HOLY WEEK. Living Holy Week. Holy Thursday. Good Friday. Easter Vigil and Sunday

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1 Holy Week 2014 HOLY WEEK Holy Thursday This day commemorates the institution of two Sacraments: Holy Orders and the Holy Eucharist. The washing of the feet, also called the Mandatum, constitutes the institution of Priesthood. The Last Supper constitutes the institution of the Holy Eucharist Good Friday This day commemorates the Passion and death of Jesus Christ. It is a day of solemn fasting and prayer. Good Friday is the only day that Mass is not allowed to be celebrated. At the liturgy the Passion is read and the Holy Cross is adored. Easter Vigil and Sunday This liturgy begins the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is our most solemn liturgy. In this Mass the Paschal candle is blessed, the Catechumens are baptized and Candidates enter into full communion of the Church. Easter Sunday celebrates with great joy that the resurrection is the center of our faith. Holy Week, culminating with the Sacred Paschal Triduum, is our most solemn and holy time. This newsletter is meant to help you enter into these solemn days with greater fervor and piety. My hope is to accomplish two things. 1. Introduce the Holy Week Sequence. 2. Highlight some things that you can do to live Holy Week in a more active way in keeping with the Holy Week Sequence. It has been said that you get out of something what you put into it. There is some truth to that statement. With sacred liturgy, we are always getting much more than we can imagine because we receive Divine gifts. Yet, participating more actively and fully will help you to engage these sacred mysteries in a way that will help to deepen your faith and love of Jesus Christ. Notice the daily activities at St. Augustine s on the left hand column. 1

2 The Holy Week Sequence The Franciscans have an ancient tradition of living Holy Week called the Holy Week Sequence. It consists of focusing on the paradoxes and conflicts of Holy Week, and following the movements of Christ from Palm Sunday to Easter by incorporating them into each day of Holy Week. Commitment: Day before Palm Sunday St. Francis of Assisi Day before Palm Sunday There will be a formal commitment service at 7:30 pm at St. Augustine s. Here we will give many suggestions and explanations for the week. Palm Sunday Make your commitment public: Put it on Facebook Write it on your bathroom mirror Call your parents and tell them, or tell a spouse Extravagance Monday There will be a Mass at 5:30 pm to: Renew vows Renew commitment to studies Renew commitment to chastity, sobriety and excellence A dinner and dance will follow to celebrate our commitments. Paradox: The need to be identified with a unique mission that makes us feel important or special. / This leads to the fear of being limited by choosing this mission. What do I have to reject by making this choice? Jesus Christ is committed to his work as the Messiah for which he was chosen to suffer, die and to rise. Palm Sunday marks Christ s entrance into Jerusalem to accomplish his mission. What are you committed to in your life? Today is meant to be a day in which we make a commitment for this week to do something particular to live this week as a Holy Week. We reaffirm our past important commitments like marriage, or to being chaste. Perhaps one might make a commitment for this year, similar to a New Year s resolution. Procession: Palm Sunday Paradox: Desire to publicly display our commitment. / Fear that our commitment will lead to us being rejected or singled out. Jesus arrives in Jerusalem to fulfill his commitment. The Palm Sunday procession is a celebration of the commitment we agreed to make. Today is identified by a unique dedication to renew and live our commitments. Extravagance : Monday of Holy Week Paradox: The desire to spend and consume ourselves as if there where no future; to seize the day. / Out of fear we hoard or cling because we are uncertain about the future and where our commitment will lead us. Today we commemorate the anointing of Christ s feet by Mary, who washed and dried them with her hair and poured out an entire jar of very expensive perfumed oil onto his feet. In keeping with this theme, we celebrate the confirming of our commitment with some extravagance, like a nice dinner. We look for some special way to initiate ourselves into this week as the anointing of Christ was the confirming of his role as the Messiah. 2

3 Compulsion Tuesday There will be a time of prayer for healing and forgiveness at 7:00 pm. This day is also focused on completing something. This gives victory and a sense of empowerment. Write a letter to an estranged friend or family member Ask for forgiveness Forgive someone Finish that small project at home such as cleaning out that messy closet Day of Aloneness: Wednesday Seek out silence and try to spend sometime alone with God. Imitate Christ going up the mountain alone to pray. Some other suggestions: No electronics all day Silent Peanut Butter Wed. Come to adoration. It s from 1:00-5:00 pm in the upstairs chapel Bodily Self Giving: Holy Thursday Give all of yourself today. Study hard and don t slack. Give a small gift to someone. Tell someone you love them. Go to Mass at 8:00 pm. Compulsion to Completion: Tuesday of Holy Week Paradox: Zeal to fulfill one s purpose in life. Going for it / Hesitation and fear to go forward until each part is completed. Not trusting. Today we call to mind the cleansing of the temple, when Christ turned over the tables and drove out the money changers. This was a very public display of his role as the true guardian of the Father s house. If there was any doubt to his mission before, it was removed by this act. He has made a public declaration. What is being postponed or not completed that keeps me from my mission in life. What have I left hanging that holds me from being free? Sometimes something as small as finally cleaning that messy room could be the impetus to move on. Is it time to bring closure in a relationship, writing the one letter; what's left on the long-time to do list? Day of Aloneness: Wednesday of Holy Week Paradox: Interior desire to be number one in something. / The loneliness of being at the top and the one responsible. Today we call to mind the day of preparation. Christ is preparing himself bodily, mentally and spiritually for his Passion. His preparations are interior and private; a sacred interior preparation for the great works he is to accomplish. Today we spend this day in interior silence and preparation. Seek time to be alone with God. Avoid excess noise and distraction in order to become bodily, mentally and spiritually ready for the Holy Triduum. Bodily Self-giving: Holy Thursday Paradox: Profusion longing to give of ourselves totally. / Anguish over the limited capacity of others to receive our gift of self. Being rejected. Today we commemorate the Last Supper when Jesus Christ gave us his very Body and Blood in the Eucharist. Take this... this is my body. The Eucharist God s gift to us and it allows us to participate in Christ s total self-giving love. Attend the Mass of the Last Supper with great faith and devotion. After Mass there is an opportunity to spent time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Also, in what way can we give of ourselves? Be extra generous with time, money, friendship, or patience. 3

4 Good Friday This is a day of solemn fasting and abstinence. Deny yourself today: Don t turn on any lights today Walk or bicycle instead of driving What needs to die in your life so that you can make room for Christ. Write it down and bring it to our solemn burning service right after the 8:00 pm Good Friday service. Night: Holy Saturday Spend the day in humble prayer and service. Help at the parish spring-cleaning then come to the Easter Vigil at 8:00 pm to celebrate the resurrection Miracles: Easter Sunday Announce any miracles that have occurred in your life. Post them on Facebook. Come to Easter Mass 10:30 am 7:00 pm There is no law: Good Friday Paradox: Attraction to fulfilling our goal. / Panic in the threat of rejection and failure. Today we commemorate and venerate the total self-giving of Jesus Christ in love for us. As we listen to the reading of the Passion story, human disfunction is on full display. The law failed and treachery seems to reign. Yet, Christ remained faithful and true. To live our commitments, our vocation, self-denial is essential. Although we have a desire to give of ourselves, even feel a thrill in living our mission, we fear it. What will it cost me? Will my family and friends leave me? Today the altar is stripped bare. What do you need to strip from your life today in order to better live your commitment? Give something valuable or meaningful away. Night: Holy Saturday Paradox: Becoming whole by losing everything. / Fear and hysteria in being trapped with no exit. Today we call to mind Christ being in the tomb and going to preach among the dead. All seems to be lost. But God is always at work, even when all seems dead. This is the inbetween time. As we wait in the night-dark church for the Easter light to be lit, we experience the consoling realization that God is fully aware of the night by which we are surrounded. In fact, he has already put his light at the heart of it. This night enables us to appreciate what the light really is. It is brightness that shows us the way and gives direction to our lives. It is warmth that strengthens. It is life. The Light of Christ Thanks be to God Miracles: Easter Sunday Paradox: Certitude that I can continue to give myself to my commitment through the miraculous. / The impulse to cling to anything that is less than God. Christ is Risen He is Risen indeed Death and darkness cannot hold us down. The miraculous has occurred for God has intervened with his providence. There is no need to be afraid any longer. Let us live lives to the full We now go forth to live our commitments and to be a light to the world. What am I going to continue doing to be a light? 4

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