“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13)
Last week on Palm Sunday we reflected on our faith and how it was interacting with what we are being told by the government authorities and scientists for this coronavirus pandemic we are facing. We are being told to stay at home, locked down, in social distance, isolation, for an indefinite period of time, not only to save our lives but also to save the life of others.
As we do this we see our lives being disrupted beyond belief. The ways we move, eat, love, sleep, die, and perform our daily living are transformed and permanently changed; our “old ways” are dying to give birth to a new chance of life for others. We are being called in a very peculiar way to “lay down our lives” (in the ordinary form we know) for others: for people who we don’t know and will probably never know, for people we love, for people we dislike, for people who are our enemies…
During this most Sacred Triduum all of us at Holy Faith and all Christian people have the opportunity to see the greatest witness of this mandate in the person of Jesus Christ, who gave up his life so we may live: Jesus, our Lord and Savior, our Teacher, our Guide, our Inspiration, the center of our faith and life!.
When we enter into these sacred Paschal Mysteries we remember that our most important task during this time is to keep people alive, and protect the precious gift of life, even at the cost of our physical freedom and our comfort. We are being asked to die little by little, but like Jesus, we are being called to rise again because we know Jesus conquered death! The Paschal Mystery! This Paschal Mystery is at the heart and foundation of our Catholic Faith and our Sacred Liturgy.
As a church community, the Body of Christ, we are also “laying down” our liturgical life as we know and desire it, and, although not by choice, we are being challenged to enter more profoundly into the heart and soul of these festivities; into what really matters: “love one another as I have loved you”(John 15:12).
At Holy Faith, practicing and supporting this new dimension of sacrificial love, will continue to take precedence during these Sacred Days. We do not want to give our brothers and sisters any reason to leave their homes for anything other than an immediate situation to sustain life: like seeking food and/or for medical attention. We believe that enduring in love and sacrifice the pain of our profound urge and holy desire to be with each other, to celebrate these sacred mysteries in unity, and not being able to do so, is a profound manifestation of walking the way of the cross in faith, dying with Christ while still having the certainty of the Resurrection.
To continue living and promoting the mandate to “love one another”, we will not live stream any services during the Sacred Triduum. The dignity and proper reverence to these celebrations require that we have the proper number of ministers, well trained and prepared, and we need to protect the lives and health of our staff and volunteers, their families, and anyone whom they may come in contact with, as well as the inside of our church surfaces and environment.
As we have been doing every Sunday, we will have the texts for each day: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil. This time we may be able to include some audio. These services are in abbreviated form as the diocesan and general directives require. However, each household can create their own sacred space and environment and unite in the Reading of Scripture and Prayers.
Although we are profoundly saddened that we cannot celebrate these special days as we are accustomed at our Parish, now more than ever, we are united by Jesus’ love in the certainty that we will experience the joy of the promised resurrection. With such certainty, let us continue to keep our priorities in focus: “Love one another, as I have loved you…”
THE SACRED TRIDUUM AT HOME
* Create a Sacred space at home with candles and a table with the Bible
* Wash each other’s feet before or after the Holy Thursday Mass
*Place a cross with a candle on the same table at Good Friday
*Share a meal at home or virtually and tell stories about your ancestors before the Easter Vigil
Easter Vigil (Click on 11 April 2020)
For a PDF copy of this information How to Celebrate the Sacred Triduum at Home “The Sacred Triduum”