As we celebrate Palm Sunday and begin Holy Week I will continue a description of our Triduum services this week, please consider participating in them to more fully celebrate Easter.
Holy Thursday – 7 pm – The Mass of the Lord’s Supper (details last week)
Good Friday – noon and 7 pm – The Passion of the Lord (details last week)
Holy Saturday – 8 pm – The Easter Vigil – This service is to occur during the night, and thus we do not begin until a half hour past sunset, when it will be getting dark. The Vigil begins with the lighting of the Easter fire, (in the area behind the rectory, weather permitting) the blessing and lighting of the Easter Candle, and then the procession into the church as the fire from the Easter Candle spreads through all of church to the candles we each hold. The Easter Proclamation (Exsultet) is made and then our candles are extinguished as we listen to the readings which bring us through the history of God with the world from creation through the Resurrection. A total of seven Old Testament readings are possible, we will be using four of them. We will also be singing the Gloria and Alleluia again as we enter the Easter season. which had not been used throughout Lent. After the Liturgy of the Word is when baptism or Confirmation is celebrated. Since both of those who have been going through RCIA here this year are already baptized Christians, Andy Cornwell and Dana Ward, they will not be baptized but rather received into the Church before being Confirmed. The baptismal font and the water in it are blessed and we renew our baptismal promises with those who will be receiving Confirmation and are welcomed into the Church. They will then be Confirmed using the Chrism oil that Archbishop Carlson had blessed Thursday morning at the Cathedral at the Chrism Mass (I will explain that in another article some day). The Liturgy of the Eucharist is celebrated and those who were welcomed into the Church receive their first Holy Communion. Unlike the other services we do not end this one in silence but sing showing the joy that Easter is here, and all are invited to go to the church basement for a celebration and welcoming of those who have just entered the Church.
While we are not obliged to participate in these liturgies I would ask you to consider participating in them as a means to enrich, strengthen, live out your faith, individually and as a community, allowing you to more fully celebrate this Easter.