"Holy Saturday is liturgically a day of deepest mourning, a day which the Church spends at our Lord's sepulcher, meditating on His Sacred Passion and Death." - 1962 Roman Missal
Ecce lignum Crucis, in quo salus mundi pependit.
Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the Savior of the world.
"Let the faithful be led to understand properly today's special liturgical act, in which the Passion of our Lord is solemnly chanted; prayers offered for the needs of the whole Church and the human race: the Holy Cross, monument of our Redemption, is adored most devoutly by clergy and faithful, the whole family of Christ: finally, as for hundred of years was the practice, all who wish and are duly prepared go forward to receive Communion with this as their chief intention, that by devoutly receiving the Body of the Lord (which He delivered this day for all men) they may enjoy richer fruits of that Redemption/ Let the priest urge the faithful to make this sacred day one of loving recollection, neither should they forget the law of abstinence and fasting." - Extract from General Decree restoring the liturgy of Holy Week
Ubi caritas et amor Deus ibi est
Where charity and love are, there is God
The Lord again presents us today with a timing that causes contemplation. Today being both Holy Thursday and April 1, the month whose devotion is dedicated to the Most Holy Eucharist. The True Presence of Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist is a devotion which swells in our hearts today as we celebrate both the Institution of the Eucharist and the conferral of the Holy Priesthood.
"Hebrew children bearing olive branches went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying: 'Hosanna in the highest.'"
- Antiphon 1: Procession for Palm Sunday
"The Second Sunday in Passiontide would be in any case a great and holy day as it commemorates the last triumph of Our Lord Jesus Christ on earth and opens Holy Week. On this day, the Church celebrates the triumphant entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem when the multitude, going before and following after Him, cut off branches from the trees and strewed them in His way, shouting: "Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord." It is in commemoration of this triumph that palms are blessed and born in solemn procession. In fact, this Palm Sunday triumph of Our Lord only led to His death. But we know that this death was not a failure. It was through His Passion and Death that He conquered the world and entered into His Kingdom." - 1962 Roman Missal
Nearly past the mid-Lent mark, we rejoice with you on this Laetare Sunday of Lent. Our redemption is at hand and God' mercy is endless!
On this Holy Sunday, we share our second Vespers hymn that we sing: O Jesus Christ, From Thee Began.
The text contains the sentiments of every Christian soul during this holy season- sentiments of humility, recognition of one's sinfulness, and plea for mercy. The Christian notes that it is Christ, as in all things, Who first carved the way of the season of Lent - through prayer and fasting in the desert - and also began the redemption of our souls. It is He Who is our Model and Exemplar in the way of reparation. Let us continue to follow Him during Lent, carrying our crosses with Him till the very last day, and only placing them down when we have reached Calvary so that we may mount it with Him.
Let us rejoice, for God has granted us the grace to follow in His footsteps - He Who is our help and salvation!
The hymn we share on this Third Sunday of Lent - chanted for Lauds - calls to mind the Gospel read yesterday: the Prodigal Son. The son reminds us of the attitude we are to have before God: one of complete repentance and acknowledgment of our sins, begging for mercy before the Lord's throne. The father in the parable is meant to remind us of God the Father, Who, when we come to Him with a humble and contrite heart, runs to meet us with open arms , ready to embrace us and pour out His love upon. All we have to do is to return Him completely.
Last weekend we spoke of how important sacred hymns are both in the Church and in our community. We shared with you one of the hymns we sing before Lauds during the Lenten Season, and wished to share other hymns for the Divine Office on each Sunday during.
On this Second Sunday of Lent, we share with you a hymn we sing before Vespers, "O Merciful Creator, Hear." We pray the texts of this hymn can add to your Lenten meditation on the outpouring of God's mercy toward us who are sinners and are in need of an abundance of grace - for this we fast and pray for 40 days.
Sacred hymns hold quite a prevalent place within the life of a Marian Sister, and for anyone who fosters a liturgical spirit. To a religious, the hymns given by the Church become the the very breath throughout one's day.
Miserere mei, Deus, miserere mei: quoniam in te confidit animas me.
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me for my soul trusteth in Thee.
Last weekend we said goodbye to our dear friend "Al" - also known as the "Alleluia". During the season of Septuagesima, the Church bids farewell to this glorious word and removes it from the Sacred Liturgy because it is so closely untied to the mystery of our Lord's Resurrection.