Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord: Matthew 21:1-11
We come to an end of our Lenten journey as we look forward to Easter. This year our liturgy of Holy Week will be enriched by some Christian customs that our Polish speaking parishioners want to share with our parish. On Holy Thursday we will have a bilingual celebration to celebrate The Last Supper of Jesus before he died. We will have a chance to pray together and appreciate the beauty of each other’s language and music. After the celebration we will keep vigil together at the repository until midnight.
Good Friday is the most solemn day of Christianity. On that day we reflect upon the death of our Lord. One new thing that will help us stay focused will be a symbolic sepulcher of Jesus. It is an old Christian tradition that has been kept up in many European countries including Poland. It comes from the Bible. After the crucifixion, Jesus was laid in a tomb where he remained until Sunday. We will have a symbolic tomb of Jesus on the east side of the sanctuary. We will keep vigil from the last Good Friday service, overnight, until Saturday evening when the Easter Vigil begins. Everyone is invited to visit Christ’s sepulcher arranged in a traditional style, bathed in flowers and with a statue of the stricken Savior lying in a grotto. There will be honor guards representing our community dressed in their regional costumes or Roman soldiers’ uniforms. The Knights of Columbus will join them as well.
The Triduum (the sacred three days) reaches a climax on Saturday evening when we gather to celebrate our Easter Vigil in our parish community. We will worship bilingually again on that evening. That liturgy begins the celebration of Easter. Early Sunday morning, at 5:30AM we will have a Polish Sunrise Mass with a resurrection procession around the block along with joyful singing of Easter hymns to announce to the world that Jesus is truly risen. That tradition goes back to the Bible story in which Mary and the other women went to the tomb of Jesus early in the morning and did not find Him there; they then went and announced it to the Apostles.
I am looking forward to celebrating with you these important events of our faith. Please join us in celebrating these holy days sharing together our faith and Christian traditions.
And remember the Divine Mercy Novena begins on Good Friday. Needed materials are available in the back of church free of charge. Take some for yourself and for your friends that will appreciate them.