Some photos of the Maundy Thursday celebration this year:
Thursday, 17 April 2014
Easter Message from the Ordinary
In her liturgy from Palm Sunday until Easter Day, the Church gives us the opportunity not only to hear the story of the Lord's passion, but also the experience of participating in it. We are there, watching with excitement, as He enters into Jerusalem on a colt. We are there in the upper room as He gives His disciples His body and His blood. We are there as He prays in the Garden of Gethsemane to be delivered from His fate. And we are there as He enters into His passion and dies for us on the cross.
But we are not mere spectators. Whilst we might cry "hosanna", we also cry "crucify Him". Whilst we are His disciples, like Judas and like Peter, we betray Him. We too can be indifferent to the suffering around us. Each time we separate ourselves from Christ , we help to drive in another nail.
Yet from the sin and suffering of the cross springs hope. The reaction to the teaching and example of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, reminds us that there is a world which is yearning for the good news of Jesus Christ.
My prayer for you this Eastertide is that, through the Holy Spirit, the joy of the resurrection will fill your hearts and the hearts of those whom you love.
Monsignor Keith Newton
Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of The Sacred Paschal Triduum. These three solemn days celebrate the greatest mysteries of our redemption. The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church gathers and with special celebrations keeps the memory of our Lord’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection.
On Maundy Thursday the Holy Church begins the Triduum with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. When our Lord was about to be handed over to death, He entrusted to His Church a sacrifice which was New for all eternity. This was the New Covenant in His blood; the banquet of His love.
The central act of Christian being is the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. Everything we seek to do, seek to be, all the other Sacraments, all church ministries, and the works of the apostolate, are all bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented towards it. It is in the Holy Eucharist itself that is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, because it contains Christ Himself, our paschal lamb.
The most sacred Eucharist is both a giving and a receiving. In this great mystery of salvation God gives Himself to us, and, if we are in a state of grace*, we receive and consume Christ the paschal lamb, who sacrifices Himself for us on the Cross. Albeit in a much lesser way, we also give; we give ourselves in worship and prayer to God, uniting our sufferings and trials with His on the Cross, and if we have done this worthily, He receives us into that communion in the divine Life by which the Church is kept in being.
By the Eucharistic celebration we unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy. We anticipate eternal life when God will be all in all.
So the Eucharist, the Mass, is the sum and summary of our Faith, our Christian life, and it is the most sacred and most mysterious act of the Church, in which we have the greatest privilege of participating, in one way or another.
Thanks be to God for His most ineffable Gift.
* If we are in a state of mortal sin (by committing a grave sin without coercion and with knowledge) then we cannot receive the Eucharist until we are reconciled to God by the Sacrament of Penance. If we receive the Eucharist unworthily we profane Christ and commit a further grave sin.
Tuesday, 15 April 2014
|Archbishop Menini entering and being welcomed into the Church.|
The Mass of Holy Chrism is when the Holy Oils administered in the Sacraments are blessed, and also when the clergy renew their vows as priests and deacons.
As always it was good to be with one's brothers in the clergy, to be supported by representatives of the laity whom we serve, and to concelebrate a wonderful solemn mass. The Mass setting was by Bruckner and included trombones, which was very splendid and fitting for the celebration.
Here are a few snaps I took after mass was over as people and clergy were milling around.
Sunday, 13 April 2014
Palm Sunday at St Mary's Abbey was beautiful and sunny at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Lord's Entrance. The choir sang beautifully. After the blessing of palms and the procession, upon entering the Abbey church we sand "Ride on, ride on in majesty".
Father Abbot gave the homily. The weeks of Lent, he said, were a time where we are assessed as followers of Christ. Our following of Christ is a real following/journey towards our mother Jerusalem on high. There God lives amongst human beings and there is no more weeping or mourning. In the procession of palms we do not reconstruct historical events, but celebrate the mystery of salvation. For we journey towards the Altar which is at once both place of sacrifice and throne; of joy and mourning mingled together. Our Christian faith faces the reality of the human condition: where people cry "Hosanna to the King of David" one day, and in the same week cry "Crucify Him!" How fickle our feelings especially in a crowd! Where the inner vision is blurred human feelings and desires can lead to inhumanity. The Saviour's way leads through suffering by sacrificial love nailed on the cross. His way does not stop us weeping nor takes away our pain, but it alters our inner vision and thus gives meaning to our pain and our weeping, and allows Christ's power to work in us - then we followers are adopted sons and daughters.
Thanks to Father Abbot Holy Week, or Hebdomada Sancta (hebdomada being the Latin word I learnt today!), began with inspiration for the whole of Christian discipleship caught up in the triumphant entry of Our Lord into His own city, that would crucify Him, but would be the place where His final victory is won and where He would rise from the tomb.
Following the Mass my family had a picnic in the grounds of the Abbey. What do young boys do on Palm Sunday at an Abbey after lunch? They disappear into the undergrowth of course!
The Abbey grounds were looking beautiful and some of the spring flowers were still out.
Sitting in the sun with a juicy lolly - some of the best joys of life are very simple!
Every blessing to you this Hebdomada Sancta!
Fr Ian Hellyer