As we continue on our Lenten journey, we are reminded that our focus as a parish community during Lent is on our Elect and Candidates for Full Communion as they prepare to celebrate the Easter Sacraments of Baptism and/or Confirmation and First Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. (As of the First Sunday of Lent, after the celebration of the Rite of Election, the Catechumens are now known as the Elect.) We will be celebrating Scrutinies with the Elect at the 9:30 Masses the next three Sundays. We will be praying over the Elect that they may be delivered from all which may be keep them from living a fully Christian life. We also pray that our parish may be purified as we prepare to welcome new members. The Scripture readings for those Masses will be special readings from the A Cycle of readings. At all other Masses, we will continue with the Readings of the current C Cycle.
Lent is also a time for us to prepare to celebrate the Paschal Mystery during the Easter Triduum. (“Triduum” means “three days.”) Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday are the three most sacred days of the year for us Catholics. Our Easter celebration begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on the evening of Holy Thursday. Since this Mass begins after sunset, in keeping with the Jewish reckoning of days, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper is actually a Good Friday celebration. The liturgy which begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper does not end until the final blessing at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night: it is one liturgy stretched over three days. Lent is all about preparing for these days.
On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week our Faith Formation Team is presenting a “Finding Faith” event for the families in our Faith Formation program. The subject of the program will be the celebration of the Easter Triduum. We will open up the meaning of these three days, and re-enact some of the rituals of the Triduum so as to experience their power. While our Faith Formation families are required to participate in these nights, the Faith Formation Team has opened the sessions to all interested parishioners. The sessions will be from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM each night, and will begin in our worship space. I strongly encourage all of our parishioners to join us, especially those who may have never joined us for the Triduum liturgies, especially the Easter Vigil. These are by far the richest liturgies of the Catholic Church. Truly, we all need to experience them!
Sacred Heart Major Seminary is sponsoring a discernment weekend next weekend for any high school seniors and men up to the age of fifty-five who may be interested in studying to be a priest. If you are interested or know of someone who may be interested, please contact me early this week.