This winter has shown us how tumultuous the world can be, from rain and wind to elections and fractured people. Paul speaks to us in Romans 5:3-5 “And not only that, but we also find glory in tribulation, knowing that tribulation exercises patience, and patience leads to proving, yet truly proving leads to hope, but hope is not unfounded, because the love of God is poured forth in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Lent is an opportunity for spiritual growth where we can move from one point of view to another, or transform how we see and experience the world. Scripture, psalms, prayer, rituals, practices and penance are components of the Lenten journey. Each brings us the opportunity to open our hearts to Christ and change the way we see the world we live in.
I invite you to join me on this Lenten Journey. Please use this booklet “40 Days – Prayer, Fasting, Works of Love” as a guide. Please note that Masses are offered at 8:30AM Monday through Friday in our church for the six weeks of Lent. Please join us, so that together, may we come to Easter filled with His Peace.
“Glory be to God who can do infinitely more than you and I could ever ask for or begin to imagine. Glory be to God from one generation to the next through Jesus Christ and His Holy Church, today, tomorrow and please God , always. Amen
With a brother’s love,
Recordings from Fr Wayne
During Lent, Father Wayne records his Lenten reflection for the day. Have these short 2-3 minute audio recordings delivered to your inbox every morning Monday thru Friday.
What a great way to start your day, or to take a break to reconnect with your faith and Lenten journey when the day gets away from you. You can listen to these recordings anywhere, anytime – at work, at home, while taking a walk. Below is an example:
To subscribe, click on the button below:
The Easter Triduum begins with the Vigil of Holy Thursday. It marks the end of the forty days of Lent and the beginning of the three-day celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil/Easter Sunday. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council reminded us of the extraordinary significance of the Triduum : “Christ redeemed us all and gave perfect glory to God principally through his paschal mystery: dying he destroyed our death and rising he restored our life. Therefore the Easter Triduum of the passion and resurrection of Christ is the culmination of the entire liturgical year.” (General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, # 18)
These last Forty Days were a time of preparation for these great Three days, which is what Triduum means. These three days lead us to an empty tomb and an Octave, eight days, of celebrating the Resurrection. They also introduce an entire liturgical season, the Easter Season, which lasts for Fifty days until Pentecost.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs us: “Beginning with the Easter Triduum as its source of light, the new age of the Resurrection fills the whole liturgical year with its brilliance. Gradually, on either side of this source, the year is transfigured by the liturgy. It really is a “year of the Lord’s favor.” The economy of salvation is at work within the framework of time, but since its fulfillment in the Passover of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the culmination of history is anticipated “as a foretaste,” and the kingdom of God enters into our time.
“Therefore Easter is not simply one feast among others, but the “Feast of feasts,” the “Solemnity of solemnities,” just as the Eucharist is the “Sacrament of sacraments” (the Great Sacrament). St. Athanasius calls Easter “the Great Sunday” and the Eastern Churches call Holy Week “the Great Week.” The mystery of the Resurrection, in which Christ crushed death, permeates with its powerful energy our old time, until all is subjected to him.” (CCC #1168, 1169)
Our Lord never told anyone to write about His Redemption, but He did tell His Apostles to renew it, apply it, commemorate it, prolong it by obeying His orders given at the Last Supper. He wanted men not to be readers about His Redemption, but actors in it, offering up their body and blood with His in the re-enactment of Calvary, saying with Him, “This is my body and this is my blood”; dying to their lower natures to live to grace; saying that they cared not for the appearance or species of their lives such as their family relationships, jobs, duties, physical appearance, or talents, but that their intellects, their wills, their substance–all that they truly were–would be changed into Christ; that the Heavenly Father looking down on them would see them in His Son, see their sacrifices massed in His sacrifice, their mortifications incorporated with His death, so that eventually they might share in His glory. Fulton Sheen
Celebration of Liturgy will take place at
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
The greatest act of faith that a man can perform is the act we perform every night. We abandon our identity, we turn our soul and body into chaos and old night. We uncreate ourselves as if at the end of the world: for all practical purposes we become dead men, in the sure and certain hope of a glorious resurrection. G.K. Chesterton
The Easter Vigil begins with darkness. The darkness itself is the first movement of the liturgy, so we begin our preparations with that darkness. It represents all darkness, and all the meanings of darkness – devoid of light; evil thoughts, motivations, deeds; all that is hidden and secret, deceitful and dishonest, divisive and abusive, immoral and sinful. It’s the darkness of our world, and the darkness in my heart. If I come to the vigil and restlessly and impatiently fidget in the dark “until something happens,” I miss the power of what is about to happen. So, we prepare by readying ourselves to experience the darkness. It is distasteful and reprehensible, embarrassing and humbling, fearful and despairing.
The Light of Christ
The candle lit from the new fire is then processed into the community, and we receive its light and experience the power of that light as it grows. When the candle is brought front and center, we celebrate the Easter Proclamation. This prayer sounds like a Eucharistic Prayer. We give thanks and praise over this symbol of the Light of Christ in our midst and “consecrate” it as Christ’s presence among us. Reading this proclamation carefully and letting its joyful song into our hearts is a wonderful way to prepare to feel its exultant praise at the Vigil.
The Word of Our Salvation History.
There are nine readings and eight psalms or songs that have been prepared to help us with our night’s vigil. Each reading is followed by an invitation to pray in silence, which is followed by a special prayer designed for that reading. After the last reading from the Old Testament, the candles are lit and the bells ring as we sing our Glory to God. Now we are ready to hear the New Testament word in the light of Christ, and the good news, “He has been raised!” Powerful religious experience is prepared for. At this point in the liturgy, we want to be prepared to be exultant with joy at the resurrection of Jesus – the victory of our God over sin and death – for us.
The Liturgy of Baptism.
The Presiders and ministers go to the font of baptism, thereby drawing us together there. Those who are to be baptized are called forward, along with their sponsors. In our excitement for them, we realize that this is very much about the renewal of our whole community. Initiation and revitalization become one this night.
We turn to the community of saints in glory to ask for their help. We remember that we do this same litany before the ordination of priests. As we turn to each of these saints we recall how these very special women and men journeyed in situations very much like ours and let God transform their lives, and that they are now in glory interceding for us. In our hearts we might also turn to the saints we have known, who are not part of this list, whose love we have known and to whom we can turn tonight to intercede for these candidates for baptism and for our whole community.
The Celebration of Confirmation
The newly baptized and those who are about to be received into full communion are ready to “share in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.” We all pray in silence, and feel the power of God’s Spirit among us. And in silence, the Presider lays hands on each person, the same sign used in ordination to the priesthood. As they are anointed, we can imagine the gifts of the Spirit that we have received and can let ourselves feel the grace offered us to be strong witnesses to the union with Jesus in mission that we are offered. The newly confirmed take their places in the assembly of the faithful, ready to join us for the first time at the table of the Lord.
All our preparations, all the power of this night’s rituals and sacraments, lead us to celebrate the Eucharist, to “give God thanks and praise.” As the newly confirmed receive the final Sacrament of Initiation, the Body and Blood of Jesus, we are ready to celebrate Easter.
The tomb is empty. There is Light in the midst of our darkness. We’ve been fed by the Word and given new life in the waters of baptism. Now we eat his Body and drink his Blood and receive the life in him that he promises.