The Holy Season of Lent culminates in the Church’s celebration of Holy Week. There is no more important observance in the Christian calendar than the celebration of the events of our salvation: the Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; the institution of the Sacraments of Holy Orders and the Eucharist at the Last Supper on Holy Thursday; the suffering and death of the Lord on Good Friday; and His glorious resurrection on Easter. Each year on Palm Sunday, the Church begins Holy Week by reading the Gospel account of the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem and then reading the Passion story from one of the synoptic Gospels (i.e., Matthew, Mark, or Luke). This year the Passion account is taken from the Gospel of Matthew. It is fitting that we get a “preview” of the events of Holy Week in the scripture readings on Palm Sunday. On Good Friday we will read the Passion story from the Gospel of St. John. (The Passion story is always taken from John on Good Friday.)
Typically, I would exhort all our parishioners to participate in the whole Sacred Triduum. But the coronavirus ‘shut down’ has put us in uncharted waters. I have been offering Mass the past two weekends at 4:30pm Saturday and at 10am on Sunday. My plan is to celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7pm on Holy Thursday and the Passion Service at 12:30pm on Good Friday under the carport with the faithful participating from their cars in our church parking lot. The Easter Vigil at 8pm on April 11 must be celebrated within the church, but we will broadcast the audio for those who wish listen while parked in our lot. Easter Sunday Masses will be scheduled for 8am and 10am, again under the carport.
Since I am writing this on Friday, March 27 (in order to meet our bulletin printing deadline), and because we are in a very fluid situation, the schedule you are reading in this bulletin may have had to be altered. Please consult our parish website, parish Facebook page, or call the parish office for the updated schedule. What a Lent we have had! You are all in my prayers!!
May God bless you! Fr. Schaller