Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
2017 HOLY WEEK! Today being Palm Sunday, the Holy Mother Church enters the Holy Week. We shall join the Universal Church and our brothers and sisters around the world to commemorate our ancient practice of Our Lord’s triumphant entrance on a back of a donkey into Jerusalem. To begin the journey of his sacrifice – his passion, death and resurrection. During the Masses this weekend, we shall bless the Palms outside the Church, and then process into the Church with the song, “Hosannah in the highest, blessed is he who comes in the name of God, Hosannah in the highest” This is to recreate that salvific event that took place over the past two thousand and seventeen years ago. Holy Week begins with the celebration of Palm Sunday, with the Sacred Chrism Mass within the week, where our Bishop Joe S. Vasquez will consecrate the three Oils: a) Holy/Sacred Chrism Oil; b) Oil of the Sick, and c) Oil of the Catechumen. These Oils will be used during the year to anoint the sick, for the ordination of a priest or consecration of a Bishop, and the catechumens to be welcomed at Easter Vigil into the Catholic Church. The Sacred Chrism Mass will be joined by our Auxiliary Bishop Danny Garcia, and all the priests of the Diocese of Austin, where we shall all renew our ordination promises, before the Bishop and the congregations in attendance. In the same Week also is the Triduum. The Triduum, which is from the Latin word meaning three days of three different liturgies, but still is one act. Holy [Maundy] Thursday is the day that Our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist at the Last Supper with His Twelve Apostles and ordained those priests. Also, the same night, Jesus performed the washing of the feet of His Twelve Apostles, and gives the Command [Latin – Mandamus] to love one another. That is why this Thursday was known as [Maundy Thursday]. After Mass, we shall all begin the “Watch with the Lord” at separate place from the regular altar. Good Friday is the day that our savior suffered his passion and was crucified – silence is encouraged. This is the only Day in the life of the Holy Roman Catholic Church that Mass is not celebrated anywhere in the whole world, because our Lord is crucified and laid in the tomb. We shall have the Stations of the Cross, followed by the service of the veneration of the Cross. Easter Vigil is the High point of this Holy Season. This is the day Our Lord defeated death and resurrected from the dead as he promised his Apostles. The Exsultet is sung to the Paschal Candle – the big candle Light that is lit while the entire Church and environs remains in darkness. Gloria and Alleluia are sung to the Risen Lord. My brothers and sisters, I will invite you to plan to attend these Liturgies because they are foundational to our faith. Prayerfully enter into the readings and different rituals and you will be glad you did.
In Christ, Father Uche Obikwelu