Starting with the Passion Sunday blessing of palms this Sunday we begin Holy Week, the most sacred time of the Church year. While many attend the Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday celebrations, there is so much more that transpires during this week, the high point in the life of the Church year. If you have not done so in the past and are able to attend the Holy Week celebrations, we would certainly invite you to do so.
On Monday, March 26th the
, at which the blessing of the holy oils and the sacred Chrism used in the sacraments, will be celebrated at 7:30PM at St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Freehold. Bishop David O’Connell is the principal celebrant, assisted by many of the diocesan priests and attended by people throughout the diocese – it is truly a wonderful experience in the solidarity of the local Church of Trenton to see so many turn out in common celebration.
On Holy Thursday, March 29th we celebrate the
Mass of the Lord’s Supper
in Visitation church at 7:30PM. This marks the end of Lent and the start of the Easter Triduum (meaning “three days”) commemorating the Paschal Mystery (the suffering, death and resurrection) of Jesus. The Thursday evening Mass observes the
(the washing of the feet) as we remember Jesus instituting the Sacrament of the Eucharist, as a parish we formally receive the oils blessed at Monday’s Chrism Mass, and follow with the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the Garden of Repose and silent adoration.
On Good Friday, March 30th (a day of fasting and abstinence) the
Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion and Death
will be held at 3PM in Visitation. This special service (celebration of Masses are forbidden by the Church on Good Friday and on Holy Saturday before the Easter Vigil) vividly recalls Jesus suffering for our sins. Silent veneration of the Cross follows. We will also have a
Living Stations of the Cross
at 11AM on Friday.
On Saturday March 31st after sundown, we mark the Resurrection with the most glorious celebration of the Church: the
Easter Vigil Mass
at 8PM. Beginning with the blessing of the Easter fire and the Celebration of Light, we recount the salvation history – of which we are a part – that culminates with the Light of the World, Jesus Christ himself.
Consider taking part in any or all of these celebrations, as well as the opportunities for 8AM Morning Prayer, 8PM Tenebrae services (the Liturgy of the Hours – the “prayer of the Church”) or the blessing of Food for Easter at 1:30PM on Holy Saturday. There’s so much that happens between Palm and Easter Sunday; make it extra-special this year and be a part of it!
Additional Note - since the evening Lenten Penance Service last Tuesday was cancelled due to the weather, we will have Lenten Confessions on Tuesday 3/27 from 7-8PM in the Church.
The washing of the feet and the sacrament of the Eucharist: two expressions of one and the same mystery of love entrusted to the disciples, so that, Jesus says, “as I have done… so also must you do” (Jn 13: 15).
St. John Paul II
Our FORMED Recommendation for the Week
Audio (50 minutes) -
Three Days that Changed the World
Fr. Hector Perez brings us alongside Jesus in the final hours of His public ministry as He brings to fulfillment the very purpose His Incarnation, the salvation of all mankind. Fr. Perez's detailed insights of those last three days offer a moving look into the loving heart of the Messiah and detailed descriptions of his intense emotional and physical sufferings. With this knowledge, our hearts can only love him more.
If you haven't done so already, go to
, click on the REGISTER button and enter our parish code
). Enter your e-mail address on the registration screen and you're good to go!
Do you find these weekly eCommunity mailings useful and think that family members or friends could benefit? Invite them either by having them text
on their smartphone or by signing up on our parish website at
- we'd love to have them join us!
Sent by Fr. Ed Blanchett on Friday, March 23 at 3:00PM