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The Most Important Week of the Catholic Church

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default The Most Important Week of the Catholic Church

Post by Cristíona on Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:42 am

Today marked the beginning of the most important week in the Catholic Church.... Holy Week. And as such I thought I would outline the week a little bit for those of you who have friends, family or co-workers who have chosen Catholicism as their Religion of choice. In hopes of enlightening you as to why they may be attending their church daily or why they may be acting a bit more solemn ... or more thoughtful.

Most Brilliant of Blessings - this Easter Season - upon you and yours !

Heart 2 Angel 2 Heart 2 Angel 2 Heart 2

Palm Sunday
(Passion Sunday)

Beginning of Holy Week
The Remembrance of the Entrance of the Messiah into Jerusalem.

= Mass includes a reading of the Passion–narrative of Jesus' capture, sufferings and death.
= Church celebrates Christ's entrance into Jerusalem to accomplish his paschal mystery, when according to the Gospels Jesus rode into Jerusalem humbly on a donkey, reminisce of a Davidic victory procession and people placed palms on the ground in front of him.
= On this day, a procession with palm leaves (or other branches of plants, for example olive branches) takes place in many parishes and the branches are blessed by the priest. Crosses are also made from the palm leaves and are blessed then distributed.


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default Between Sunday and Thursday

Post by Cristíona on Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:44 am

Between Sunday and Thursday

The days between Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday are known as Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday and Holy Wednesday (Spy Wednesday or Great Wednesday). During these days, various important events took place according to the gospels, such as Jesus's conversations with disciples and Jewish religious leaders, and Judas's preparation to betray Jesus.

The Office of Tenebrae (Latin for shadows) is a religious service celebrated by the Western Church on the eves of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, which are the last three days of Holy Week. The liturgy of Tenebrae is characterized by the gradual extinguishing of candles while a series of readings and psalms are chanted or recited.

Lighting is gradually reduced throughout the service. Initially 15 candles are lit and are placed on a special stand known as a hearse, which are extinguished one by one after each psalm. The last candle is hidden beneath the altar, ending the service in total darkness. In some places the use of a strepitus (Latin for "great noise") is included as part of the service. The great noise is usually generated by slamming a book closed, banging a hymnal or breviary against the pew, or stomping on the floor, symbolizing the earthquake that followed Christ's death. This custom seems to have originated as a simple signal to depart in silence.

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default Holy Thursday

Post by Cristíona on Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:46 am

Maundy Thursday
(Holy Thursday)

The Day Commemorates the Last Supper of Christ and his Twelve Apostles and the Institution of the Eucharist.

= During The Gloria, all the bells of the church are rung. They then remain silent until the Easter Vigil.
= On Maundy Thursday, the celebrant often celebrates the rite of the washing of the feet, where the feet of people (most often, of twelve men) are washed.
= On Maundy Thursday during the day, bishops usually celebrate the Chrism Mass, where they bless the oils for Confirmation, the Anointing of the Sick and the Catechumens.
= The Hosts not distributed in Communion on Maundy Thursday are reserved and distributed on Good Friday, when no Mass is celebrated.
= After the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament is carried in procession to an "altar of repose". Then all altars, except that one, are stripped bare.


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default Good Friday

Post by Cristíona on Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:49 am

Good Friday

The Church Mourns for Christ's Death, Reverences the Cross, and Marvels at His Life for His Obedience till Death.

= There is no Mass - the Eucharist is not consecrated. Communion takes place with the Hosts left over from Holy Thursday.
= The church remains stripped on this day of ornate objects, including the altar cloth and candles, as a sign of respect.
= Holy water fonts are emptied.
= On this day, The Stations of the Cross are often prayed either in the church or outside.
= Celebration of the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion occurs in the afternoon.
= The priest wears red. If a Bishop presides or helps to preside, he wears a simplex miter (a tall ornamented hat).

The Liturgy for Good Friday
The Litergy consists of three parts in the Roman Rite: the Liturgy of the Word, the Veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion.

= Prostration of the celebrant before the altar.
= The readings from Isaiah 53 (about the Suffering Servant) and the Epistle to the Hebrews are read.
= The Passion narrative of the Gospel of John is sung, often with divided roles.
= General Intercessions: The congregation pray for the Church, the Pope, the Jews, non-Christians, unbelievers and others.
= Veneration of the Cross: A crucifix is solemnly unveiled before the congregation. The people venerate it on their knees. During this part, the "Reproaches" are often sung.
= Communion service: The Communion of the previous day is distributed among the people.
= If music is used in the Liturgy, it is not used to open and close the Liturgy, nor is there a formal recessional (closing procession).
= In some countries, a monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament is placed in a Holy Sepulchre and covered with a veil. There the people may adore it and wake at the "tomb of Christ".

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default Black Saturday

Post by Cristíona on Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:51 am

Holy Saturday
( Black Saturday.)

Holy Saturday is a day of silence and prayer which commemorates the dead Christ in the tomb. No Mass is celebrated. In cases of the danger of death, Eucharistic Hosts remaining from the Liturgies of the two previous days are used as viaticum.

The Tabernacle is left empty and open. The lamp or candle - usually situated next to the Tabernacle denoting the Presence of Christ - is put out, and the Eucharist is kept elsewhere, usually the sacristy, with a lamp or candle burning before it.


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Post by Cristíona on Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:55 am

Takes place during the night, either on the eve of Easter or sunrise in the morning on Easter Sunday.

The Gospel reminds us to have our lamps ready, to be like men waiting for the Lord's return so that when He arrives He will find us wide awake and will seat us at His table.

Night vigil is arranged in four parts:
= A Brief Service of Light;
= Liturgy of the word;
= Liturgy of baptism;
= Liturgy of the Eucharist.
The priest wears white.

Part I: Service of Light:
= All lights of the church are put out.
= A fire is prepared outside the Church
= One of the ministers carry the Easter Candle.
= The priest greets the people then the fire is blessed.
= After the prayer, the Easter candle is lighted from the new fire.
= Procession:
= The priest takes up the candle and sings: "Christ our light" and the people answer: "Thanks be to God".
= All enter the Church and the priest takes up the candle for the second time and sings: "Christ our light" and the people answer: "Thanks be to God".
= When the priest arrives at the altar he takes up the candle for the third time and sings: "Christ our light" and the people answer: "Thanks be to God".
= Then all lights in the Church are put on.
= Easter Proclamation (Exsultet)

Part II : Liturgy of the word
= Nine Readings are provided, seven from the Old Testament and two from the New Testament. (the Epistle and Gospel)
= After the Easter Proclamation, the candles are put aside and all sit down. Before the readings begin, the priest speaks about Easter.
The readings follow from:
The book of Genesis 1:1-2:2 The Creation
The book of Genesis 22:1-18 Abraham's sacrifice
The book of Exodus 14:15-15:1 People of Israel leaving the slavery of Egypt
The book of the prophet Isaiah 54:5-14 God speaking to the miserable, oppressed people of Israel
The book of the prophet Isaiah 55:1-11 God's covenant with Israel. (God's magnificent promise)
The book of the prophet Baruch 3:9-15,32-4:4 Wisdom of God
The book of the prophet Ezekiel 36:16-28 God's promises to Ezekiel. (all was fulfilled in Jesus Christ)
Epistle: The letter of Paul to the Romans 6:3-11
= Lessons on the death and resurrection of Christ
= Alleluia
= Gospel
Year A: Holy gospel according to Matthew 28:1-10 (Women finding and witnessing to the empty tomb) /
Year B: Holy gospel according to Mark 16:1-8 (Women are frightened by the empty tomb and the angel's message about resurrection) /
Year C: Holy gospel according to Luke 24:1-12 (Women see the empty tomb and are told by angels of the Resurrection)

Part III: Liturgy of Baptism
= A vessel of water is placed in the sanctuary
= Candidates for Baptism (catechumens) - if present - are presented.
= e Litany is sung.
= The procession begins: Easter Candle first, followed by the candidates then the priest and ministers.
= Blessing of Water
= The priest blesses the baptismal water and prays. The candle is then taken out of the water and people sing the acclamation. Then the baptismal rites proceed (if catechumens are present, they are baptized.
= Renewal of Baptismal Promises by Congregation
= After the Rite of baptism, all present renew their baptismal profession of faith.
= The priest sprinkles the people with water while the people sing.
= The profession of faith is omitted.

Part IV: Liturgy of the Eucharist

Dove Dove Dove Dove Dove Dove


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default Easter Sunday

Post by Cristíona on Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:58 am


The Feast of the Resurrection

The Church's Greatest Feast: which always falls on the First Sunday - after the First Full Moon - that follows the Vernal Equinox.

With Easter begins the Paschal Season once again, liturgically marked with rejoicing;
Alleluia is said often and the Paschal Candle is once again set up.


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default How to Celebrate Easter as a Catholic

Post by Cristíona on Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:04 am

Easter is the greatest holy day in the Church's calendar. The Catholic Easter feast is a joyful occasion, celebrating Christ's resurrection from the dead. Catholic Easter traditions and customs abound, rooted firmly in history, tradition and culture. Only two days after the darkness of Good Friday, Easter Sunday is a most joyful day.

Here's how to celebrate Easter as a Catholic.

Dove Step 1:
Attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Easter Sunday. The Easter Vigil is an amazingly beautiful liturgy, and if you are able to go to the Tridentine Mass Easter Vigil you are very fortunate.

Dove Step 2:
Visit the Mother of the Risen Saviour. Go to the statue of the Blessed Mother at your church after the Mass is over. Offer prayers to Our Lady, whose son died for our sins.

Dove Step 3:
Bring flowers to the graves of any family members and friends, and say a prayer that they are in heaven celebrating their own new life.

Dove Step 4:
Plan a feast. After 40 days of fasting and penance, it is time to celebrate and rejoice. Serve ham or lamb with all the trimmings and treat your family to a great meal served on china with flowers on the table.

Dove Step 5:
Decorate your house. Add to the festive spirit with spring-colored streamers,a Resurrection Cross, pictures of the Resurrection and other decorations.

Dove Step 6:
Celebrate new life with an Easter egg hunt and Easter gifts for your children. Make little baskets of goodies and something religious (rosary, book, etc.) for them to find when they awake on Easter Sunday morning.

... eHow Culture

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