WELCOME TO HOLY WEEK
This is the week that is truly holy. As a Parish Family, we are invited to enter into this holy of holy weeks as much as possible. To do that we have to see this week in its entirety. If you only experience today’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem and next Sunday hear about the resurrection you miss the drama and ultimately the substance and foundation of our faith! And so we are all invited to make the time and immerse ourselves as much as possible in the drama of Holy Week this year.
Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
At the start of our Masses this weekend we hear the account of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as a bearer of good news rather than as a conquering warrior. If we give permission to our imagination, we can see ourselves being swept along with the crowds welcoming this charismatic and controversial preacher and leader who has so many contradictory expectations placed on his shoulders! After entering into the church we have Matthew’s Gospel version this year, which shows the prophecies of scripture being fulfilled in Jesus. Matthew portrays Jesus as being in complete control of the situation because of his foreknowledge and free decision.
This Monday, 3rd April, Communal Rite of Reconciliation at Stella Maris
An opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance in a communal context. Everyone should make reconciliation a part of their Lenten journey and it is recommended to attend this sacrament at least once per year.
THE SACRED PASCHAL TRIDUUM
Thursday of the Lord’s Supper, 6 April – 7.00pm at Stella Maris
Jesus’ act of carefully washing the disciples’ feet is reenacted. The directive Jesus gives is affirmed each time we celebrate the Eucharist; “Do this in memory of me”, Jesus says. Jesus himself models what we are supposed to do; when we eat and drink we live as he lived and we love as he loved. In a world where love is overcast by arrogance and selfishness we have a model of light who renounced self so that all he encountered might have a full life and might know true love. As we participate in this supper we recall Jesus’ bold model of service and his call to do the same. At the end of Mass the Blessed Sacrament is carried in solemn procession to the Altar of Repose. While the church is prepared for the starkness of Good Friday, at the Altar of Repose people are invited to remain for private prayer and devotion. This recalls Jesus’ words in the garden of Gethsemane. As the scripture says, “Can you not watch but one hour with me?” No sacrament can now be celebrated until the celebration of the Resurrection at the Easter Vigil Mass.
Friday of the Passion of the Lord, 7 April
Stations of the Cross at 10am at Maroochydore, Sippy Downs and Coolum sets the practical scene of the drama of Good Friday and prepares us for the major focus of this day – the 3pm celebration of the Passion and Veneration of the Cross.
Celebration of the Passion at 3.00pm
This liturgy is in three parts:
(I) readings and homily
(II) veneration of the cross
(III) Holy Communion.
We have the reading of John’s passion; as we reflect on the passion we try to understand the cost of Calvary. John’s portrayal has Jesus very much in control of all that happens. In this solemn ceremony we unite ourselves to our saviour and we contemplate our own death to sin in the death of the Lord. The truth we see today is a man who was rooted firmly in his Father. We see one, who despite the journey he had to walk, trusted that his heavenly Father would see him through it. We see one who trusted that God would overcome the darkness of his death. While none of our own journeys might have led us to crucifixion, they have led us to cry out “let this cup pass away from me” at some time. We leave in silence, bewildered by the events of the day and the emotional and political extremes that have transpired since Palm Sunday.
Holy Saturday, 8 April – The Easter Vigil
The 6pm Vigil Masses are at Stella Maris, Maroochydore and St Peter’s, Coolum. This is the night of nights. The liturgy is in five parts:
(I) the liturgy begins with the church in darkness. The priest lights the paschal candle from the Easter fire. The light is spread from person to person. The procession enters the church to the chant “the light of Christ!”
(II) three out of seven readings will be read. And after the absence of five weeks the Gloria is at last sung. Homily
(III) baptismal liturgy, blessing of water & renewal of baptismal promises
(IV) the liturgy of the Eucharist
(V) concluding rites. Salvation history is remembered and God’s love for us is proclaimed through Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
Easter Sunday, 9 April – Mass of the Lord’s Resurrection
Our Easter Mass times are:
8.00am Sippy Downs;
9.30am Buderim and