What did the night of Easter witness? God had died. God’s dead body was in the tomb and His separated soul was freeing the just from the Limbo of the Fathers in Hell. But early on Easter Sunday morning, during the still of that holy night – this morning! – God rose from the dead! This is the great mystery of which the night alone was witness. How blessed the Easter night, which was alone worthy to see the Victory of Life over Death!
Today the Church enters the most solemn week of her liturgical year. During Holy Week, we accompany Jesus Christ in His Passion and Death, which finally bear fruit in His most sacred Resurrection. We are not mere bystanders at these events, but they enter into our souls to the extent that we open ourselves to them.
The Sacred Liturgy is our teacher in the spirituality of Holy Week. On Palm Sunday, we welcome with joy into our hearts Jesus Christ our King, so that we might be filled with the hope of entering one day into the New and Heavenly Jerusalem, following where our Head has gone before us.
On Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week, the Church sings the Passion according to Mark and Luke, respectively. These more contemplative days of our Week allow us to meditate deeply on the theological richness of the Passion narrative. We especially see how much Our Savior loves us, that He freely hands Himself over, in all humility, to such immense suffering for our salvation.
It was a blessing to witness the conferral of the Sacrament of Confirmation by his Excellency, the Most Reverend Myron Cotta, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento, to a large number of Confirmandi (50 in all!) at St. Stephen the First Martyr, an apostolate parish of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) at Sacramento, CA last March 13, 2016. Assisting the Bishop were Rev. John Lyons, FSSP, Rev. Lee Perry, and Rev. Zachary Akers, FSSP. The Rite of Confirmation was followed by the Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and concluded with a lively reception at the church gym. Here a few photos taken by the Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco (view photo gallery here).
On Passion Sunday (March 13, 2016), the faithful at St. Margaret Mary’s (Oakland, CA) had an opportunity to venerate the relic of the True Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ after the 12:30PM High Mass. The relic is on loan from the Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco. Here are some of the photos taken today (view photo gallery here).
Youtube video of the homily of Bishop Steven J. Lopes, First Bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, 4th Sunday of Lent at St. Edward Catholic Church, Newark, California, USA last March 6, 2016.
Today the Church enters into Passiontide, the solemn final two weeks of the Lenten fast. During this time, the Church keeps in her mind the Passion and Death of her Divine Spouse. She mourns for Him and suffers with Him and dies with Him so that she may rise with Him.
There are many liturgical changes accompanying these final two weeks. The Church sings the Preface of the Holy Cross rather than that of Lent; she omits Psalm 42 at the beginning of Holy Mass, as in a Mass for the Dead; and, also as in a Mass for the Dead, she omits the “Glory be” during Holy Mass, as a kind of double-fasting from any hint of joyful praise in the Liturgy. Instead, and most notably, she veils her images, especially of the Holy Cross of the Savior.
The Veiling of Images during Passiontide takes its inspiration from the Gospel of Passion Sunday, in which we sing that Our Lord miraculously hid Himself from the Jews so that they would not kill Him. We also can connect the Veiling to the prophecy of Isaiah about the extent of the suffering endured by the Lord in His Passion: “Just as there were many who were astonished at him—so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals.” In His Passion, our Jesus hid His Beautiful Face from us. His Face was so covered with blood, spittle, and disfigurement that we hardly recognized Him, and so we veil His Sacred Image during Passiontide.
Faith Based Communications was established to provide presentations/exhibits without charge to groups of any size on subjects related to Christian Faith anywhere in the United States or Canada. They have also has been authorized by the Vatican sponsored Real Presence organization to exhibit the Vatican International Exhibition of Eucharistic Miracles of the World.
They have selected for exhibition a subset of the 132 Eucharistic miracles (152 panels) approved by the church. The full exhibit is overwhelming for most and requires considerable time to properly peruse, whereas the 62 selected miracles (77 panels) can be absorbed during a 60-90 minute visit. The Vatican Exhibit is ordinarily made in conjunction with the presentation described below.
The Eucharistic Miracles presentation is intended as an introduction to the Vatican’s exhibit, however the presentation could easily stand alone. The presentation takes audiences through the origin of the Real Presence, addresses the various events that typically precede a Eucharistic Miracle (e.g. a priest that doubts the Real Presence, a calamity, etc.), and presents examples of each of the thirteen types of manifestations typically experienced during a Eucharistic Miracle. Scientific data associated with the study of a few of the miracles is also presented. The presentation includes modern Eucharistic Miracles to assure the audience that this is an ongoing phenomenon. Emphasis is placed on the fact that the Real Presence is there at every consecration regardless of any physical manifestations.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, the Eucharistic Miracles exhibit is scheduled as follows:
April 2 – 3, 2016 – Star of the Sea Church (4420 Geary Blvd., San Francisco)
April 2nd – Saturday 3pm-7pm
April 3rd – Sunday 9am-6pm
April 2nd – Saturday 5:30pm
April 3rd – Sunday 9am, 10:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 4pm
April 10 – Church of the Nativity (210 Oak Grove Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025)
April 11 – Nativity Catholic School (1250 Laurel St., Menlo Park, CA 94025)
From St. Albert’s Priory (Oakland, CA) comes this notice:
Please be advised that our monthly Dominican Rite Mass scheduled for Saturday, March 12, has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience.
We hope you can join us for the two remaining Dominican Rite Masses this semester:
Saturday, April 2, 10:00 am – Fr. Anselm Ramelow, OP
Saturday, May 7, 10:00 am – Fr. Bryan Kromholtz, OP