March 16, 2016
The Liturgical ‘Parades’ of Holy Week
Earlier this week, I wrote in my blog http://cardinaldolan.org/index.php/honoring-saint-patrick about today’s glorious feast, that of our patron, St. Patrick, and especially why parades are so important to the Irish.
Actually, parades are very significant for us as Catholics, too. We just call them by the fancy name processions. These “liturgical parades” will be especially vivid the week now beginning, Holy Week.
On Palm Sunday, we’ll process with blessed palms, recapturing the drama of Jerusalem, when Jesus, entering the Holy City, was acclaimed as the messiah, the Son of David. We’ll walk with palms; we’ll hold them as we hear the Passion proclaimed; we’ll bring our palms home and put them on the cross.
On Monday, we’ll again be “in line,” this time standing to await confession, the best way to prepare for Easter, as the entire archdiocese observes Reconciliation Monday, with the Sacrament of Penance available from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. in all our churches.
Tuesday will bring another procession during the Mass of Chrism in the cathedral at 4 p.m. Seminarians will “parade” up the aisle with the three silver urns containing the sacred chrism, the oil of the sick, and the oil of catechumens.
Holy Thursday is special when, after the Solemn Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Blessed Sacrament will be carried in procession to the Altar of Repose.
On Good Friday, here we go again, processing to venerate the cross at the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, and so many of our parishes will walk, indoor or outdoors, the Stations of the Cross, joining Jesus on His walk up the Hill of Calvary.
Then, on Holy Saturday, at the Easter Vigil, we’ll process with the Paschal Candle, lit with the new fire, up the aisle. Soon after, our beloved catechumens and candidates will come in liturgical parade up to the sanctuary for the sacraments of initiation—baptism, confirmation, and Holy Communion—and their profession of faith.
The Easter Parade is of us priests, processing all through the church sprinkling all of you with the water blessed the night before, right after we renew the promises of our baptism.
Are you ready to walk? Are you eager to process with Jesus and His followers as we re-live the most important events that ever occurred, our Lord’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection?
Even the St. Patrick’s Day Parade pales when compared to Holy Week!
Come join in the sacred parades!