BEARING PALM BRANCHES IS A COMMITMENT TO KEEP HOLY WEEK HOLY.
The following will be the Observance of Holy Week 2014 at Saint Rita Parish. I am looking forward to celebrating it with you! —Msgr. Richard
Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord—
A Christian should not let the holy irony of Passion Sunday escape him or her: We begin (as did those first followers of Jesus) singing “Hosannah in the highest to the Son of David!” marking Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem—only minutes later to proclaim the Passion which marks almost complete abandonment of Jesus in face of the Cross. Such is our life of faithfulness and sin even today.
Monday of Holy Week—
(No morning Mass at St. Rita.) The principle celebration of today is The Mass of the Holy Chrism at 7 pm, to be celebrated by Archbishop Gomez, in the Mother Church, Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral. Here all of our auxiliary bishops, hundreds of religious and parishioners from all over the Archdiocese, and over 600 priests and deacons will witness Archbishop Jose Gomez as he consecrates the Holy Chrism, The Oil of Catechumens, and the Oil of the Sick. The Chrism and Oils will then be distributed throughout the Archdiocese for use in the sacraments. All in attendance— clergy, religious, and lay—will renew vows and promises. Anyone is welcome to attend this most impressive celebration of the Eucharist.
Tuesday of Holy Week (Mass and Penance Service)—
(Regular 8 am Mass.) Our Lenten Penance Service, with Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, will be held here at St. Rita at 7 pm. The Liturgy of the Word opens the Service, followed by opportunity for individual confession (8 – 12 priests will be hearing confessions).
Wednesday of Holy Week—Communion Service.
Holy Thursday of the Lord’s Supper—
(There is no morning Mass.) The Beginning of The Triduum—7:30 pm, Solemn Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Sometimes referred to as “the anniversary of all priests,” this celebration of the Eucharist will include: the Solemn Reception of the Chrism and Holy Oils for use at St. Rita; the Commemoration for Jesus’ Washing of the Feet (What I have done you also must do!”); and, after Mass, the Procession of the Holy Eucharist to the Altar of Repose. The Holy Eucharist will remain for adoration until 11:00 pm.
Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord—
(No Masses are allowed to be celebrated on Good Friday, nor will there be the presence of the Holy Eucharist in the church.) At 1:30 pm we will observe the Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday. This will include: the Proclamation of the Passion of Jesus Christ; the Singing of the Great General Intercessions; the Solemn Entrance of The Cross followed by Veneration of the Cross; and Holy Communion. Any remaining Eucharist will be once again removed from the church, recalling Jesus’ time in the tomb.
Holy Saturday, The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night—
(There is no morning Mass; there are no Confessions.) The church remains empty and silent throughout the day. [Those cleaning and preparing the church should do so quietly, using only whispered tones.] At 7:30 pm, the Solemn Liturgical Rites—Lighting of the New Fire and Blessing of the Paschal Candle (outside of Church); the Easter Proclamation (Exsultet); the Liturgy of the Word with three Old Testament Readings, Gloria and Opening Prayer, the Epistle, First Alleluia of Easter, and the Gospel; Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation, with the Blessing of Water and the Renewal of Baptismal Promises; and completion of the First Mass of Easter.
Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord—Mass at 7:30 am, 10 am, and Noon.