FROM THE PASTORS DESK
We have come to the midpoint of our Lenten journey. Traditionally the fourth Sunday of Lent is known as “laetare” Sunday. Laetare is a Latin word which means rejoice. We rejoice that very soon we will celebrate the joys of Easter Sunday. You will notice that the priest and deacon for Mass today will be wearing rose-colored vestments. The mixture of the purple of Lent and the white of Easter creates a rose color. It is a clear and visible sign that Easter is coming soon. We do have a few more days of Lent before us. We hear in today’s gospel for Mass the famous words of John 3:16, God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life. These weeks of Lent have allowed us to reflect on the great gift God has given to us, that is Jesus himself. Jesus knew that he must endure the cross to gain everlasting life through the resurrection. As we approach the end of the Lenten season and enter into the holiest of days, let us pray that we will be lifted up in God’s mercy.
Tuesday Evening Lenten Vespers and Stations of the Cross
We will continue the tradition of praying sung Vespers (Evening Prayer) on the Tuesday’s of Lent this Tuesday, March 16. It will be held at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 7:00PM. Vespers from Our Lady of Victory Church will be live-streamed via our parish website and Facebook page. We will also pray the traditional stations of the cross on the Friday’s of Lent at each of the three churches. Stations of the cross will begin at 7:00PM. All are welcomed to pray with us.
Holy Week Schedule Banners & Liturgical Changes
You may have noticed that we have placed banners with the Holy Week schedule printed on them. Please take notice of the time changes this year. Usually, on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, we would have a special schedule with just one Mass at each of our three churches. This year because we are still in the midst of the pandemic, we will have a regular Sunday Mass schedule for Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Due to the pandemic, we will not have a Palm Sunday procession at any of the three churches. Priests have been asked to bless palms privately the day before Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday Mass will begin as a usual Sunday Mass. Immediately after the Palm Sunday Mass, there will be a table with blessed palm outside the church that everyone can take on their way home. On Holy Thursday there will not be the traditional Washing of the Feet or procession to the place of Repository after Mass. On Good Friday, there will not be the veneration of the Cross during the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion. On Holy Saturday there will be a simple blessing of the Easter fire with just the priests and deacon outside while the congregation will be seated in the pews. I ask all of you to be mindful of these changes this year for our Holy Week celebrations.
We adore you O Christ and we praise you, for by your holy cross you have redeemed the world,
Father Alonzo Q. Cox