Wednesday, 10 April 2019
I would like to issue an invitation to each of you. Join us as we walk through the Holiest of Weeks celebrating the beautiful mysteries of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus. Delve deep into the beauty and mystery of the faith with your brothers and sisters of St. James the Less!
On Tuesday, Bishop Hartmayer and the priests of the Diocese will celebrate the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. At this mass, the bishop will bless the Sacred Oils – Oil of the Catechumens (used at the Sacrament of Baptism), Oil of the Sick (used at the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick), and the Sacred Chrism Oil (used at the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders). Also at this mass all the priests of the Diocese renew their promises to serve and pray for the people they are serving. It is a beautiful mass and I invite each of you to attend.
Thursday night, we will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 6:30 PM. This is the only mass that day. The most important thing we celebrate this Holy Thursday night is the institution of Eucharist, the first mass. Our Lord left us his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity to receive and nourish us in our faith and strengthen us in our journey. The night ends with a procession to a beautiful alar of repose set up in the conference room. This procession is like the procession of Jesus and the Apostles to the Mount of Olives where he prayed and Judas and the crowd came and arrested him. The room will be open until 10:00 PM for adoration and prayer. Will you stay up one hour with him that night?
On Good Friday, The day begins with a Tenebrae service at 9:00 AM. This is a beautiful service which recalls the shadows passing over the land and darkness coming with the death of Christ. Candles and lights will be extinguished as we proceed through the psalms and readings. At Noon we will have the Stations of the Cross. We walk with the Lord Jesus as He carries His cross on the road to Calvary. At 3:00 PM, the hour of mercy, we will celebrate the Liturgy and Adoration of the Cross. Our God showed us the extreme depth of His love for us as He took our sins upon Himself and died for our sake on the cross. Jesus offered Himself on our behalf. In doing this, He paid the price for us. Come and remember all He gave us.
Saturday evening, the Easter Vigil begins at 8:00 PM. We will begin with the blessing of the Easter fire and the Easter Candle which represent Christ Jesus, the Light of the World shattering the darkness of sin and death. Everyone who is baptized will receive a candle and then process into a dark church. The candles signifying the Light of Christ and the Light of our Faith which burns in each of our hearts. This is the light which is to radiate from us at every moment of our lives and in every situation and to every person we meet. We will hear salvation history proclaimed and sing the Gloria for the first time since the Sunday before Lent began. We will then bring others into full communion with the Catholic Church through Baptism, a Profession of Faith and the Sacrament of Confirmation. We welcome each of them into the Church with open arms. These men and women and children have journeyed this past year in their faith and in their families. It is an honor to welcome them all into the Church here at St. James. Please come and help me welcome them!
Easter Sunday morning our mass schedule changes slightly. The schedule is Mass at 7:30 AM, 9:30 AM in the Church, 9:30 AM in the gym, and 11:30 AM in the Church. Please note the change in mass times. We celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! He died and was buried on Good Friday and reconciled us to God. On Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead and opened the gates of Heaven for us! Because of His Resurrection, we have eternal life. We can live a life of joy, happiness, peace, and love!
I invite you to journey with our Lord Jesus this Holy Week. Come to these masses and services to experience the beauty of our faith. The beauty, goodness, and truth of our faith shine forth this week in an extraordinary way in these Holy Days. I look forward to seeing you there.
May the Lord abundantly bless each of you and your families this Holy Week!
- Fr. Daniel F. Firmin