Lush and blooming vistas beckon us to take to the road and to explore. As we itch to go out and travel more in springtime, let us reflect on the mixed blessings. Interconnected communities and beautiful scenery are often coupled with air pollution, consumption of scarce petroleum, congestion, excessive mobility, and noise.
Overview of April
The month of April is dedicated to The Holy Spirit. The first three days of the month fall during the season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. The remainder of April falls during the Easter season which is represented by the liturgical color white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored).
After our solemn commemoration of the last days and death of Our Lord we will spend the month of April celebrating. As Spring breaks forth even nature will join us as buds and blooms begin to surface and we spend this month basking in the joy of the Resurrection. We continue throughout the entire month our cry, "Christ is risen, Christ is truly risen." The Feast of Divine Mercy offers us the opportunity to begin again as though we were newly baptized. The unfathomable mercy of God is made manifest today if we but accept His most gracious offer. Easter is the feast of feasts, the unalloyed joy and gladness of all Christians. This truly is "the day that the Lord has made." From Sunday to Sunday, from year to year, the Easters of this earth will lead us to that blessed day on which Christ has promised that He will come again with glory to take us with Him into the kingdom of His Father.
· The saints that we will focus on this month — those who have already shared in the rewards of the Resurrection — are St. Martin I (April 13), St. Bernadette (April 16), St. Anselm (April 21), St. George and St. Adalbert (April 23), St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen (April 24), Our Lady of Good Counsel (April 26), St. Louis Mary de Montfort and St. Peter Chanel (April 28), St. Catherine of Siena (April 29) and St. Pius V (April 30).
· The feast of St. Mark (April 25) falls on Sunday and are superseded the Sunday liturgy. The feasts of St. Francis of Paola (April 2), St. Isidore (April 4), St. Vincent Ferrer (April 5), St. John Baptist de la Salle (April 7) are superseded by the Holy Week and Easter Week Liturgies.
April is also:
· Jazz Appreciation Month
of the Military Child
APRIL 1 Holy Thursday: Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper
ALL FOOLS DAY
17 Bear in mind what Amalek did to you on the journey after you left
how he surprised you along the way, weak and weary as you were, and struck down
at the rear all those who lagged behind; he did not FEAR God.
How shall we deal with truly evil people?
In Judaism, the Amalekites came to
represent the archetypal enemy of the Jews. In the Jewish folklore the
Amalekites are considered to be the symbol of evil. This concept has been used
by some Hassidic rabbis (particularly the Baal Shem Tov) to represent atheism or
the rejection of God. Elliot Horowitz and Josef Stern suggest that Amalekites
have come to represent an "eternally irreconcilable enemy" that wants
to murder Jews, and that Jews in post-biblical times sometimes associate
contemporary enemies with Haman or Amalekites, and that some Jews believe that
pre-emptive violence is acceptable against such enemies.
The truly wicked are animals as the bible mentions they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Strong men and women whether laity or religious have a duty to protect the flock; they are the shepherds of the church that protect the weaker ones. Who are the Amalekites of our time; how shall we recognize them.
According to Christian Counselor Lesie Vernick there are five indicators that you may be dealing with an evil heart rather than an ordinary sinful heart.
1. Evil hearts are experts at creating confusion and contention. They twist the facts, mislead, lie, avoid taking responsibility, deny reality, make up stories, and withhold information.
- Evil hearts are experts at fooling others with their smooth speech and flattering words. But if you look at the fruit of their lives or the follow through of their words, you will find no real evidence of godly growth or change. It’s all smoke and mirrors.
- Evil hearts crave and demand control, and their highest authority is their own self-reference. They reject feedback, real accountability, and make up their own rules to live by. They use Scripture to their own advantage but ignore and reject passages that might require self-correction and repentance.
- Evil hearts play on the sympathies of good-willed people, often trumping the grace card. They demand mercy but give none themselves. They demand warmth, forgiveness, and intimacy from those they have harmed with no empathy for the pain they have caused and no real intention of making amends or working hard to rebuild broken trust.
- Evil hearts have no conscience, no remorse.
They do not struggle against sin or evil—they delight in it—all the while
masquerading as someone of noble character.
Hmm…sounds like Journalists or Politicians to me? I would like to finish with some thoughts of Saint John Paul II on the subject.
I once again address the leaders of
nations and all men and women of good will, who recognize the need to build
peace in the world…"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with
good" (12:21). Evil is never defeated by evil; once that road is
taken, rather than defeating evil, one will instead be defeated by evil.
Timeline of Holy Week
· Holy Thursday, Thursday Night, Early Friday Morning: • The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and preparation for the Passover for Jesus and the disciples.
· The Last Supper
· Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane; the betrayal of Judas and the arrest of Jesus. •
· Jesus taken to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest. Annas sends Jesus to Caiaphas
· Jesus taken to the high priest Caiaphas’ home where the scribes, elders, and the chief priests had gathered.
· Peter denies Jesus three times. •
· Jesus was kept overnight in a cistern below Caiaphas’ home.
Holy Week takes a somber turn on Thursday. From Bethany, Jesus sent Peter and John ahead to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to make the preparations for the Passover Feast. That evening after sunset, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as they prepared to share in the Passover. By performing this humble act of service, Jesus demonstrated by example how believers are to love one another. Today, many churches practice foot-washing ceremonies as a part of their Maundy Thursday services. Then Jesus shared the feast of Passover with his disciples, saying:
“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for, I tell you, I shall not eat it [again] until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
As the Lamb of God, Jesus was about to fulfill the meaning of Passover by giving his body to be broken and his blood to be shed in sacrifice, freeing us from sin and death. During this Last Supper, Jesus established the Lord's Supper, or Communion, instructing his followers to continually remember his sacrifice by sharing in the elements of bread and wine (Luke 22:19-20). Later, Jesus and the disciples left the Upper Room and went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed in agony to God the Father. Luke's Gospel says that "his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground." Late that evening in Gethsemane, Jesus was betrayed with a kiss by Judas Iscariot and arrested by the Sanhedrin. He was taken to the home of Caiaphas, the High Priest, where the whole council had gathered to begin making their case against Jesus. Meanwhile, in the early morning hours, as Jesus' trial was getting underway, Peter denied knowing his Master three times before the rooster crowed.
Tonight, if possible, visit Him in the Bless Sacrament chapel between 9 P.M. and midnight for it was on Holy Thursday between these hours that our Lord was in so much agony over us that He sweat blood and he was most alone. Spend time with Him.
Holy Thursday: Evening Mass of
the Lord's Supper 
ON this day the Church commemorates the institution of the holy sacrifice of the Mass and of the Blessed Eucharist, or the Sacrament of the Altar. The Introit of the Mass of the day is as follows: We ought to glory in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in Whom is our salvation, life, and resurrection, by Whom we have been saved and delivered. May God have mercy on us and bless us; may He cause the light of His countenance to shine upon us, and may He have mercy on us.
Prayer. O God, from Whom Judas received the punishment of his guilt, and the
good thief the reward of his confession, grant us the effect of Thy mercy, that
as Our Lord Jesus Christ, in His passion, gave to each different retribution,
according to his deserts, so He would take from us our old errors, and grant us
the grace of His resurrection.
EPISTLE, i. Cor. xi. 20-32.
Brethren: When you come together into one place, it is not now to eat the Lord’s supper. For everyone taketh before his own supper to eat. And one indeed is hungry, and another is drunk. What! have you not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the Church of God, and put them to shame that have not? What shall I say to you? Do I praise you?
In this I praise
you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you:
that the Lord Jesus, the same night ill which He was betrayed, took bread, and
giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat this is My body, which shall
be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of Me. In like manner,
also, the chalice, after He had supped, saying: This chalice is the New
Testament in My blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the
commemoration of Me. For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the
chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until He come. Therefore, whoso
ever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall
be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove
himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he
that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself,
not discerning the body of the Lord. Therefore, are there many infirm and weak
among you, and many sleep. But if we would judge ourselves, we should not be
judged. But whilst we are judged, we are chastised by the Lord, that we be not
condemned with this world.
GOSPEL. John xiii. 1-15.
Before the festival-day of the Pasch, Jesus knowing that His hour was come, that He should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them unto the end. And when supper was done (the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him), knowing that the Father had given Him all things into His hands, and that He came from God, and goeth to God: He riseth from supper, and layeth aside His garments, and having taken a towel, girded Himself. After that, He putteth water into a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded. He cometh therefore to Simon Peter. And Peter saith to Him: Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?
Jesus answered, and said to him: What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith to Him: Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him: If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with Me. Simon Peter saith to Him: Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him: He that is washed, needeth not but to wash his feet, but is clean wholly. And you are clean, but not all. For He knew who he was that would betray Him; therefore, He said: You are not all clean. Then after He had washed their feet and taken His garments, being sat down again, He said to them: Know you what I have done to you?
You call Me Master, and Lord; and you say well, for so I am. If then I, being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet; for I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also.
Why did Jesus wash His disciples’ feet?
To show His humility and love, and to teach them how pure they should be in approaching the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Hence arose the pious custom that spiritual superiors and temporal rulers should on this day wash the feet of some of their subjects, usually of twelve poor persons, and afterwards serve them at table, or at least make them presents.
Why is it that only one priest in each church says Mass to-day, while the rest go to communion; and why is the Blessed Sacrament carried to the repository?
To imitate the example of Jesus Christ, Who on this day gave to His apostles His flesh to eat and His blood to drink. In like manner, all should to-day receive communion from one. The priests appear to-day in their stoles, the emblem of the spiritual dignity and power which were on this day given to the apostles, and through them to their successors. The removal of the Most Holy Sacrament to the repository signifies Jesus’s going to Mount Olivet, where His Godhead concealed itself.
Why is it that the bells are not rung until Saturday, but pieces of wood used instead; and why are the altars denuded?
So that the Church may express her deep grief for the sufferings and death of Jesus, and remind us to mourn in silence, and in a spiritual manner to die to the world and to self; she also further indicates thereby the silence of the apostles, who out of fear at this time were dumb. The removal of decorations from the altars signifies how Jesus, through His passion, lost His form and beauty, and was stripped of His garments, on which account the twenty-first psalm, in which all this is predicted, is said while the altars are denuded. It is also a call to sorrow and penance.
"Clean" Thursday Customs
Because it was the day that penitents and catechumens were cleansed of their sins (and allowed to bathe again), Maundy Thursday is known in some parts of the world as "Clean" Thursday. The idea of cleanliness also extended to the rest of the faithful. In a time when bathing did not happen every day, Clean Thursday became the occasion for thoroughly cleansing the body in preparation for Easter. There is also a charming legend that after the bells are rung for the Gloria during the Mass of the Last Supper, "they fly to Rome" where -- depending on who is telling the story -- they either are blessed by the Pope and sleep on the roof of St. Peter's Holy Saturday night, or are given Easter eggs to return with them on Sunday morning.
Read: The summit of the liturgical year, the Easter Triduum, begins this evening and continues into the evening of Easter Sunday. While chronologically three days, they are liturgically one day, unfolding for us the unity of Christ’s Paschal Mystery.
Reflect: “To encounter the living God it is necessary to tenderly kiss Jesus’ wounds in our hungry, poor, sick and incarcerated brothers and sisters.” (Pope Francis, Homily for the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle)
Pray: Spend time with this Catholic Relief Services prayer: Remain Here and Keep Watch With Me.. . .
Act: Sunset today marks the end of Lent and the beginning of the Triduum – the 3 most solemn days of the liturgical year. Begin the Triduum by attending Mass this evening.
Holy Thursday is also known as Maundy Thursday and is a celebration of the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood. There were originally three separate Masses for Maundy Thursday.
The first, no longer in use, is the Mass of Remission, whereby the public penitents who had been doing special penance during Lent were received back into the Church.
The second is the Chrism Mass, when the bishop blesses the holy oils to be used for the year.
The third is the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, in which the Church celebrates the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood. The special ceremonies for this exultant Mass (the Gloria returns and white vestments are used) include the priest's washing the feet of twelve men, the removal of the Eucharist to the Altar of Repose, and the stripping of the altars. After the Blessed Sacrament is "laid to rest" in a special tabernacle on the Altar of Repose, it is customary for the church to stay open all night and for private devotion to take place.
The Altar of Repose
When the Eucharist is processed to the altar of repose after the Mass of the Lord's Supper, we should remain in quiet prayer and adoration, keeping Christ company.
Popular piety is particularly sensitive to the adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament in the wake of the Mass of the Lord's supper. Because of a long historical process, whose origins are not entirely clear, the place of repose has traditionally been referred to as "a holy sepulcher". The faithful go there to venerate Jesus who was placed in a tomb following the crucifixion and in which he remained for some forty hours.
It is necessary to instruct the faithful on the meaning of the reposition it is an austere solemn conservation of the Body of Christ for the community of the faithful which takes part in the liturgy of Good Friday and for the viaticum of the infirmed. It is an invitation to silent and prolonged adoration of the wondrous sacrament instituted by Jesus on this day.
In reference to the altar of repose, therefore, the term "sepulcher" should be avoided, and its decoration should not have any suggestion of a tomb. The tabernacle on this altar should not be in the form of a tomb or funerary urn. The Blessed Sacrament should be conserved in a closed tabernacle and should not be exposed in a monstrance. After midnight on Holy Thursday, the adoration should conclude without solemnity, since the day of the Lord's Passion has already begun.
A variation of this custom is to visit seven such shrines during the night in imitation of the Sette Chiese of the Roman Stations (see Stations). This custom was quite popular in American cities like Boston until the late 1960s. Start a new tradition and visit churches in your area on this Holy Night spending 15 minutes in prayer on each visit.
A Holy Thursday tradition: Pilgrimage to seven churches
· Holy Thursday is the feast that marks the end of Lent and the beginning of the Holy Triduum, which also includes Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. At this Mass of the Lord’s Supper Catholics remember the Passover meal, when Jesus instituted the sacrament of the holy Eucharist by sharing bread and wine with his disciples, saying, “Do this in memory of Me.” “The faithful are invited to continue adoration before the Blessed Sacrament for a suitable length of time during the night, according to circumstance.”
· The Seven Churches Visitation is a tradition that grew out of this time of prayer and adoration. Catholics remember when Jesus asked his disciples to stay and watch with Him while they were in the garden. This tradition of mindful watching is a sort of pilgrimage to various altars of repose, in different churches that correspond to each of the seven places, or “stations,” that were made by Jesus between the Last Supper in the Upper Room to His crucifixion on the cross.
· The seven stations consist of: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22: 39-46), Jesus bound and taken before Annas (John 18: 19-22), Jesus taken before the High Priest, Caiaphas (Matthew 26: 63-65), Jesus taken before Pilate (John 18, 35-37), Jesus taken before Herod (Luke 23: 8-9; 11), Jesus taken before Pilate again (Matthew 27: 22-26) and Jesus given the crown of thorns and led to his crucifixion (Matthew 27: 27-31).
· Upon entering each church, pilgrims visit the altar of repose, kneel, make the sign of the cross, read the appropriate scripture for each station and engage in private prayer and adoration. Some may add other prayers as well. At the seventh station, many will close their pilgrimage by opting to observe a Holy Hour.
· The origin of the Seven Churches Visitation is typically credited to St. Philip Neri and is practiced by Catholics around the world, including in Poland, Mexico, Italy and the Philippines. The devotion can also be traced back to the Station Churches of Rome, where the tradition is still practiced. More information is also available in George Weigel’s book “Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches.”
· Some will argue that the Holy Thursday pilgrimage has roots in the Book of Revelation, in which the Seven Ancient Churches are visited by an angel. For those who live in an urban area with several Catholic churches nearby, they may want to visit seven different churches. However, those who live in a rural area can still take part in the tradition by praying all seven stations. For participating families with young ones, adaptations can be made for the sake of time and parish availability. Pilgrims may choose to say prayers for two stations at one location.
· The Seven Churches Visitation is a powerful way to spend time in adoration, meditating on Christ’s sacrifice of love for the salvation of souls in preparation for the joy of Easter. There is something special about visiting churches late into the nigh. It is not just because of the opportunity to visit other parishes, it’s because of intentionally seeking Christ to spend time with Him and contemplating the gift of His love.
Holy Thursday Top Events and Things to Do
· Take a close look online of Michelangelo's The Last Supper. Notice what each of the disciples is doing, and how Jesus is portrayed.
· Watch The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) with Max von Sydow as Jesus. Pay attention to the Last Supper scene.
Catholic tradition engages the whole person; all the senses and has been called at times the religion of “bells and smells.” God created us as a unity of body and soul, and we return ourselves entirely to him in worship. We worship him is spirit and truth and, in our worship, we present our bodies as a living sacrifice. Thus, the Churches worship engages all that we are both body and senses. We contemplate during worship the mysteries of God using our total selves, our hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smells. We ring bells to herald the Lord’s appearance and we burn incense before his altar. Our worship is good and true, but it is also beautiful.
The Mass is a reenactment of the death of our Lord. It is thought-provoking to contemplate that Pilate’s notice above Christ’s head, was printed in three languages Hebrew, Latin and Greek. These three cultures in a sense represented the characteristics of God.
The Hebrew’s were God’s people and represented the GOOD of man and brought the idea that the person was created by God and is more valuable than the universe.
Latin the language of the Romans brought the idea that TRUTH is the highest value.
The Greek culture brought the idea of BEAUTY being the greatest value.
In Christ’s death is represented all three values. That a good God died for man; true to the end; and His shame was turned by love to beauty.
Via the Masses worldwide we live out the words of the prophet Malachi 1:11,
“From the rising of the sun to its setting, my name is great among the nations; Incense offerings are made to my name everywhere, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.”
The offering of incense was an essential duty of the priests of the Old Covenant, and the ancient law took special care to prescribe its fragrances, vessels, and rites. Jesus’ kinsman Zechariah was performing his priestly duty, burning incense in the Temple, when the angel Gabriel appeared to him. This was the hour of incense. Incense was the most emblematic form of worship; it was an outward sign of the inner mystery that is true prayer. Incense is so closely associated with worship that; it became the very image of infidelity to burn incense to idols. To burn incense was and still is a richly symbolic act of worship.
Eighteen Questions on the Paschal Triduum
The following eighteen questions address the most commonly received questions concerning the Sacred Paschal Triduum, and may be freely reproduced by diocesan Offices for Worship, parish Liturgy Committees, and others seeking to promote the effective celebration of these most sacred days.
When does the Triduum begin and
end? The Easter
Triduum begins with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday,
reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil, and closes with Evening Prayer on
May another Mass besides the Mass
of the Lord’s Supper be celebrated on Holy Thursday? Ordinarily, no other Mass may be
celebrated on Holy Thursday. However, by way of exception, the local Ordinary
may permit another Mass in churches and oratories to be celebrated in the
evening, and, in the case of genuine necessity, even in the morning. Such
Masses are provided for those who in no way are able to participate in the
How are the Holy Oils, consecrated
and blessed at the Chrism Mass, to be received in the parish? A reception of the oils may take
place before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The oils, in suitable vessels, can
be carried in procession by members of the assembly.
Is the Mandatum, the washing of
feet at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, required? No. The Roman Missal only
indicates, “After the Homily, where a pastoral reason suggests it [ubi ratio
pastoralis id suadeat], the Washing of Feet follows.”
When should the Good Friday
Celebration of the Lord’s Passion take place? Normally it should take place in
the afternoon, at about 3:00 PM, to enable people to assemble more easily.
However, pastoral discretion may indicate a time shortly after midday, or in
the late evening, though never later than 9:00 PM. Depending on the size or
nature of a parish or other community, the local Ordinary may permit the
service to be repeated.
May a deacon officiate at the
Celebration of the Lord’s Passion? Although
the Celebration of the Lord's Passion appears to be a service of the Word with
the distribution of Holy Communion, the Roman Missal does not permit a deacon
to officiate at the celebration. Historically, even though the Eucharist is not
celebrated on this day, the liturgy of Good Friday bears resemblance to a Mass.
At one time it was called the “Mass of the Presanctified” (referring to the
pre-consecrated hosts used at Communion, even when only the priest received
Communion). This is also reflected in the prescribed vesture for the priest:
stole and chasuble. The liturgy of Good Friday, as an integral part of the
Triduum, is linked to the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper and the
Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. While there may be cases where a parish with multiple
churches or chapels (e.g., mission churches or a cluster of parishes under one
pastor) might rotate the liturgies among the various locations, it would not be
appropriate for a community to celebrate only part of the Triduum.
May any of the readings at the
Celebration of the Lord’s Passion be omitted? The Lectionary for Mass does not
indicate that any readings may be omitted at the Celebration of the Lord’s
Passion. All three readings (Isaiah, Hebrews, and the Passion according to
John) are required. It should be noted, however, for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s
Passion, the Lectionary indicates that while all three readings provided should
be used, there may be circumstances in which one or more of the readings at
Mass could be omitted: “Given, however, the importance of the account of the
Lord’s Passion, the priest, having in mind the character of each individual congregation,
is authorized to choose only one of the two readings prescribed before the
Gospel, or if necessary, he may read only the account of the Passion, even in
the shorter form. This permission applies, however, only to Masses celebrated
with a congregation.” Thus, the account of the Passion is never omitted.
Does the Church encourage any other
liturgical celebrations on Good Friday? On this day the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer
could appropriately be celebrated with the participation of the people in the
churches. Note that Evening Prayer is only prayed by those who do not
participate in the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion.
Do devotions have a particular
importance on Good Friday? The
Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (2002) provides the proper
perspective in paragraphs 142-145. Clearly the central celebration of this day
is the Good Friday Celebration of the Lord’s Passion. In no way should
manifestations of popular piety, either by the time or manner in which they are
convoked, substitute for this solemn liturgical action. Nor should aspects of
the various acts of piety be mixed with the Good Friday celebration, creating a
hybrid. In recent times, Passion processions, celebrations of the Stations
of the Cross, and Passion Plays have become more common. In such
representations, actors and spectators can be involved in a moment of faith and
genuine piety. Care should be taken, however, to point out to the faithful that
a Passion Play is a representation which is commemorative, and they are very
different from “liturgical actions” which are anamnesis, or the mysterious
presence of the redemptive event of the Passion.
does the Adoration of the Holy Cross on Good Friday begin? The Adoration of the Holy Cross
begins with one of two forms of the Showing of the Holy Cross. The First
Form begins as the deacon or another suitable minister goes to the sacristy and
obtains the veiled Cross. Accompanied by two ministers with lighted candles,
the veiled Cross is brought to the center of the sanctuary in procession. The
priest accepts the Cross and then, standing in front of the altar and facing
the people, uncovers the upper part of the Cross, the right arm, and then the
entire Cross. Each time he unveils a part of the Cross, he sings the acclamation,
Behold the wood of the Cross. In the Second Form of the Showing of the Holy
Cross, the priest or deacon goes to the church door, where he takes up the
uncovered Cross. Accompanied by two ministers with lighted candles, he
processes to the sanctuary, stopping at the door of the church, in the middle
of the church, and before entering the sanctuary, to sing the acclamation, Behold
the wood of the Cross.
How is the cross venerated by
members of the congregation on Good Friday? After the showing of the Cross, the priest or deacon
may carry the Cross to the entrance of the sanctuary or another suitable place.
The first person to adore the Cross is the priest celebrant. If circumstances
suggest, he takes off his chasuble and his shoes. The clergy lay ministers and
the faithful then approach the Cross. The personal adoration of the Cross is an
important feature in this celebration and every effort should be made to
achieve it. The rubrics remind us that “only one Cross” should be used for
adoration. If the numbers are so great that all cannot come forward, the
priest, after some of the clergy and faithful have adored the Cross, can take it
and stand in the center before the altar. In a few words he invites the people
to adore the Cross. He then elevates the Cross higher for a brief period of
time while the faithful adore it in silence. It should also be kept in mind
that when a sufficiently large Cross is used even a large community can
reverence it in due time. The foot of the Cross as well as the right and left
arm can be approached and venerated. Coordination with ushers and planning the
flow of people beforehand can allow for this part of the liturgy to be
celebrated with decorum and devotion.
should the Easter Vigil take place? The
Vigil, by its very nature, must take place at night. It is not begun before
nightfall and should end before daybreak on Easter Sunday. The celebration of
the Easter Vigil takes the place of the Office of Readings of Easter Sunday.
The Easter Vigil begins and ends in darkness. It is a nocturnal vigil,
retaining its ancient character of vigilance and expectation, as the Christian
people await the Resurrection of the Lord during the night. Fire is blessed and
the paschal candle is lighted to illumine the night so that all may hear the
Easter proclamation and listen to the word of God proclaimed in the Scriptures.
For this reason, the Solemn Beginning of the Vigil (Lucernarium) takes place
before the Liturgy of the Word. Since sunset varies at different locations
throughout the country, local weather stations can be consulted as to the time
of sunset in the area, keeping in mind that twilight concludes (i.e., nightfall
occurs) somewhat later.
considerations should be given for the paschal candle used at the Easter Vigil?
This candle should
be made of wax, never be artificial, be replaced each year, be only one in
number, and be of sufficiently large size that it may convey the truth that
Christ is the light of the world. The paschal candle is the symbol of the light
of Christ, rising in glory, scattering the darkness of our hearts and minds.
Above all, the paschal candle should be a genuine candle, the pre-eminent
symbol of the light of Christ. Choice of size, design, and color should be made
in relationship to the sanctuary in which it will be placed.
the case of mission churches and cluster parishes, can multiple paschal candles
be used for the Service of Light? The
Roman Missal, not envisioning the pastoral situation of mission churches or
cluster parishes, specifies that only one paschal candle is used. To
accommodate the particular circumstances, the Secretariat of Divine Worship
might suggest that the candles from the mission churches or other parish
churches could be present at the Easter Vigil, having been prepared in advance,
and blessed alongside the main candle (perhaps having deacons or other
representatives holding them). In keeping with the rubrics, for the lighting
and procession only one candle should be lit (the principal one, or the one
which will remain in that particular church). As the other candles in the
congregation are lit, the other paschal candles could be lit and held (but not
high, in order to maintain the prominence of the one principal candle) by
someone at their place in the assembly. Once all the candles are extinguished
after the singing of the Exsultet, the other paschal candles are put aside. On
Easter Sunday morning, those candles could be taken to each of the missions and
carried, lit, in the entrance procession at the first Mass at each church and
put in place in the sanctuary.
many readings should be proclaimed at the Easter Vigil? One of the unique aspects of the
Easter Vigil is the recounting of the outstanding deeds of the history of
salvation. These deeds are related in seven readings from the Old Testament
chosen from the law and the prophets and two readings from the New Testament,
namely from the Apostle Paul and from the Gospel. Thus, the Lord meets us once
again on our journey and, “beginning with Moses and all the prophets” (Lk
24:27) opens up our minds and hearts, preparing us to share in the breaking of
the bread and the drinking of the cup. The faithful are encouraged to meditate
on these readings by the singing of a responsorial psalm, followed by a silent
pause, and then by the celebrant’s prayer. Meditation on these readings is so
significant for this night that we are strongly urged to use all the readings
whenever it can be done. Only in the case of grave pastoral circumstances can
the number of readings be reduced. In such cases, at least three readings from
the Old Testament should be read, always including Exodus 14.
is the First Communion of the neophytes to be emphasized during the Easter
celebrant, before he says, Behold the Lamb of God, may make a brief remark to
the neophytes about their first Communion and about the importance of so great
a mystery, which is the climax of initiation and the center of the Christian
life. This is a night when all should be able to receive Holy Communion under
directions are given for the celebration of Masses on Easter Sunday? Mass is to be celebrated on Easter
Day with great solemnity. A full complement of ministers and the use of liturgical
music should be evident in all celebrations. On Easter Sunday in the dioceses
of the United States, the rite of the renewal of baptismal promises may take
place after the homily, followed by the sprinkling with water blessed at the
Vigil, during which the antiphon Vidi aquam, or some other song of baptismal
character should be sung. (If the renewal of baptismal promises does not occur,
then the Creed is said. The Roman Missal notes that the Apostles' Creed,
"the baptismal Symbol of the Roman Church," might be appropriately
used during Easter Time.) The holy water fonts at the entrance to the church
should also be filled with the same water. On the subsequent Sundays of Easter,
it is appropriate that the Rite for the Blessing and Sprinkling of Water take
the place of the Penitential Act.
18. Where is the paschal candle placed during Easter Time? The paschal candle has its proper place either by the ambo or by the altar and should be lit at least in all the more solemn liturgical celebrations of the season until Pentecost Sunday, whether at Mass, or at Morning and Evening Prayer. After Easter Time the candle should be kept with honor in the baptistery, so that in the celebration of Baptism the candles of the baptized may be lit from it. In the celebration of funerals, the paschal candle should be placed near the coffin to indicate Christ’s undying presence, his victory over sin and death, and the promise of sharing in Christ’s victory by virtue of being part of the Body of Christ (see Order of Christian Funerals, no. 35). The paschal candle should not otherwise be lit nor placed in the sanctuary outside Easter Time.
Aids in Battle Know that God has punked the Devil
Hell, and the Devil have been pillaged, stripped of their ancient armor, robbed of their special power. And just as the giant Goliath had his head cut off with his own sword, so also has the Devil, the father of death, been put to rout through the death of Christ. He finds that the very same weapon he used to wield as the ready tool of his deceit has now become the mighty instrument of his own destruction. We might put it this way: The Devil went fishing and cast his line and hook to catch yet another man in death. But the Man he caught this time was Christ, whose divine nature was hidden within His human nature. For this reason, the martyrs leap upon the head of that dragon the Devil, and look with disdain on every kind of torment. ST. GREGORY THAUMATURGUS
All fool’s Day
April Fools' Day is a light-hearted comedic day of cheer, practical jokes and hoaxes. April Fools' Day has been observed for centuries although its origins remain unclear. It has been suggested that in ancient Roman and Hindu cultures, the day originally marked ‘New Year’s Day’. Although in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued the Gregorian calendar which moved New Year’s Day from April 1st to January 1st. It is believed that those who continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1st were referred to as fools, leading to the concept of April 1st representing All Fools’ Day. It has also been suggested that April Fools' Day is related to the vernal equinox, the beginning of spring, when Mother Nature plays sudden weather tricks on people. The custom of April Fools' was brought from Britain to the US centuries ago. Both kids and adults in North America and many European countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, Finland, Iceland, and North American countries have developed traditional customs to celebrate the day. These typically include fooling another person and yelling April fools.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 23. Incense.
 Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.