SOMETHING TO SHOUT ABOUT

There’s a lot of shouting going on this week.
It starts with the cheering crowd as Jesus makes his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Thursday night sees accusations and insults being flung around as Jesus is seized by the Roman authorities; and there’s more to come on Friday as he is jeered through the streets carrying his cross.

Holy Week is partly about remembering those events. But only partly. Yes, we carry palms, wash people’s feet, venerate the cross and light fires. But these things are only outward signs of what the Church is calling us to do inwardly. Our Easter liturgy doesn’t simply remember the past. If we enter into its spirit then we make the effect of those past events present today in our lives.

As we wave our palms (what a shame if someone has already folded them in the shape of a cross for us!) we recognise Jesus as Messiah just as the crowd did on that day long ago. But we also recognise our own fickleness. We acknowledge that we are capable of strong assertions of faith one moment and complete disregard the next minute.

When we wash people’s feet we re-enact what Jesus did at the Last Supper. But we do it to profess our belief in our call to serve others. It is a symbol of the Christian’s call to be of service to all our brothers and sisters in their needs. If we sit and watch but have no intention of increasing our desire to serve, then we are not taking part in the liturgy. We are simply present in church.

Venerating the wood of the cross is an act of devotion that we make as sinners. Yet it is also an opportunity for us to recognise our total dependence on Jesus whose death is the reason that today we can have life to the full. By dying on Calvary Jesus has tamed death, has overcome the worst evil that may befall us and has offered us the chance of eternal happiness. That’s what we remember as we approach the cross.

The Easter fire burns in the darkness (provided we haven’t started too early!) as a sign that our lives are not clogged by obscurity, that we can live life in the light. Christ rose from the dead to offer us a risen life that transcends mere human existence. Our renewal of baptismal promises ratifies our commitment to this new life. Yes, there’s a lot going on.
The challenge is to take part in it all inwardly and not let our conversation with God be drowned out by all the shouting.

The Easter Triduum – Services

The Services of the Easter Triduum:

Maundy Thursday:

Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper     St Patrick   – 7pm

At the end of the Mass those who are able are invited to process with the Blessed Sacrament up Park Road where there will be Watching at the Altar of Repose at OLMC church. This will continue until 9.00pm and will end with a simple night prayer.

Good Friday:

Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion

Our Lady of Mount Carmel – 3pm

Mass has never been celebrated on Good Friday. The service includes the reading of the Passion according to St John, the Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion.

Holy Saturday:

Easter Vigil

Our Lady of Mount Carmel— 9pm

The blessing of the Paschal Fire and the Lighting of the Paschal Candle, the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of Baptism are all incorporated into this first Mass of Easter.

Hosanna!

The Palm Sunday liturgy is full of contrasts: from the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem to the scene of his crucifixion; from the Hosanna’s shouted in his honour to the cry of Crucify him from the crowds.

The liturgy attempts to reflect this: a procession with palms and the gospel telling us of the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem flows into readings telling us of a suffering servant of God and the account of Jesus’ passion.

And so Holy Week’s dramatic start points the way to… the Easter Triduum!

 

CAFOD Lent Fast Day

The focus of this year’s Lent Fast Day is to ensure that girls living in the world’s poorest countries are free to change their lives by getting an education. CAFOD is working with local expert organisations around the world to bring water to family homes, so girls who used to spend hours collecting it every day, now have time for school, study and to play with their friends.
There are envelopes at the back of church if you wish to Gift Aid your donation. The collection will take place next weekend.
This year the UK government has promised to match every pound and penny you give this Lent. So whatever you give will be doubled.