As we are now in Holy Week, I would like to remind everyone of our liturgical schedule for this most sacred time of the year. First, we will not be having our usual morning Mass this Tuesday, April 4 because I will be at the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral in Toledo. Wednesday, we will have our usual 8:00 A.M. Mass in Paulding, with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament following Mass. Gospel with Father will not be happening that day.
On Holy Thursday, please join us for the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00 P.M. in Paulding. Please note that the Roman Missal states that “the tabernacle should be entirely empty” before the start of Mass. So, please do not be alarmed when you notice this as you enter the church! This practice is done in order to emphasize in a visible way that the liturgical action of the Triduum is one continuous action, beginning on Holy Thursday and being completed at the Easter Vigil. As is normally done at the conclusion of the Holy Thursday Mass, the Blessed Sacrament will be present in the altar of repose until 10:00 P.M. and all are certainly welcome to come spend some time in prayer with our Lord until 10:00 P.M. During that time of prayer, we place ourselves in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus as he is in agony, knowing what lies ahead for him the next day on Good Friday. If we contemplate Jesus’ words to Peter in the Garden, “Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?”, we are motivated by his invitation, but we are also given a taste of the bitterness that Jesus is experiencing already as he prepares for his Passion.
On Good Friday, please consider joining us in Payne for our usual Good Friday services. The Good Friday service of the Lord’s Passion, with the veneration of the Cross, will start at 1:00, with Stations of the Cross immediately after, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet immediately after Stations.
The Easter Vigil will begin at 8:30 P.M. on Saturday evening with the fire outside the front door of the Paulding church. On Easter Sunday, our 8:30 Mass will be in Paulding and our 10:30 Mass will be in Payne.
**N.B.- Because Easter Sunday is the second Sunday of the month, we will be moving our usual donut Sunday to the following Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday.
In addition to coming for donuts on Divine Mercy Sunday, please also consider joining us for our annual Divine Mercy Sunday afternoon devotions on Sunday, April 16. We will begin with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (adoration) at 1:30 in the Paulding church. Confessions will also be heard at that time; I am hoping to have a second priest available for confessions as well. At 2:30, we will have sung vespers in the church. At 3:00, we will sing the Divine Mercy Chaplet together. If anyone was not able to go to confession before the start of vespers, I stay after Benediction and continue to hear confessions for as long as needed.
Please note that if you choose to pray the Divine Mercy Novena as part of your personal devotions, the first day of the novena is this Friday, Good Friday. The novena concludes on Divine Mercy Sunday. The prayers for this novena can easily be found online, or we can help you at the parish office.
Lastly, as I announced at the Masses last weekend, we discovered many dishes in the Paulding church basement kitchen that have “St. Joseph” on them. I also announced that, just as we did in Antwerp with the “St. Mary” dishes, parishioners are welcome to take and keep the “St. Joseph” dishes (plates and coffee cups). There were many left after last weekend’s Masses and they are still available for anyone to take. They are currently in the Paulding church basement on the counter in front of the kitchen.