Ad Te Levávi Ánimam Meam

To Thee have I lifted up my soul (Introit – 1st Sunday of Advent)

Archive for the ‘holy week’ Category

Question: Why do we celebrate before Easter?

Posted by james0235 on November 6, 2012

Ok, so I’m confused. Why do we celebrate the 40 days before Easter instead of the 40 day after the Resurrection?

We celebrate both.

The season of Lent commemorates the 40 days Jesus spent fasting and praying in the wilderness (Matthew 4). This was in preparation for His public ministry.

40 is an important amount of time when it comes to preparing for something. Noah and his family spent 40 days on the ark in a storm before finally finding dry land and rebuilding civilization (Genesis 8). Moses spent 40 days on top of Mt. Sinai with God before giving the people the 10 Commandments (Exodus 24). The Hebrews spent 40 years wandering in the desert before they were permitted to enter the Promised Land (Numbers 14). Elijah spent 40 days walking to Mt. Horeb where God instructed him to anoint a king for Israel and to anoint Elisha as a prophet (1 Kings 19).

So, we spend 40 days fasting and praying before we celebrate the Resurrection. If you count it up it is actually 46 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. But, we don’t count the 6 Sundays of Lent as every Sunday is like a mini Easter itself.

We also celebrate the 40 days Jesus spent on Earth after His Resurrection. This is called the Season of Easter and it actually goes through the Feast of the Ascension – 40 days after Easter – and ends on the Feast of Pentecost – 50 days after Easter.

Ok, but how do we celebrate then? Because we don’t fast or anything.

We did the fasting and praying for the 40 days of Lent in preparation for the Resurrection. Then, when Easter comes and God conquers death through death, we celebrate by living in that moment for awhile. At least liturgically, we kind of stop time in a sense. We celebrate Easter on Easter Sunday (of course). But, Easter lasts for an entire week – all the way through the following Sunday. This is called the Octave of Easter – octave meaning 8 days.

The day after Easter is often called Easter Monday, the next day is Easter Tuesday, etc. , all the way up to the following Sunday which is called the 2nd Sunday of Easter.

Things are done a little differently this whole week to highlight the fact that it is still Easter. First off after “fasting” from the Alleluia “Praise God” for 40 days it comes back on Easter.

On Easter Sunday there is a special prayer known as the Sequence read or sung right before the Gospel. The one used on Easter is called Victimae paschali laudes and it begins “Christians, to the Paschal Victim offer your thankful praises!” For the rest of the Octave this prayer is typically recited.

The “Alleluia verse” the verse of scripture that is read or sung right before the Gospel is the same all week – “Alleluia, alleluia. This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. Alleluia, alleluia.” (Psalm 118:24)

If Eucharistic Prayer I is used it actually changes slightly to during the Octave to highlight the fact that it is still Easter – “Celebrating the most sacred day of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh…”

And finally during the Octave Mass ends differently – “Go forth, the Mass is ended, alleluia, alleluia. Thanks be to God, alleluia, alleluia.”

These changes stop after the 2nd Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, to show that the Octave is over and we are no longer celebrating the day of Easter. But, we continue with the Season of Easter (3rd Sunday of Easter, 4th Sunday of Easter, etc.) The season doesn’t actually end after 40 days with the Ascension. It continues for another 10 days and ends 50 days after Easter on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles.

The primary thing you will notice during the Easter Season is that the Easter candle, blessed during the Easter Vigil and representing the light of Christ, is near the altar. It will remain there, symbolizing the Risen Christ with us, until the Feast of the Ascension or Pentecost. The rest of the year it will stand next to the baptismal font and will be lit during baptisms as, representing the presence of Christ, it is a symbol of new life and rebirth (John 3:5) or it will be placed next to the coffin at funerals to represent Christ’s victory over sin and death (Romans 6:3-5).

Only 2 days of the year are special enough to require an Octave to stop time and rest in the moment for awhile: Christmas when God became man and Easter when that man conquered death.

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Vex­il­la Re­gis Pro­deunt

Posted by james0235 on April 6, 2012

The royal banners forward go,
The Cross shines forth in radiant glow;
Where he, the Life, did death endure,
And yet by death did life procure.

His feet and hands outstretching there,
He willed the piercing nails to bear,
For us and our redemption’s sake
A victim of himself to make.

There whilst he hung, his sacred side
By soldier’s spear was opened wide,
To cleanse us in the precious flood
Of water mingled with his blood.

Fulfilled is now what David told
In true prophetic song of old,
To all the nations, ‘Lo,’ said he,
‘Our God is reigning from the tree.’

Blest Three in One, our praise we sing
To thee from whom all graces spring:
As by the cross thou dost restore,
So rule and guide us evermore.

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Carried

Posted by james0235 on April 1, 2012

“They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.”

Mark 15:21
From the Gospel of Palm Sunday Year B

While listening to the Gospel reading this morning my mind began to wander a bit.

I remembered going to daily Mass during Lent 2011 at Holy Cross Catholic Church, the oldest church in Columbus. I was very early and so I just began looking around the beautiful church.

I began with the crucifixion scene over the high altar and then I moved on to the statues and stained glass windows. And then I got to the Stations of the Cross. I only made it as far as the 5th Station.

While I was familiar with the Gospel account of Simon helping Jesus to carry the cross, and I had prayed it in the Stations of the Cross many times, this was the first time I actually stopped to consider what it actually meant. Jesus tells us that we all have our own cross to bear (Matthew 10:38, 16:24Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23, 14:27). We all have our weaknesses, our sins, our addictions, our faults that we must deal with every day and sometimes they may be overwhelming. What I realized was that being overwhelmed is okay. Jesus had help carrying his cross and so there is nothing wrong in accepting help carrying ours.

Next, my wandering mind made the leap to a quote from an obscure tv show I am quite fond of. And while a long-cancelled space western doesn’t typically have much to do with the Gospel reading at Mass I thought that this one was really on target.

“When you can’t run you crawl. And when you can’t do that…you find someone to carry you.”

Firefly, The Message

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The Pope’s Baptism

Posted by james0235 on April 3, 2010

(This is just such a cool story that I feel the need to repost it every year on Holy Saturday.)

young-ratzinger.jpgI was born on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn. The fact that my day of birth was the last day of Holy Week and the eve of Easter has always been noted in our family history. This was connected with the fact that I was baptized immediately on the morning of the day I was born with the water that had just been blessed. (At that time the solemn Easter Vigil was celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday.) To be the first person baptized with the new water was seen as a significant act of Providence. I have always been filled with thanksgiving for having had my life immersed in this way in the Easter mystery, since this could only be a sign of blessing. To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.

(Joseph Ratzinger, Milestones: Memories, 1927-1977, p. 8 )

benedict.jpg

We know that he went on to accomplish great things. The question now is how many future priests, bishops, or even popes are being baptized? How many future deacons? How many future nuns? And most importantly of all: how many future saints?

Be sure to ask anyone you know being baptized or entering into full Communion with the Catholic Church  if they have ever given any thought to their vocation.

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Regina Caeli

Posted by james0235 on March 29, 2010

Being that it is Holy Week I ‘ll post this now as I don’t know that I will be spending much time at all online in the next few days.

Beginning with Compline on Holy Saturday the Seasonal Marian Antiphon changes from the Ave Regina Caelorum to the Regina Caeli. The Regina Caeli is prayed until the evening of Trinity Sunday. In addition to its use in the Liturgy of the Hours at the end of Compline (Night Prayer) it also replaces the Angelus during the Easter Season.

Regina cæli, lætare, alleluia:

Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.

Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.

Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.

For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.

Has risen, as He said, alleluia.

Pray for us to God, alleluia.

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The Pope’s Baptism

Posted by james0235 on April 11, 2009

(Reposted from last year)

young-ratzinger.jpgI was born on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn. The fact that my day of birth was the last day of Holy Week and the eve of Easter has always been noted in our family history. This was connected with the fact that I was baptized immediately on the morning of the day I was born with the water that had just been blessed. (At that time the solemn Easter Vigil was celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday.) To be the first person baptized with the new water was seen as a significant act of Providence. I have always been filled with thanksgiving for having had my life immersed in this way in the Easter mystery, since this could only be a sign of blessing. To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.

(Joseph Ratzinger, Milestones: Memories, 1927-1977, p. 8 )

benedict.jpg

We know that he went on to accomplish great things. The question now is how many future priests, bishops, or even popes are being baptized? How many future deacons? How many future nuns? And most importantly of all: how many future saints?

Be sure to ask anyone you know being baptized or entering into full Communion with the Catholic Church  if they have ever given any thought to their vocation.

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Blessed Is The Wood

Posted by james0235 on April 10, 2009

I first came across this one a few years ago. And it never seems to be far from my mind in Holy Week:

For blessed is the wood by which righteousness comes.
Wisdom 14:7 RSVCE


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Bishop Campbell’s Easter Message

Posted by james0235 on March 23, 2008

campbell.jpgMy brothers and sisters in Christ,

On this Easter Sunday, we once again celebrate the great feast of joy and hope, two of the distinguishing marks of a faithful Christian.

The joy that Christians experience is not a simple optimism nor an unwarranted exhilaration. It is a joy rooted in the realization that in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, all that threatens the dignity and future of the human person has been overcome. Our existence is framed by the eternity of God’s love that gives life, truth, and peace.

We now live our everyday lives with extraordinary hope. Facing all of the challenges of an imperfect world, we know that the power of the resurrection still can transform every reality, even banishing the fear of death. For, when all is said and done, Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, and in the end His love will triumph.

This love, manifested on the Cross and confirmed in the Resurrection, sustains all of creation and every one of our lives. From this understanding flows that peace of which our diocesan patron saint, Francis de Sales, once wrote: “Have no fear for what tomorrow may bring. The same loving God who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. God will either shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.”

This love and peace of the Risen Lord we experience especially and preeminently in the celebration of the Eucharist instituted by Christ before His passion, death and resurrection. Here the Lord is truly present, fulfilling His promise that He would be with us until the end.

Therefore, in this Easter season let us rejoice and be glad. May the ever living Lord rise in your hearts and minds and bring you to life without end.

The Most Reverend Frederick F. Campbell, D.D., Ph.D.
Bishop of Columbus

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The Pope’s Baptism

Posted by james0235 on March 23, 2008

young-ratzinger.jpgI was born on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn. The fact that my day of birth was the last day of Holy Week and the eve of Easter has always been noted in our family history. This was connected with the fact that I was baptized immediately on the morning of the day I was born with the water that had just been blessed. (At that time the solemn Easter Vigil was celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday.) To be the first person baptized with the new water was seen as a significant act of Providence. I have always been filled with thanksgiving for having had my life immersed in this way in the Easter mystery, since this could only be a sign of blessing. To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.

(Joseph Ratzinger, Milestones: Memories, 1927-1977, p. 8 )

benedict.jpg

We know that he went on to accomplish great things. The question now is how many future priests, bishops, or even popes were baptized last night? How many future deacons? How many future nuns? And most importantly of all: how many future saints?

Be sure to ask anyone you know who was baptized or who entered into full Communion with the Catholic Church last night if they have ever given any thought to their vocation.

Posted in holy week, popes, sacraments | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?

Posted by james0235 on March 21, 2008

More from the Farther Along Octet. These guys are well on the way to becoming my favorite musicians.

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