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Mosaic indigenous Paray-le-Monial, France

Part I. Explanation of the Celebrations of holy Week indigenous Palm Sunday come Easter Vigil

Holy main or the good Week to represent “the most solemn liturgies of the liturgical year in the Christian Church,” because this week celebrates “the passion, death and resurrection that Jesus Christ.” Lent has started the bicycle of prayer and also penance leading up to divine Week and the celebration of Easter, which continues through Pentecost. In the background of Christianity, there was the Easter or Paschal Vigil, in locations of apostolic origin and in Rome through the second century. In the Didache there to be a duration of prayer fasting native one to several days before the Vigil. The third-century Didascalia Apostolorum speak of a week-long fast prior to the Vigil. The diary of Egeria in the fourth Century documents celebrating the good Week in Jerusalem. Today holy Week starts with Palm Sunday and also continues with Easter Sunday.

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Most of us are acquainted with the procession of moving palms together we move from the place where they room blessed into the church, while to sing “Hosanna to the son of David,” a tradition going ago to the 4th century when worshippers brought palms from “the mountain of Olives come the Church that the holy Sepulchre on the afternoon that Palm Sunday.” In part churches, once palms have actually not been obtainable worshippers bring branches of other kinds the trees and the leftover “bouquets” the such are taken right into the church to dress the altar. Other custom-mades from the at an early stage church include hearing the third Servant track of Isaiah (50:4-7), reciting Psalm 22–the psalm that highlights the sufferings of Christ, Pau’ls Letter come the Philippians (2:6-11), i m sorry is the oldest Christological hymn, and also the proclamation that the enthusiasm of our lord Jesus Christ, indigenous Matthew (cycle A), note (B) or Luke (C).

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of divine Week incorporate readings “that portray the treason of Jesus” and also Servant song from Isaiah. Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday, so-called from the Latin word for command (mandatum) at the Eucharist in the evening, is the official end of Lent. There room three main liturgical rites: consecration that the chrism oil provided at Baptism and also Confirmation; the fixed of the Lord’s Supper; and the foot-washing. Frequently in the diocese the chrism is blessed through the bishop in ~ a unique Mass concelebrated v as numerous priests that the diocese as can come, commonly the week prior to Holy Week. Other oils are likewise blessed: oil come anoint the sick and the oil of catechumens.At the Monastery of St. Gertrude, these oil are brought to us and are carried in procession before the divine Thursday Eucharist begins with a proclamation about what each oil is supplied for.

The foot-washing routine is lugged out in the Monastery in ~ Morning Praise, either v the prioress washing the feet of any who wish to get involved or by each one washing the hands of one’s neighbor. This latter custom is being initiated in irradiate of the coronavirus and also the constant reminders to to wash our hands. However, the depths symbolism that this routine is imbedded in Jesus’ command (mandatum) in John’s Gospel: “You also ought to to wash one another’s feet. For i have set you an example, that you likewise should do as I have done come you” (John 13:14-15). The washing the one another’s feet is a extensive sign that servanthood, specifically since in ancient cultures it was the lowliest servant of the household, and also often that was a servant woman, whose task it to be to to wash the feet of guests; the Jesus would have actually done together a thing with his disciples had actually to have been shocking to them and also one representing the humblest the services. In the early on church foot-washing was a authorize of gift a disciple and also the reversal of society expectations that shown loving service.

The closeup of the door of the divine Thursday liturgy is the repose of the sacred body and blood of Jesus in a tabernacle or ar of repose, so worshippers may come for adoration as soon as the altar is stripped and all leave quietly.


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“Crucifixion” by Georges Rouault

On Good Friday at Morning prayer is celebrated the Tenebrae Service, a Latin word which way “darkness” or “shadows” representing the evening and early morning of this liturgical service, which dates to the nine century. Throughout the organization gradually each of fifteen lighted candle in a stand dubbed a “hearse” room snuffed, one after every of the nine psalms for matins, the one psalm because that lauds, the Benedictus and the readings. The last candle, symbolic that the Lord, in ~ the end of the business is lugged out into the sacristy. At the an extremely end a according to noise is do symbolizing the earthquake at the time of the resurrection (Mt 28:2). In in between the three nocturns or to adjust of psalms, the Lamentations the Jeremiah the Prophet are chanted or recited.

The chapter of Reconciliation, a organization solely among the members the the monastic community, is held prior to noon, v readings native Colossians 3:12-17 and also RB Prologue 45-50, followed by a enjoy by the prioress. This have fun is a testimonial of ours lives, often based upon the biblical passage that has actually been pondered throughout Lent or the lenten lectio readings common on Wednesday night of Lent. Every sister then asks for forgiveness and also the prioress indications her forehead through the cross and also reads a small card, i m sorry the sister takes to remind she to pray for someone or a group, who is suffering and needs healing. The organization closes through singing “Parce Domine” = “Spare Your human being Lord” complied with by a closeup of the door prayer.

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The great Friday Service around 3 o’clock in the afternoon is a celebration event of the Lord’s passion, with the proclamation that the passion narrative native John’s Gospel, since that gospel envisions a continuity in between the suffering of Christ, his death and his exaltation together all one salvific moment. There are three parts of the service: 1) the Liturgy of the Word, 2) the Veneration the the Cross, and 3) divine Communion. The presider in ~ this organization is the leader/prioress the the community, who starts the organization by silently walking into chapel and prostrating in the middle aisle, symbolic that “the earliest kind of the roman inn Eucharistic entrance rite,” followed by an opening prayer. The an initial reading is the fourth Servant track from Isaiah 52:13-53:12 and the 2nd is indigenous Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9, which speaks of Jesus the High Priest, that has acquired our salvation. The Liturgy of the word ends through solemn intercessions—prayers because that “the church, the pope, the clergy and also laity, candidates for initiation, unity of Christians, the Jewish people, non-Christians, unbelievers, civil authorities, and all those in need.”

During the Veneration the the Cross, a huge wooden overcome is carried into chapel by 2 sisters in a procession, v stopping places to the sung chant, “This is the word of the cross.” beginning with the prioress, each one come forward come bow, kneel or kiss the cross, together his/her veneration, by which Christ has won our salvation. Divine Communion complies with with the hosts carried in a ciborium taken to the altar table, the recitation that the Lord’s Prayer, agree of Eucharist and a an easy concluding prayer.

On Holy Saturday in ~ Morning praise the second Tenebrae business is held. In late afternoon the Office of Readings is held, through the seven readings indigenous the Hebrew scriptures outlined for holy Saturday, each followed by a sung an answer and a prayer. The eighth and also last analysis is a shortened version of the community’s history, start in Sarnen, Switzerland and also ending through us in the chapel.

That evening the Paschal Vigil begins at the back of the chapel v the Blessing that the Fire and Lighting of the Easter Candle, in i beg your pardon the presider and prioress stay recitations. The prioress or her designee dead the cross in procession and also stops 3 times so the cantor sings “Lumen Christi, irradiate of Christ,” to which the schola responds, “Deo gratias, thanks be to God.” once the cantor gets to the ambo, she sings the Exultet, v the schola echoing she words. The Exultet dates to the seventh century and is a proclamation the Easter’s message, “our redemption in Christ.” climate the Gloria is sung v the ringing the bells to accompany it. The an initial reading is taken from Romans 6:3-11, complied with by a solemn sung “Alleluia,” and the resurrection story from one of the gospels.

Next comes the Blessing the Water and also Renewal that Baptismal and Profession Promises, with the entirety congregation collection at the ago of chapel. The Easter candle is dipped in the water and individual tapers room lit native it. The prioress filling a small bowl with divine water and also sprinkles everyone while handling to the altar. Thereafter follows the Liturgy that Eucharist.


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Part II. Theology of the Paschal Mystery

In john Updike’s “Seven Stanzas of Easter,” the fourth is a touching reminder that Christians perform not celebrate just an historical event throughout the divine Days.


Let united state not mock God v metaphor, analogy, sidestepping, transcendence; make of the event a parable, a authorize painted in the faded credulity of previously ages: let us walk v the door.

That door v which we walk and the journey v these days is among anamnesis: “remembering that we room (the Church, the body of Christ), specifically through our actions (those of liturgy and also mission), our words (creedal and also sacramental), and also our naming (we room Christian). Anamnesis is that wonderful coming together of past and also present, dealing with the future, and appropriating that identity of Jesus in all that us are.” Another method to to speak this is the Christ’s suffering, death, resurrection and sending that the heart are actualized in the community and also in every individual that the community, specifically when castle gather as a worshipping community. We execute not “mimic the Lord’s actions, nor…simply walk in the Lord’s footsteps in the floor of Israel, but…encounter the mr by recording the ethos of his experience as very closely as possible in order come identify more closely through him.”


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“At the Cross” through Sieger Köder

A few examples of how this actualization might be prayerfully realized may be useful to your very own experience of the paschal an enig in your own life and in the life of someone close to you, or even strangers walking this means of suffering, fatality into brand-new life. Numerous years ago I was asked to command a retreat for caretakers of the dying, that they could pray your experiences the accompanying someone, who became beloved in the journey of support, prayer and also letting go. A key passage liked for enjoy was that of the agony in the garden (Mt 26:36-46). Jesus’ words to the disciples ended up being our words, “Sit below while i go end there and pray” (Mt 26:36): numerous of the ministers had said something similar to family and friends of the dying and also while they prayed, they proficient “sorrow and also distress” (vs. 37) top top the part of the one gift readied come go home to God, in the family and also friends, and also in themselves. Jesus’s words, “I to be sorrowful even to death. Stay here and also keep watch with me” (vs. 39). At times as soon as we have actually requested rather to simply sit through the dying or to join in the prayer, there might be reluctance or outright walking away. Climate Jesus prays: “My Father, if the is possible, let this cup pass from me” (vs. 39a). How plenty of times have any kind of of united state said, “O God, permit this not happen; please, not me, not my family!” several of us in the group realized the one walk not quickly pass to the second component of city 39: “yet, no as ns will, yet as friend will” (30b). The takes the elegant of God to pray this 2nd part, trusting the God will execute what God will do, not necessarily through our knowledge what the is or what the means. I doubt that there was a far-ranging pause in between the two components of Jesus’ prayer and so there may well it is in a far-ranging pause for us to relocate from “O God, no me and not mine,” to “Your will certainly be done” (Mt 26:42). In fact, Jesus has to pray both components of this prayer three various times (vv. 39, 42 & 44). After the 3rd time, he goes come the disciples and also says, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?” (vs. 45). The caregivers common that they discovered it frustrating the others were not awake come the truth of their dying relative/friend. Some wanted life to go back to “normal” whatever that means. Others can not it is in in the room. The sorrow of Jesus to be echoed in the caregiving prayer partners as a actual anguish. The blessing that pondering this passage and also sharing your feelings and also thoughts brought about a deepening realization the they were living in their experiences what Jesus did and all felt a closer solidarity v the lord of their pain and sorrow.

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“The north Tomb” by Bertrand Bahuet

Recently a sister came to me to share the she found it exceptionally hard to clock a friend slowly move into frailty and minimal ability to do things because that herself. Castle both had actually lived a long life that ministry, often shared together. Ns asked her if she can ask Mary just how she stood at the overcome while her kid was dying and to share her suffer with Mary and also the ache she was undergoing. I could offer the prayer because many years before a girlfriend of mine was severely hurt in one accident. Soon after, ns made a retreat and also the icon, which mine retreat director invite me come encounter and be v in prayer, was that of Mary and also the various other women standing in ~ the overcome of Christ. Every day and also several times a day i knelt before that icon, not discovering the fate of mine friend. Ns remember that the elegant of the prayer helped sustain mine anguish and pain and also eventually moved into peace.

An experience that my mom related is the told in the resurrection account of Luke 24:5. After ~ the death of mine father, she would frequently go come the cemetery come pay she respects and also lay flower on my father’s grave. One time, if she to be weeping, the words, “Why do you seek the life one amongst the dead?” (Lk 24:5), emerged in she heart and she to be set free from her extreme grief, return she continued to miss my father. She then devoted her life come the treatment of dying veterans in ~ the Veteran’s Hospital; she often sensed once one of them was around to die and she made sure to be in the room silently praying for him or hold his hand until his last breath.

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Of these kinds of actualization that the paschal mystery, liturgical theologian ann McGuire relates, “As we recall and also reclaim ours faith, we remember and remind oneself of our identification with Christ and as Christ in the civilization today. That is just by re-awakening ours memory that Christ have the right to again come to be alive and active in our resides through our very own actions.”

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“Resurrection that Christ” by Todor Mitrovic

I invite friend to spend time with the passion and Easter narratives, reading them aloud slowly and stopping come dwell on the phrases that touch your heart. You might want come ask the holy Spirit to overview you to that expression that will trigger your memory of how God has actually been through you during a paschal mystery time. Or you may take a scene and imagine you yourself there: Who room you as one of the biblical figures? Where room you and also what go the scene look like? What do you wish to say to Jesus? What could Jesus great to say to you? as you ponder the scene, what can you take v you come live an ext deeply? together a way of mental the experience, i invite friend to write down what continues to be with you and offer a prayer of thanksgiving, praise, sorrow, etc.

Blessings on your holy Week and all the the Lord can be through you and also those girlfriend love!