>> Thursday, March 13, 2008
I hope that your journey through the desert is going well. As we near the end of Lent, we look forward to the most sacred and solemn week in the entire year.
Click on this post for some important Lent/Holy Week reminders.
This Friday is the feast of St. Patrick.
St. Patrick's feast day is normally on March 17th. However, this date falls in Holy Week; in general, festive celebrations are not appropriate for Holy Week, so the Bishops in the U.S. and Ireland have used their discretion to transfer the his feast day to March 14th. So, despite what your secular calendars (and some secular Irishmen) say, "St. Patrick's Day" is this Friday. So, don't forget to wear your green! Besides being the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick the co-patron of our diocese [our other patron(ess) is Our Lady of Guadalupe]. Because of St. Patrick's status in the Diocese of Sacramento, his feast is celebrated as a solemnity...ALSO, if you read your Catholic Herald and the bulletin, you would have noted that His Excellency Bishop William Weigand has granted a dispensation so that we are NOT obligated to abstain from meat this Friday. In fact, I'm looking forward to the corned beef and cabbage!!!
Another saint who is in a similar calendaring situation is St. Joseph.
The Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary is normally on March 19th. Since this is a universal solemnity (i.e. the entire church throughout the world should celebrate St. Joseph's feast), the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (headed by one of my favorites: Francis Cardinal Arinze) transfered this celebration to March 15th. As you may know, St. Joe is one of my patron saints. At least to me it only makes sense that if you love Jesus and want to follow Him, you're going to love His Mother, Mary, into whose arms the Savior of the World would often run. Then, if you love Jesus and Mary, you're also going to love the one whose job it was to protect and care for both of them: St. Joseph! So, I invite you to join me (and Jonathan) in celebrating our beloved patron...which means gifts on our feast day would be welcomed. =P
In other Lenten news...
I hope that you were all able to go to the parish communal penance service this past Thursday. In case you missed it, I believe that there will be a priest to hear confessions every day next week beginning from 6-7pm beginning on Monday. Or, if you prefer a bit more anonymity, a priest will be available for confession at St. Basil's Monday-Wednesday of Holy Week from 10am-Noon and from 6-8pm. If you haven't gone to Confession during Lent, please try to go before Easter, especially if you are in a state of mortal sin.
Some of you may know that I consider Holy Thursday to be THE most romantic day in the entire year. Part of what adds to the romance of this very special night is that only on this day is the full "Pange Lingua" sung. For the last several years, CYM's youth choir has been in charge of music for the Holy Thursday Mass. Now, having spoken with Rex, he could use all the help he can get for Holy Thursday. So, I implore you to join choir next Thursday in order to (1) sing for God and enhance the liturgy by assisting others to life their minds and hearts in worship; (2) represent the youth and demonstrate to our parish all the talent that God has blessed us with; (3) basically guarantee yourself a seat in a very packed church. :) But the thing is, you need to make CHOIR PRACTICE this SUNDAY @ 3pm in the church.
Towards the end of the Holy Thursday liturgy (since there is no official end of the liturgy) is the Night Watch: altars all over the world will be stripped and tabernacle doors left wide open...in order to commemorate the Agony in the Garden, the Blessed Sacrament will be solemnly transfered to the altar of repose where we will be invited to "watch and pray". CYM, resisting the temptation to fall asleep like the Apostles, will lead the first hour of the night watch. So, from about 9-10pm we will lead our fellow watchers in praise and worship and in the singing of the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. We're doing a different version of the Chaplet this year. Thus, I request that all youth in CYM (including the cast and crew of the Passion Play) attend the Holy Thursday Mass and stay for CYM's hour at the Night Watch. Don't forget to bring a friend and your rosary.