Saturday, April 08, 2006

Contemplating Holy Week

Sister Anne Joan at Nunblog asks the question: How would you explain the liturgy, especially those of Holy Week?

Here's the response I shared there:

--- This year I am struck by the idea of the Triduum as one continuous liturgy that starts on Thursday with the opening procession of The Mass of the Lord's Supper and ending with the sung "Thanks be to God, alleluia, alleluia!" at the conclusion of the Easter Vigil Mass followed by the community singing together "Jesus Christ is Risen Today," or "Alle, Alle," or "the Hallelujah Chorus," or "All Shall Be Well."

As Jesus entered into His passion and journey towards our redemption, we too enter deeply into contemplating the Paschal Mystery by commemorating these sacred acts and moments almost in slow motion. The Paschal Mystery is so big, so deep, so beyond our human comprehension, that it is absolutely necessary to contemplate it in great detail and with great care at least once a year. If we are able to enter into this sacred contemplation, how blest we are and what a truly grace-filled experience of Easter we can enjoy!

As we approach the start of this week unlike any other week, my thoughts to the words of this sung refrain (sung in the voice of Jesus):


" ... I have set my eyes on your hills, Jerusalem, my destiny,
though I cannot see the end for me,
I cannot turn away ... "

Jesus cannot turn away and we are called to accompany him through our commemoration of Holy Week, in the end always reminded that in the passion, death, and resurrection of life, we are part of a journey that forms us into one body of Christ if we allow it.

In the words of the second part of the refrain, we respond

"... We have set our hearts for this way;
this journey is our destiny.
Let no one walk alone
--- the journey makes us one!"

These are amazingly sacred days, unlike any other days of the year.

May we be blessed with the grace to experience them
through all the beauty
of the Liturgy of the Triduum.


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