Today we begin what is typically referred to as ‘Holy Week’. It is a time set aside by the Church for us to commemorate the events of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection. Following are excerpts from the Ceremonial of Bishops, 1984, regarding these services.
Marvels of Mass
We are now here at the last ‘regular’ Sunday of Lent. Next week begins Holy Week with the celebration of Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday.
Our opening song each and every week this Lenten season is “Save Your People” by J. Farrell, reminding us that it’s still not too late to turn to Him. He will always be there for us.
This Sunday is known as Laetare Sunday.
This weekend, we celebrate the First Scrutiny with the elect. Who are the elect? These are the people who are preparing to enter our community at the Easter Vigil. Some have been baptized already and are the Candidates; those who are not baptized are the Catechumens. After the Rite of Election during the first week of Lent, they are all now called the elect (technically, the catechumens are just ‘the elect’; the candidates remain as ‘candidates’ – but for our sake, we refer to all of them as ‘the elect’). During the following two weekends, we will celebrate the 2nd and 3rd Scrutinies.
This Sunday ends our current liturgical season of Ordinary Time, as Lent will begin this coming Wednes-day on February 17, (Ash Wednesday). We will sing the Gloria and Alleluia for the last time today – not to be heard again until the Easter Vigil on April 3.
In today’s Gospel we hear of Christ’s Transfiguration on the mountaintop. Every year we hear this Gospel on the 2nd Sunday of Lent, regardless of which cycle we are in. (Remember the Church Sundays are divided into 3 cycles – A, B and C. We are currently in Year B.) We hear as the underlying message in the Gospel passages of recent weeks to follow him – whether it was when Jesus was calling his apostles at the seashore, or when John the Baptist told the disciples to follow Him when He passed by, or during any of the miracles that have happened in the recent Gospels. We are to follow Hi
We have begun yet another Lenten season. Time again to remember to pray, fast and give alms. The Art & Environment in church as well as the music is designed to draw us all into this Lenten atmosphere. As a reminder, as I’ve stated in previous years, here are the directions that we are given by the Church in the Roman Missal:
During Lent, it is not permitted to decorate the altar with flowers, and the use of musical
instruments is allowed only so as to support the singing. Nevertheless, Laetare Sunday (the
The opening antiphon today is from Psalm 95 – O come, let us worship God and bow low before our God who
made us, for he is the Lord our God. We sing of this in our opening hymn, “God, We Praise You”, originally attributed to St. Nicolas in the 4th century:
God, we praise you! God, we bless you!
God, we name you sovereign Lord!
Mighty King whom angels worship, Father, by your Church adored:
All creation shows your glory, Heaven and
earth draw near your throne,
Singing, “Holy, holy, holy” Lord of hosts
and God alone!
We continue reading from the Gospel of Mark this Sunday, and hear of Jesus’ authority over unclean spirits as He casts them out of various people. The people of that time were starting to understand who He was as His fame was spreading throughout the region. Do we share in their amazement as they see His works? Are we starting to understand who He is and why He came to earth? Hopefully as we travel with Jesus through the Gospel of Mark, we will grow in our own faith just as the people at the time of Jesus grew in their faith through His words and works.
We gather together today singing “Let us go to the altar of God, the God of our gladness and joy! Let us enter the courts of the house of the Lord and sing to the glory of God.” It was just a few weeks ago that we heard this song by the angels singing of the glory of God at His birth! Hopefully our voices are joining with the angels in praise of God as we gather in prayer!