Bulletin Letter – 3/19/23

Dear parishioners,

I would like to start by correcting a minor mistake in last weekend’s bulletin.  In it, I mentioned that the money we sent to seminarians Eric Kaufman, Kevin McGraw, and Andrew Messer were solely from our January collection, and the additional amount that was added by the Paulding Knights of Columbus.  However, I would like to add that the same amount reported in last weekend’s bulletin was the combination of our last two 5th Sunday collections (January and October), and the addition of the funds from the Paulding KofC.

Once again, don’t forget our upcoming Days of Grace: this Wednesday in Paulding and next Wednesday in Payne.

Also pertaining to Lent, we will again be doing a short Solemn Procession before the 10:30 Mass on Palm Sunday.  This procession will begin with a few prayers and the blessing of the palms in the Ed Center at 10:15.  The plan is that Mass will begin at 10:30, but we might be a few minutes off, so thank you in advance for your patience if Mass does not begin exactly at 10:30!  Our children’s choir will again be leading the music for the procession; so, please consider joining us for the sake of the procession itself, but also to hear the children sing wonderfully, as they usually do!

It might be worthwhile here to provide a quick explanation of why the Roman Missal offers the traditional practice of doing a procession on Palm Sunday.  The procession is meant to help us tangibly enter into Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  With palms in hand during the procession- like those welcoming Jesus in the Gospel- we follow the priest, who, by no merit of his own, stands in the person of Christ, the head of the body.  Don’t worry if you experience a degree of discord within yourself as we walk along in the procession!  This is actually something that will help you enter more deeply into what we celebrate on Palm Sunday.  On the one hand, the music being sung has a joyful tone to it: “Hosanna to the Son of David!” and “All glory, laud, and honor to you Redeemer, King!”  But at the same time, we know that what is about to happen to Jesus in the Gospel is terribly brutal and bitter.  The splitting dissonance we feel within us on Palm Sunday is a participation in what Jesus himself experienced as he entered into Jerusalem.  He knew that many in the crowd would turn against him in a few days’ time, but he also knew that he was coming to finish the mission he came to accomplish.

The priest, arriving at the church, makes his way up the center aisle representing Jesus going into Jerusalem.  Going up the steps into the sanctuary, he climbs the mount of Calvary and he approaches the altar, which is the cross on which Christ’s sacrifice is really and actually made present.  In fact, this is the reason we do a procession into the church every Sunday, but we emphasize it in a particular way on this most solemn beginning of Holy Week.

Have a blessed week!

Fr. Ammanniti