Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,
Palm Sunday begins the most powerful week in the liturgical year, Holy Week. We sing, Hosanna to the Son of David, as the Messiah enters Jerusalem. Later we join the crowd as they turn on Jesus, rabidly screaming, “Crucify him!” We witness the thief crucified on Jesus’ left mocking Christ, while the one on his right, St. Dismas, makes the astounding supplication, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” This week both the best and worst of humanity is on display. Most poignantly, God’s unfathomable mercy towards us is revealed in Christ crucified. Here is a summary of the liturgies this week.
The Chrism Mass (Monday): All of the priests in the Archdiocese gather with Cardinal Gregory in this Mass when the oil of catechumens, the oil of the sick and sacred chrism are consecrated and distributed. This reflects the gospel event where a woman anoints Jesus’ feet with costly perfumed oil. As priests we renew our promises we made at our ordination at this Mass, as well.
Maundy Thursday: Maundy comes from the Latin “mandatum,” which means command. Jesus commanded his apostles at the Last Supper to love one another as he had loved them, and then he proceeded to wash their feet. He gave them the command to do the same for others. At our Holy Thursday Mass in the evening, we celebrate Christ’s institution of the priesthood and the Holy Eucharist. After Mass, we process to the altar of repose in the parish hall with the Blessed Sacrament, and invite the faithful to remain for a time of adoration with our Lord.
Good Friday: Join us at 12pm for our Living Stations, which begin in the church and then proceed around the neighborhood. After the Stations are completed, with the burial of Jesus in the church, we pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3pm. In the evening, the liturgy celebrates the Veneration of the Cross, as the faithful are invited to contemplate the cross of Christ as the new Tree of Life.
Holy Saturday: The great Easter Vigil begins at the Easter fire, outside of the church. The Easter hymn called the xultet is solemnly chanted, and the history of salvation is recounted in the Liturgy of the Word. Following the liturgy of the Word, we joyfully proclaim Christ’s Resurrection with the baptisms, confirmations and first Holy Communions of the adults who have prepared for rebirth.
Easter Sunday: We celebrate the eighth day of creation, or the new and eternal day of the new creation on Easter Sunday. As Pope St. John Paul II said, “we are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our song.”
Please see the bulletin or the parish website to see Mass times for this week. I remind you that there are no Masses at 5pm or 6:30pm on Easter Sunday.