CHRIST OUR SAVIOR
Roman Catholic Parish
MANCHESTER, VERMONT

 
 

April 14, 2019

Dear All,

Lent is almost gone and it is time to consider once more the mysteries of Holy Week. With Palm Sunday well celebrated, for three days the Church settles into the contemplation of the events of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the last week of Jesus' life and a meditative reading of three of the Songs of the Suffering Servant; the fourth is the first reading for Good Friday.

Then comes The Triduum, the Great Three Days of our Salvation.

On Thursday evening the Church commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and the Priesthood with the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper. The lessons link Jesus' actions at that meal to the Passover observance of ancient Israel and to the ministry of charity and service that are to characterize the life of the Church; all of this within the context of the celebration of the Eucharist that is the very life blood of the Church. This celebration takes place at 7pm.

That Mass is followed by an evening of prayer and reflection in the chapel of repose.

At 5.30 pm on Good Friday, we celebrate the stark and solemn observance of the Lord's Passion and Death. The Proclamation of the Passion, with veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion provide a quiet, meditative service in which to experience some of the sorrow of the Lord's Passion accompanied by some hope of our salvation.

The Seven Last Words of Christ, this service of word, music and silence prolongs the themes of the Solemn Liturgy

Both the Thursday and Friday services are followed by an opportunity for private confession.

Again this year we will be blessing Easter foods, some fun, some fancy, some real meals (all in fancy baskets) on the morning of Holy Saturday at 11am. This ritual has its origins in Poland, but has parallels in Italy, as well. This ten-minute blessing is a neat and lovely way to introduce children to a more sacred way of anticipating seasonal sweets.

The Solemn Vigil of Easter is not for the faint of heart. Extra readings and music make for a longer-than- average Liturgy of the Word. But the sheer beauty of the ceremony of lighting the new fire and the Easter Candle more than repay the time and devotion needed to take part in this once-a-year liturgy.

On Easter Morning, there are two Masses at 8 and 10. These Masses are truly festive and are accompanied by the Renewal of Baptismal Promises.

This is the greatest week of the Church's year. While it is less romantic and child friendly than Christmas, it is, for adults, faith's answer to the deepest questions life poses and hope's invitation to new life even amidst the wreckage of the old.

Really, truly and weakly yours,

tm

     



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