Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Holy Week/Triduum/Easter Schedule

One Liturgy which unfolds in Stages:  Our Annual observance of the Sacred or Paschal Triduum takes place over three liturgical days reckoned from sunset to sunset beginning on Holy Thursday evening and ending on the evening of Easter Sunday.  This is the shortest but holiest season of the entire Church year as we move from supper table to trial and crucifixion, to tomb, and to empty tomb in what is one liturgy of prayerful remembering and thanksgiving which the faithful are invited to engage in whether gathered at church with the whole community of faith or while in their homes. The church envisions this as an annual retreat of sorts as we refrain from all unnecessary activities in order to focus primarily on the passion, death and resurrection of Christ by which we have been saved from final death.  So in between gathering at Church for the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, or the Service of the Passion, or the Vigil of Easter or the celebrations of Morning Prayer we are meant to be in contemplation and prayer during this time.  After breaking the Lenten Fast prior to the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper we are invited to enter into the Paschal Fast which begins\after that Mass and which unlike the penitential fast of 40 days is rather an anticipatory fast before the feasting of 50 days that can officially begin at the conclusion of the Vigil of Easter. 

Holy Thursday Collection:  On Holy Thursday evening as Lent officially ends and the Paschal Triduum begins we bring the fruits of our Lenten sacrifice and self-denial in the form of cash, checks, and/or non-perishable food items to church to be collected for the good of those in need.  This then is the concrete way in which our Lenten fasting leads to almsgiving because  the money we have saved by not spending it on ourselves and our own enjoyment  is collected for the benefit of the needy in our local community through  the St. Vincent de Paul Society, or in the wider world through Catholic Relief Services and for our special  parish project this year- the building of basic homes for the people of El Tablon Guatemala .  Unspecified cash and check donations will be divided equally among the three causes; those who wish to specify one or the other charity may note that on the subject line of their check which should be made out to the parish or on the front of any envelope containing cash.  If we come to the end of  Lent and realize that we  have not really sacrificed as we might have - then we should identify some pleasures that we have allowed ourselves - meal s out;    beauty parlor appointments or a spa day;   a pizza ,movie and an ice cream; a good bottle of  Scotch or a fine bottle of wine;  a daily coffee and donut, etc. and donate the average cost of that indulgence for as many times as we might have enjoyed it during Lent.   In this way our charity will truly cover a multitude of sins as others in need are all the more greatly blessed.

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