
He sees human sin and passes sentence on it.
His judgment penetrates to the roots
and nothing can be hidden from Him–
but He Himself has told us
that He is loving and merciful and forgiving and redeeming…
His seeing is not the kind that merely looks at something;
it is creative love,
it is the power that enables things to be themselves
and rescues them from degeneration and decay.

God turns His face to men and thereby gives Himself to man.
By looking at me He enables me to be myself.
The soul lives on the loving gaze of God:
this is an infinitely deep and blessed mystery.

God is He who sees with the eyes of love,
by whose seeing things are enabled to be themselves,
by whose seeing I am enabled to be myself.
-R. Guardini, “The Living God”

Do I live on the loving gaze of my Risen Lord,
dependent on Him, united with Him in both death and resurrection?

Good Friday

April 18, 2014

JMJ

Blessed Good Friday,

Today begins the novena of Divine Mercy.

There is no Entrance Antiphon or Collect–we pick up where we left off last night…

Prayer: Remember Your mercies, O Lord,
and with Your eternal protection sanctify Your servants,
for whom Christ Your Son, by the shedding of His Blood,
established the Paschal Mystery.
Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

OR:
O God, who, by the Passion of Christ Your Son, our Lord,
abolished the death inherited from ancient sin
by every succeeding generation,
grant that just as, being conformed to Him,
we have borne by the law of nature
the image of the man of earth,
so by the sanctification of grace
we may bear the image of the Man of Heaven.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Readings:
Isaiah 52:13- 53:12 (He Himself was wounded for our sins)
Psalm 31:1-25 “Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit”
Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9 (our High Priest sympathizes with our weakness)
+John 18:1-19:42 (the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ)

The world said
“Have it your way!”
–so we did.
We went astray
and earned the wages of our sins.

But God cannot be “taken in”.
He takes on death with confidence
so we can dare come boldly
when we have no earthly hope
to lay the wages of our sins
at Jesus’ feet
upon the Cross:
where death
will die.

Am I as bold in repentance as I am in “having it my way”?

Holy Thursday

April 17, 2014

JMJ

Blessed Holy Thursday!

We begin at noon, at the cathedral, as our bishop, our successor to the apostles,
gathers his brother priests to celebrate the Chrism Mass.
At this Mass, chrism, the perfumed oil
which is used to signify the indelible gift of the Holy Spirit
in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders,
will be consecrated.
As Christ (literally, “the anointed one”) was anointed priest, prophet and king
(see Exodus 29: 1-9, I Kings 19:16, Samuel 10:1 & 16:1-13, Acts 10:38),
so are Christians–with chrism.
The Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick will be blessed at this Mass,
and priests will renew their commitment to the ordained priesthood
which Christ instituted on this day when He commanded His first bishops,

Do this in remembrance of Me
~Luke 22:19

Chrism Mass

Entrance Antiphon:
Jesus Christ has made us into a kingdom, priests for His God and Father.
To Him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect:
O God, who anointed Your Only Begotten Son with the Holy Spirit
and made Him Christ and Lord,
graciously grant,
that, being made sharers in His consecration,
we may bear witness to Your redemption in the world.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings for the Mid-day Chrism Mass:
Isaiah 61:1-9 (The Lord anointed me to bring glad tidings to the lowly)
Psalm 89:21-22, 25-27 “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord”
Revelation 1:5-8 (Christ has made us into a Kingdom, priests for His God and Father)
+Luke 4:16-21 (The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me)

Thank God for priests!

His Holy Spirit
rests on them:
anointed,
as they are,
with holy oil
to bring glad tidings
to the poor,
release to captives,
sight to blind.

They give us crowns
in place of ashes;
oil of gladness
when we mourn.
They wield the keys
that set us free
from sin–
they have an “in”
with God–
and He has promised
a reward.

Do I thank God for the priests through whom He’s ministered to me–even if they get on my nerves?

The Sacred Triduum

At long last we enter the Sacred Triduum,
literally “three days” that form a single celebration
of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We see, hear, we smell, we taste, we touch
–we are immersed–
in the mysteries of our salvation.
There are significant intermissions in this one celebration, so that we can go home and rest,
but the celebration we begin tonight will not end until Easter Sunday.
This is the culmination, the highest point, of the entire year.
Come, let us worship…

Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Entrance Antiphon:
We should glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection, through whom we are saved and delivered.

Collect:
O God, who have called us to participate
in this most sacred Supper,
in which Your Only Begotten Son,
when about to hand Himself over to death,
entrusted to the Church a sacrifice new for all eternity.
the banquet of His love,
grant, we pray, that we may draw from so great a mystery,
the fullness of charity and of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings:
Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14 (the first Passover)
Psalm 116:12-14, 15-18 “Our blessing-cup is a communion with the blood of Christ”
I Corinthians 11:23-26 (the institution of the Eucharist)
+John 13:1-15 (Jesus washes His disciples’ feet)

In order for destruction
to pass over us
we must fulfill
the ritual.

We have to let
our Savior
wash our feet
in the confessional
and then pass on
the gift
by washing
other dirty feet
in preparation
for the feast.

The Lamb is slain!
and we partake
with bitter herbs
of penitence–
His Blood
upon the doorposts
of our lips,
our staff in hand,
prepared for flight…
this is the night!

Do I expect to have a share in Jesus without letting Him wash my feet–His way?
Am I prepared for action, prepared to break free from the slavery of sin through the new Passover–
Jesus’ Passion re-presented in the holy sacrifice of the Mass?

Wednesday of Holy Week

April 16, 2014

JMJ

Blessed Spy Wednesday!

Spy Wednesday is a popular term, not a liturgical one,
yet it describes Judas’ new position among the disciples.
Today he becomes a spy among the Twelve, an informer for the enemy,
waiting for the opportune moment to hand over his Lord to condemnation and death.

Entrance Antiphon:
At the Name of Jesus, every knee should bend, of those in Heaven and on the earth,
for the Lord became obedient unto death, death on a cross:
therefore Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Collect:
O God, who willed Your Son to submit for our sake
to the yoke of the Cross,
so that You might drive from us the power of the enemy,
grant us, Your servants, to attain the grace of the resurrection.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings:
Isaiah 50:4-9 (My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting)
Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34 “Lord, in Your great love, answer me.”
+Matthew 26:14-25 (Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed)

The Word won’t sell Himself
for any price.

I cannot make Him
reconsider
by my buffetings
and scorn.

He rouses me
with Truth
unflinchingly.

The only question is
if I will sell
myself.

Death rather than sin!
~St. Dominic Savio

What’s my price? Is it less than the price Jesus paid for me?

Tuesday of Holy Week

April 15, 2014

JMJ

Blessed Tuesday!

Entrance Antiphon:

Do not leave me to the will of my foes, O Lord,
for false witnesses rise up against me and they breathe out violence.

Collect:
Almighty ever-living God,
grant us so to celebrate
the mysteries of the Lord’s Passion
that we may merit to receive Your pardon.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings:
Isaiah 49:1-6 (God has prepared His servant for a mission to the whole world)
Psalm 71:1-6, 17 “I will sing of Your salvation”
+John 13: 21-33, 36-38 (Jesus predicts Judas’ betrayal & Peter’s denial)

He chose me
and He knows me
better than
I know myself.

He knows
I will betray Him
and deny…

and though it deeply troubles Him
He will not let it stop Him
from pursuing me
with kindness
whether I respond
or not.

Would I keep reaching out to someone if I knew they would never change?
Do let the behavior of others prevent me from being the person I most deeply want to be?

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