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Sunday, March 25, 2007

On entering the spirit of Passiontide - a message from Father:

We are now entering upon the greatest weeks of the liturgical year: Passion Week, Holy Week and, at length, the Octave of Easter. We cannot expect fully to benefit from the graces of Easter if we do not enter first into the spirit of Passiontide.

The Gospel of Passion Sunday concludes: “but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the Temple.” On this day, all the images in the Church are veiled in purple until Easter (the Cross alone being unveiled on Good Friday); the prayers at the foot of the Altar are shortened, and the Gloria Patri suppressed at Mass. The sobriety of the liturgy is meant to awaken us to the great mysteries we are about to commemorate: the Kingship of the suffering Messiah (Palm Sunday); Divine Light conquering the darkness of sin and death (Tenebrae); the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood of the New Covenant (Maundy Thursday); the Redeeming death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, True God and True Man (Good Friday – ‘good’, because it is the cause of our liberation from the tyranny of Satan, sin and death); and the promise of definitive victory over evil, together with the perfect possession of the fullness of Life, in the Resurrection (the Paschal Vigil and Easter Sunday, through the Octave).

In these weeks – but most especially during the Sacred Triduum – we should be concerned not merely with what is of obligation, but rather with what it is our privilege to be able to assist at. Let us resolve to make all the liturgies of these days our first priority.

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