After a nine day pilgrimage to Fatima and Lourdes, it is good to be home! I am grateful to Fr Jim Bonke, Fr. Jeff Godecker, Fr. Joseph Cox and Fr. Eric Augenstein for celebrating Masses at CTK while I was gone.
We now prepare for the celebration of Holy Week, the most important week of our Church Year. Holy Week is unlike any other week and I hope that everyone will make every effort to participate in as many of the special liturgies as possible.
The doors of Holy Week open to us this weekend with our celebration of Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. Jesus enters Jerusalem and is hailed as king by the crowds who welcome him with palms. The blessed palms should be treated with respect as a sacramental and placed by a crucifix or a holy picture in our homes as a reminder that we are part of that crowd that has hailed Jesus as our king.
On Tuesday, Archbishop Thompson will celebrate the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul at 2:00 p.m. This Mass is open to everyone and I encourage those who are able to join in the celebration to do so. Almost all of the priests of the Archdiocese will be present at the Mass with Archbishop Thompson. The priests will renew their promise to serve the People of God as priests of the New Covenant and the Archbishop will bless the holy oils that will be used in our celebration of the sacraments throughout the year.
Holy Thursday we will begin the Triduum – the three holiest days of the Church Year. The triduum begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00 p.m. We will solemnly remember the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood at the Last Supper. Following Mass the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed until 10:00 p.m.
Good Friday is the only day of the year in which Mass is not celebrated anywhere in the world. At the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion at 2:00 p.m. we will remember the one, perfect sacrifice that is made present in time and space whenever we celebrate the Eucharist. “There is no greater love than this that a man should lay down his life for his friends.” At 6:00 p.m. the eighth grade students of CKS will lead us in the Living Stations of the Cross in Tuohy Hall.
Holy Saturday Easter food will be blessed in the church as 11:00 a.m. This is a custom that dates back to the 15th century by families in Poland and Eastern Europe. All are welcome to bring food to be blessed in preparation for Easter dinner. At 8:00 p.m. we will gather for the Church’s most important liturgy – the great Easter Vigil. At this Mass we will celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation with the men and women of the RCIA and we will all renew our baptismal promises. The Vigil concludes with the celebration of the first of the Easter Masses.
Easter Sunday we will follow the regular Sunday Mass schedule as once again the ‘Alleluias’ will flow from Christ the King!
See you at Mass!