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Contemplating the Easter Triduum, the Three Days Leading to Easter

Holy Thursday

"The Washing Of The Feet" by Fr. Seiger Koder.

“The Washing Of The Feet” by Fr. Seiger Koder

 

'The Last Supper' by Fr. Seiger Koder.

‘The Last Supper’ by Fr. Seiger Koder.

Only one Mass is celebrated on Holy Thursday.  This special Mass, the Mass of the Lord’s Super takes place in the evening.  It is during this Mass that we remember three fundamental mysteries of our Christian Faith.

First, we remember the gift of the Catholic priesthood. Secondly, we remember the gift of the Eucharist.  Thirdly, with the Washing of the Feet ceremony, we remember the mandate of the new commandment of love.  As a Christian people we are to live our lives with selfless love for all.

At the conclusion of this beautiful Mass, we process solemnly to the Altar of Repose.  It is there where the Eucharist remains for our adoration until midnight.  We accompany Jesus as he begins his Passion.  We pray in reparation for our own personal sins and the sins of the world.

 

Good Friday

Mass is not offered on this day.  Instead, we gather together in our parishes for the Good Friday Solemn Liturgy.  This liturgy is comprised of three parts.  First, we listen to the Word of God as the Passion is proclaimed.  Secondly, we venerate the Cross, the instrument that gained for us our salvation.  Thirdly, we receive the Eucharist that was consecrated the night before during the Holy Thursday Mass.

Other moments of prayer can take place during the day such as a directed meditation on the Seven Last Words and the Stations of the Cross.

"The Cricifiction''by Fr. Seiger Koder.

“The Crucifixion”by Fr. Seiger Koder.

Holy Saturday

On this quiet day we accompany the Blessed Virgin Mary as she sorrowfully stood at the tomb of our Lord waiting for the Resurrection.  In the evening, we participate in the Easter Vigil, the highlight of the Catholic liturgical year. For us today, Holy Saturday is a time of waiting, of expectation, of longing. For Mary, Mary Magdalene, the Twelve, and Jesus’ other disciples, Holy Saturday was when time stood still. They had no expectation, no longing. They had only confusion and grief, disorientation and loss.

In order to better understand the Easter Vigil, we should focus on four fundamental elements of the Easter Vigil: fire, word, water and bread.

The Easter fire is blessed by the priest celebrant.  The Easter candle, representing Christ, is brought into the dark church as the small Easter candles of each parishioner receives the light of Christ.  The light of Christ dispels the darkness of sin.  We then listen to the chanting of the Easter Proclamation, the Exultet.

“Exultet, 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 flood her, ablaze with light from her eternal King, let all corners of the earth be glad, knowing an end to gloom and darkness.”

We then attentively listen to the history of salvation through the seven readings of the Old Testament.  These readings lead us to the fulfillment of the Old Testament with the New Testament readings from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans and the Gospel narrative of the Resurrection.

Following the homily, the liturgy of Baptism takes place.  The Catechumens are baptized and we renew our baptismal promises.  We are sprinkled with the waters of baptism as the joy of Easter begins.

After the liturgy of the Baptism, we then enter into the liturgy of the Eucharist as we normally do during each Mass.  The Bread of life fills our souls with the peace that only the Risen Jesus can give us.

'Tomb'by Sieger Köder

‘Tomb’by Sieger Köder

 

Spy Wednesday

Originally posted on 1catholicsalmon:

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In the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) we see that 30 pieces of silver was what a slave was sold for, which wasn’t a lot of money. Judas Iscariot betrayed Our Lord for the classic “30 pieces of silver” and Jesus knew it.

Holy Wednesday was known as Spy Wednesday in reference to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Escariot. Judas went to the Sanhedrin who were plotting against Jesus and offered them his support in exchange for 30 pieces of silver. The events that lead Jesus to the cross are filled with intrigue, suspense and an impending sense of disaster, thus it was called Spy Wednesday. The events that lead Jesus to the cross are filled with intrigue, suspense and an impending sense of disaster.

The powers of good and evil, light and darkness, sin and salvation are poised to exhibit themselves at the place we call Golgotha

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Leading by example

Forgive us our trespasses…

The Return of the Prodigal Son (detail) c. 1669 Oil on canvas, The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

The Return of the Prodigal Son (detail) c. 1669 Oil on canvas, The Hermitage, St. Petersburg- (Rembrandt)

The key to a healthy understanding of the value of confession lies in the recognition of the real, objective social nature of the drama of sin and forgiveness. This recognition has always been part of the traditional ritual practice of confession, even after the “one-on-one” encounter between the penitent and the confessor replaced ceremonies that included a public recognition and confession of certain sins. And although the absolution from sins is indeed a personal judgment based on the authority of the individual priest, the ritual includes a prayer that the penitent be granted pardon and peace “through the ministry of the Church.”

Forgiveness is not conditional. All that is required is for the sinner to accept the divine mercy unconditionally offered to him. The power of God’s mercy builds our defense, so to speak, on our acknowledgment of the truth of His love and our inability to respond to it. The rite of confession is an acknowledgment by the Church of the objectivity of God’s mercy. To “go to confession” means to join the Church in the celebration of this truth.

The Sacrament of Penance is a beautiful Sacrament through which we are reconciled to God, ourselves and our neighbours. Remember the words of St. Paul: “God is rich in mercy; because of His great love for us, He brought us to life with Christ when we were dead in sin” (Eph 2:4).

From the Compendium of the Catholic Church

298. When did he (Christ) institute this sacrament?

1485

The risen Lord instituted this sacrament on the evening of Easter when he showed himself to his apostles and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:22-23).

Why Is Confession Necessary?

Non-Catholics, and even many Catholics, often ask whether they can confess their sins directly to God, and whether God can forgive them without going through a priest. On the most basic level, of course, the answer is yes, and Catholics should make frequent acts of contrition, which are prayers in which we tell God that we are sorry for our sins and ask for His forgiveness.

But the question misses the point of the Sacrament of Confession. The Sacrament, by its very nature, confers graces that help us to live a Christian life, which is why the Church requires us to receive it at least once per year . Moreover, it was instituted by Christ as the proper form for the forgiveness of our sins. Therefore, we should not only be willing to receive the sacrament, but should embrace it as a gift from a loving God. ally 2

From the Compendium of the Catholic Church

231. What is sacramental grace?

1129, 1131
1134, 2003

Sacramental grace is the grace of the Holy Spirit which is given by Christ and is proper to each sacrament. This grace helps the faithful in their journey toward holiness and so assists the Church as well to grow in charity and in her witness to the world.

What Is Required?

Three things are required of a penitent in order to receive the sacrament worthily:

He must be contrite—or, in other words, sorry for his sins.
He must confess those sins fully, in kind and in number.
He must be willing to do penance and make amends for his sins.
How often should you go to Confession?

While Catholics are only required to go to Confession when they are aware that they have committed a mortal sin, the Church urges the faithful to take advantage of the Sacrament often. A good rule of thumb is to go once per month. (The Church strongly recommends that, in preparation for fulfilling our Easter Duty to receive Communion, we go to Confession even if we are aware of venial sin only.)

forgive us our trspassese as we forgive

Tune in

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Let light shine

lent

Preparing for Lent

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Being Accountable For Our Sins

1catholicsalmon:

Clear and concise.

Originally posted on Father Acervo's Corner:

Father Acervo’s Corner: March 2, 2014

1. This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday which begins the holy season of Lent.  The law of our Church says that we are to abstain from meat on all the Fridays during Lent and to fast and abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  By abstinence, we mean that we are to refrain from eating the meat of mammals or fowl.  Fish is allowed.  The rule of abstinence applies to those who are fourteen years and older.  Fasting consists of taking one full meal and two smaller meals that together must be smaller than the full meal.  No snacking between meals is allowed, but water, milk, tea, coffee, and juices are permissible.  Catholics between the ages of eighteen and fifty-nine are obliged to fast, although anyone outside of these ages can participate in fasting.

When we fast, we acknowledge that we…

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Will you listen to the call to come Home?

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If you don’t already know – next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the first of 40 days spent by Christians who make choices and changes to their lives that spring-cleans their souls: they may rethink their  role in their parish; pray,fast and give alms and make interior adjustments to turn their hearts firmly towards the Lord. 

If you are a resting Catholic, perhaps this is a good opportunity to consider joining the parish closest to you, and introduce yourself to the priest there. Make the decision to join an RCIA class to get reunited with truth of our Faith.Just go to Mass and be part of the wonderful ritual of listening, looking and learning. Search for the Lord in the Liturgy and reunite yourself to Him in prayer. Even better, make arrangements to attend Reconciliation before going to Mass, and experience the forgiveness, mercy and love of God though this beautiful Sacrament.

Shine!

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