The days of Holy Week are quickly approaching. The doors to this most special week of our Church Year will open to us with our celebration of Palm Sunday this weekend. As we continue our social distancing in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, there will be no public celebrations of Holy Week in our parish churches this year. We will, however, have the opportunity to participate in the special liturgies of Holy Week virtually.
Palm Sunday Mass and the blessing of the palms will take place at Christ the King this Sunday morning and the recorded Mass will be made available at l 0:00 am. Let us be united as a parish community in sharing this experience together, albeit virtually. The palms that will be blessed at this Mass will be available to us when we are eventually able to return to our parish church for Mass.
At the heart of Holy Week is the Triduum, the three days in which we solemnly commemorate the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, Jesus' self-sacrificing gift of his life to us on the cross on Good Friday, and the solemn vigil of Holy Saturday that leads to the celebration of the first of the Easter Masses. These Masses will be live-streamed from the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul and may be accessed by logging into www.archindy.org. Please watch our website for the posting of the times of these most important celebrations. The Mass of Easter Sunday will be recorded from Christ the King and will be made available at 10:00 am.
These are difficult times, but in the worst of times, we see the best of people. I am heartened by the daily stories of goodness and kindness that are all around us in these days as we look out for one another. These stories of goodness and kindness will be an important part of the history of the Great Pandemic of 2020. We are all part of thls history.
As we prepare for Holy Week, I would like to suggest a way in which we as parishioners of Christ the King can witness to and celebrate our faith in the unusual circumstances in which we live it this year. I would like to invite every parish family to place a cross in the front yard of the family home. It would be a great project for families with children to build together. Large or small, the cross will identify us as a people of faith and a people whose faith is centered on the empty tomb of Easter Sunday. A red cloth could be draped over the cross during Holy Week and replaced with a white cloth on Easter Sunday. We decorate our homes for Christmas, this may be a meaningful way to decorate our homes for Easter, especially this year. For parishioners for whom it may not be possible to prepare an outdoor cross, a cross or a crucifix placed in the front window of the home might also be a possibility or children could decorate the front window of the home with a multi-colored crepe paper cross.
It would be great if we took pictures of our 'Easter crosses' and shared them with one another as our Easter greetings this year.
Together with Fr. Bonke and Deacon Michael, I wish you peace in these days as we join together in celebrating Holy Week.
May God bless us and bless our world! In God's love,