We are preparing for a Holy Week like no other. The days of Holy Week and the Triduum are central to the liturgical life of the Church and this year due to the extraordinary situation, Holy Week liturgies will be celebrated under the present restrictions, without a congregation. We are indeed living in a time of great crisis locally and globally. Many of us feel powerless in the face of this corona virus pandemic. We continue to pray for all who are ill, those who have died, and all who have been affected in any way... financially, emotionally, and through isolation.
This most solemn time of the liturgical year was once called the ‘Great Week’ but nowadays we call it Holy Week. In it we witness the total self-giving of Jesus. We try to follow Jesus every step of the way, beginning with His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. There He was welcomed, applauded and acclaimed by a crowd of followers. On Thursday we commemorate Him at table, to receive His gift of Himself in the Eucharistic bread and wine. After dining with Him we will, in our reflections, go with Him along the trail from the Upper Room to the Garden of Olives. We recall His struggle with fear and anxiety about the cruel death that awaits Him. On Good Friday we stand in spirit beside His mother at the foot of the cross, while He hands His spirit back to the Father who sent Him.
On Saturday we will be quiet and silent around His tomb, as we remember the injustice and cruelty of humanity, for which He died. Then, late on Saturday, we will move from the darkness of our Passion journey to the place of the bright Easter Candle, representing the risen Christ, as He lights up the darkness of our Church and lives. Jesus Christ is not dead and gone. No, He is risen, strong and powerful, alive in Himself, and alive in us.
Dear parishioners as we enter into this Holy Week, I would encourage you to keep these days as holy days by taking time to pray at home, reading the Scriptures of the day, praying the Act of Spiritual Communion which I mentioned in last weekend’s newsletter and prayerfully joining Mass online or by television Resources. Also, a series of leaflets are available on our parish website for use at home during the days of Holy Week.
Although we cannot come together for public Masses during this holiest time of year, Fr. Prem and myself will celebrate Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Masses in our churches. I encourage everyone to participate spiritually and prayerfully unite with us in spirit. The Holy Week mass time schedule is given in the second page of the newsletter. You and your people are deeply in my thoughts and prayers. God bless everyone and let’s continue to pray for protection, health, recovery and a fuller sense of God’s compassionate love.
Fr. Dantus Thottathil.
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