Today we enter the most solemn time in the liturgical year of the Church: Holy Week.
Forgive the absence of blogs for last week; Patrick was visiting family in London on Monday and the four of us were in Dublin again this past Friday so there wasn’t time to post on our usual days, but I just wanted to bring everyone up to speed on what’s ahead for this holiest of weeks.
Last night we celebrated the Vigil of Passion Sunday with Fr. Sean presiding at the Mass. Last year, I was away on pilgrimage with parishioners for the first part of Holy Week, and Fr. Sean was still in Gambia, so this was everyone’s first experience of Palm Sunday at Clonard. There are definitely a few cultural differences that none of us expected–we were surprised to learn about 10 minutes before Mass that palms are blessed at the beginning of Mass, but not distributed until after the liturgy for those who wish to take them home. There were a couple of last-minute adjustments, but once Mass started, it went off without a hitch. Fr. Sean proclaimed the Passion narrative with drama and conviction, and gave a beautiful homily on the first reading from Isaiah, encouraging us to walk with Christ this week as faithful disciples, to proclaim the death and resurrection by the way we live our lives.
Today we assisted with the Family and Folk Group liturgies, and tonight, we’ll assist musically as the parish hosts a Penance Service. The rest of the week brings with it manifold choral rehearsals and liturgies, so we’ll be seeing those preparations through to the last detail. On Holy Thursday, our Vigil Choir will team up with the Children’s Choir to provide the music for the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, and the Vigil Choir will provide the music on Good Friday for the solemn 3pm celebration of the Lord’s Passion. We’ll also be welcoming several members of the Duffey family that day, and we pray for their safe travel. We’ll have the Prayer Around the Cross with the Folk Group on Good Friday night, and on Saturday, we’ll greet the risen Lord at the Easter Vigil with the Folk Group.
Know that we will be making the Holy Week journey in faith along with all of you, and we pray that this may be a time of rich grace and blessings for you and your loved ones as we complete the Lenten journey of another year.