Holy Week is Here!
Welcome to Holy Week! For Christians around the world, this is the most important week of the whole liturgical year as we profess our faith in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Church is the place to be during Holy Week. This is our main event! This is why we have been praying, fasting and doing works of charity for the past 40 days of Lent.
I truly hope that you and your family will be able to participate in the beautiful liturgies that will occur these next several days here at St Joseph and Immaculate Conception parishes. Our Pastoral Staff, liturgical ministers and musicians have been working hard to prepare for these solemn events that are the best expressions of our worship and prayer.
There is so much you don’t want to miss during Holy Week. These days are packed with powerful rituals and beautiful symbols of our Catholic faith that speak volumes to what we believe as followers of Jesus, and the faith we try to live and profess each day.
Every Catholic should at least once in their lifetime spiritually experience all that the Triduum — meaning the three days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil — have to offer. To experience them in their entirety is a unique experience.
Maybe this is the year for you to make it happen? If you do, I promise that you will have a whole new understanding and appreciation of Holy Week for the rest of your life having made the prayerful journey through these three consecutive days.
Be in Communion With Christ
Be here on Thursday night as we recall the events of the Last Supper and the wonderful gift of Eucharist that Jesus gave to his disciples and to us. Be present to the real presence of Christ offered to us in Holy Communion.
Holy Thursday is one of those few times in the year when we as a parish family can gather around the table of the Lord. It is a time to be united in our faith, even with all the diversity that is very much a part of our two parishes. Holy Thursday allows us to appreciate the faith we share as we carry on the mission and ministry of Jesus who gave us the Great Commandment to love and serve one another. We are called to do today what he did for us long ago.
Step into a Church
On Good Friday, make sure you step into a church, even if it’s just for five minutes of quiet prayer. If you are out of town traveling on the road with your family this Good Friday, pull off the road and find a church to visit. Say a simple prayer together and remember what happened on the cross.
When a loved one dies in our family, we are compelled to go to their wake and pay our respects. We wouldn’t think of missing it. Well, in the same way, Good Friday is the day to pay our respects to Jesus who gave His life for us on the cross. That is why we kiss the cross in humble veneration on Good Friday.
The big question on Good Friday is always, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” May our response this Good Friday be, Yes Lord, here I am.
The Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday has it all… fire, lights, water, joyful alleluias, the best scripture stories from our ancestors, those being received into the Catholic faith through Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, and the renewal of our baptismal promises.
If you come to the Easter Vigil, you certainly won’t be bored. In fact, you will be in awe of all that takes place. The liturgy, even though it is long, is filled with so much that represents the heart and soul of our Catholic faith. Come and enjoy the Easter Vigil. Be proud. Celebrate Easter!
Let us together make all of our Easter Sunday celebrations a joyful and rewarding experience for all, especially those who will be visiting our parishes this year. May we offer them a gracious and warm welcome, to those who may be returning to the Catholic Church after a long absence. May we help all our brothers and sisters feel at home and know how glad we are to have them join us in prayer this Easter.
Today’s bulletin and our parish website contain all of the events that will take place, day by day, practically hour by hour, during Holy Week. Please refer to them often and continue to pray for one another as we journey through these sacred days.
Thank you to all who donated to various charities as part of their alms giving during the season of Lent. I am grateful for all of the grocery bags of food that have we have received as part of our St. Joseph’s Table collection, and the items collected in the school’s Easter Food Drive. Thank you to all who supported the Operation Rice Bowl project sponsored by Catholic Relief Services, and those who contributed to our Sharing Parish collection for Assumption BVM.
As we approach Easter Sunday, please be mindful that our Easter collection is a significant part of our parish income for the year. I thank you for your constant generosity and support to our parishes.
God blesses us in many ways. How fortunate we are to be able to share these blessings so that the mission and ministry of Jesus continues on, in and through us.
– Fr. Larry