Welcome once again to Holy Week! The liturgies of this week truly are beautiful; I hope you consider coming to some or all of them.
As a reminder, we will not be having Mass this Tuesday because I will be at the Chrism Mass in Toledo. The Diocese has announced that there are no longer any Covid restrictions pertaining to the Holy Week liturgies, which means that all are welcome to attend this beautiful liturgy at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo. The Chrism Mass begins at 11:00 A.M., but you will want to arrive early before the cathedral fills up. At this Mass, Bishop Thomas will bless all of the oils that will be used to celebrate the sacraments throughout this next year in every parish of our diocese. Additionally, many of the priests of our diocese will be present at the Mass because it is at this Mass that we renew the promises we made at our ordination.
The Chrism Mass is particularly special for priests because it is all about celebrating the priesthood as a tremendous gift from Jesus himself at the Last Supper. In fact, it is for this reason that the Roman Missal still follows the ancient custom of prescribing the morning of Holy Thursday as the proper day/time for the Chrism Mass to take place. Then, we celebrate the tremendous gift of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday evening at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. However, the Roman Missal allows for the Chrism Mass to be celebrated on a different day if needed: “If, however, it is very difficult for the clergy and the people to gather with the Bishop on this day, the Chrism Mass may be anticipated on another day, but near to Easter.” To more easily facilitate everyone being able to be present, we celebrate the Chrism Mass on Tuesday.
Holy Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper will begin at 7:00 P.M. Payne. Please consider joining us for that beautiful liturgy as we thank Jesus for the gift of his real presence in the Eucharist. As is prescribed in the Roman Missal, we will keep the church unlocked after Mass until 10:00, so that anyone can come and spend some time with our Lord as we already at that point transition into the pains of Good Friday. This is a wonderful opportunity to keep Jesus company in his “hour” of agony in the garden.
N.B.- If you come for the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, please do not panic when you come into church and find the tabernacle empty. This is prescribed by the Roman Missal in order to emphasize the unity of all the liturgical action that happens throughout the Triduum. That is, the hosts consecrated on Holy Thursday are to be used on Good Friday.
Our Good Friday Service will take place at 1:00 in Antwerp. As we have in the past, we will also do Stations of the Cross, followed by the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Our Easter Vigil will begin at 8:30 this Saturday in Paulding.
I hope you take advantage of these days to enter deeply into Jesus’ Passion, death, and Resurrection!
Blessings to you all,