This is a big week, and I hope you will participate in it fully.

It begins with Holy Thursday morning and the Chrism Mass which is held only at the Cathedral. At this special Mass all of us priests will renew our commitment to our ministry. These are the promises that we renew:

Beloved sons, on the anniversary of that day when Christ our Lord conferred his priesthood on his apostles and on us, are you resolved to renew, in the presence of your Bishop and God’s holy people, the promises you once made?

Are you resolved to be more united with the Lord Jesus and more closely conformed to him, denying yourselves and confirming those promises about sacred duties towards Christ’s Church which, prompted by love of him, you willingly and joyfully pledged on the day of your priestly ordination?

Are you resolved to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God in the Holy Eucharist and the other liturgical rites and to discharge faithfully the sacred office of teaching, following Christ the head and shepherd, not seeking any gain, but moved only by zeal for souls?

I put these in the bulletin primarily for me to ponder deeply what I will be renewing.

After that, Archbishop Rozanski will bless the three Holy Oils:

  1. Oil of Catechumens: used in baptism and
  2. Oil of the Sick: used in Anointing of the
  3. Chrism: used in Baptisms, Confirmation and

All of the faithful are invited to the Chrism Mass. If you have never been to one, it is pretty impressive.

Thursday evening, here at our parish at 7:00 pm we will celebrate The Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The one special thing we do is the ceremonial Washing of the Feet. We recall that all of us have

been called to service to one another. The traditional song we sing is called The Mandatum.

Such as my love has been for you, so must your love be for each other.


At the end of Mass we will have a procession with our second graders who will be receiving their First Communion this year as we transfer the Blessed Sacrament the Eucharist to a side altar for a

time of prayer as Jesus did in the Garden before his arrest.

On Good Friday, we will have Stations of the Cross in the

afternoon and then the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 7:00 pm in the evening.  We will retell the ancient story of Jesus’ Passion and follow that up with the General Intercessions wherein we pray

for practically everyone and everything. That then leads to the Veneration of the Cross, one of my favorite parts of Holy Week.

What is Veneration?

The First Commandment would seem absolutely to forbid the making of any kind of representation of men, animals, or even plants:

Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them.


However, veneration is not idolatry. We venerate persons (the saints) and holy objects. The Catechism defines it as: a special act of honoring a dead person who has been identified as singular in

the traditions of the religion, and through them honoring God who made them and in whose image they are made. Veneration is often shown outwardly by respectfully bowing or making the sign of the cross before a saint’s icon, relics, or statue. These items are often also kissed. Only God gets worshipped. The traditional Song on Good Friday is The Reproaches.

My people, my people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me.


We then distribute Holy Communion consecrated at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. There technically is no Mass on Good Friday. The celebration ends abruptly. In fact, there is none because these

three celebrations are part of ONE celebration.

On Holy Saturday night, after the sun sets, we will gather for the Easter Vigil at 8:00 pm. There is a strange feeling on this day.

There is no morning Mass. No funerals may be perform. No weddings either. The only thing I can do is give a dying person Viaticum (literally food for the journey), the last communion.

The Easter Vigil consists of four parts:

  1. The Service of Light: the traditional song is The Exultet: The Easter Proclamation:

May the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning:

Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead,

and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen


  1. The Liturgy of the Word follows the light service with extended readings from the Readings from the Old Testament (always including the story of the Exodus from Egypt), an Epistle and then

the glorious return of the Easter word. (shh, it begins with an “A”) That leads to the third part:

  1. The Rite of Baptism and Confirmation. This year we will welcome five adults and two infants to the church. And Fr. Gene will have the honor of confirming our new Catholics. (not the babies…sorry). This then all leads up to:
  1. Liturgy of the Eucharist. The Service is completed with the Eucharist which is the source and the summit of the Christian

We will also have Easter services at our regular Mass times of 7:30, 9:00 and 11:00 am.



Father Kevin

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