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Holy Week Liturgies


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A review of the acts of public worship foundin Catholic churches during Holy Week, which takes place every year between Palm Sunday and the weekend of Easter Sunday.

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Holy Week Liturgies

  1. 1. The Liturgies of Passion (Palm) Sunday, The Chrism Mass, Holy Thursday and Good Friday A Grief Observed
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Lent: Forty Days of Preparation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Points toward Baptism & reminds those already baptized of its benefits. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Holy Week </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Follows upon Lent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reenacts, relives, participates in the Passion (the suffering, death and resurrection) of Christ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Palm Sunday, followed by the Easter Triduum : Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday/ Easter Sunday </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Passion (Palm) Sunday
  4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>Palm Sunday as part of Holy Week </li></ul><ul><li>Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Different layers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OT prophecy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expectation of the Jews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expectation of the Disciples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mind of Jesus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Our Expectations </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. History <ul><li>Significance of Palm branches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ancient times: symbol of victory and triumph </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New Testament: symbol of martyrdom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psalm 91 – represents Paradise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fourth century – symbol of Resurrection [foinix & phoenix] </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. History <ul><li>1 st century – one of 12 Major Feasts </li></ul><ul><li>5 th century – practiced in Jerusalem </li></ul><ul><li>Circa 600 AD – name of Palm Sunday </li></ul><ul><li>8 th century – Rite of Blessing of Palms </li></ul><ul><li>Middle Ages – Procession of Palms </li></ul><ul><li>1955 – Complete reform of Holy Week </li></ul>
  7. 7. Liturgical Matters <ul><li>Paradox – desolation and exaltation </li></ul><ul><li>Kenosis – key to understanding paradox </li></ul><ul><li>Assembly – threshold nature </li></ul><ul><li>Procession – journey with Jesus </li></ul><ul><li>Ending – open ended </li></ul>
  8. 8. Readings <ul><li>Sequence of events </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gospel before Procession with Palms: Mark 11:1-10 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7 [3 rd servant song] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11 [ carmina christi ] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gospel: Mark 15:1-39 </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. First Reading <ul><li>The third “servant song:” discipleship, teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Sufferings: overcome by meekness & faith </li></ul><ul><li>Our struggles = Christ’s </li></ul><ul><li>Trust in God in the midst of distress </li></ul><ul><li>Solidarity with marginalized </li></ul>
  10. 10. Second Reading <ul><li>Carmina Christi: An ancient liturgical hymn of the Judeo-Christian Church </li></ul><ul><ul><li>v.6 Divine Pre-existence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>v.7 Humiliation of Incarnation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>v.8 Humiliation of Death </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>v.9 Celestial Exaltation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>v.10 Adoration by the Universe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>v.11 Jesus’ New Title: Kyrios </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kenosis (Greek – “emptying out”) </li></ul><ul><li>Thankfulness </li></ul><ul><li>The story of Holy Week in miniature </li></ul>
  11. 11. Gospel (Mark) <ul><li>Mark’s story (written for persecuted Christians) resonates with the feast </li></ul><ul><li>God’s presence is a great discovery </li></ul><ul><li>Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Conversion </li></ul>
  12. 12. Tuesday of Holy Week: The Chrism Mass
  13. 13. History & Tradition <ul><li>Origin of Chrism Mass </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blessed Oil already used for Baptismal ritual in Third Century </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blessing reserved for bishops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Baptism on Easter Vigil. Practical to consecrate oil on Holy Thursday </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In 13 th Century, priests began to join in prayers of blessings with bishops </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. History & Tradition <ul><ul><li>By the 20 th Century, many dioceses were moving the Chrism Mass to Tuesday or Wednesday of Holy Week to allow more priests and others to be present. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part of the Chrism Mass became a renewal act whereby the priest dedicated himself to Christ and promised that he would carry out his priestly duties, as &quot;an expression of the communion between the priests and their bishop.&quot;  </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. The Chrism Mass <ul><ul><li>The role of the bishop as the high priest of his flock, and source of unity for the ministers of the entire diocese. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The blessing of oils for liturgical use: The Oil of Catechumens (for Baptisms), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Sacred Chrism (for Baptisms, Confirmation, Holy Orders and consecrations), and The Oil of the Infirm (for Anointing of the Sick). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A celebration of the institution of priesthood. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. The Chrism Mass <ul><ul><li>The renewal of commitment of ordained ministers (priests and deacons) to service. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The importance of the “priesthood of all believers.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The gathering of the entire diocese in the Cathedral. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Holy Thursday (Based on a presentation by Rev. Joseph Koh, O.F.M.)
  18. 18. Introduction <ul><li>Holy or Maundy? </li></ul><ul><li>Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum , meaning “command” (mandate) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A new command I give you: Love one another (John 13: 34) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Introduction <ul><li>The end of Lent, and beginning of the Paschal Triduum (three days) </li></ul><ul><li>True Climax – The Lord’s Supper </li></ul><ul><li>The Three principal mysteries: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Institution of the Eucharist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Establishment of Christian Priesthood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Commandment to Love One Another </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Biblical References <ul><li>The Last Supper: Mt 26:20, Mk 14:17, Lk 22:14 </li></ul><ul><li>The Washing of Feet: Jn 13:1-17 </li></ul><ul><li>Institution of the Eucharist: Mt 26:26-29, Mk 14:22-25, Lk 22:15-20 </li></ul><ul><li>The Agony & the Arrest: Mt 26:50-56, Mk 14:46-52, Lk 22:49-54, Jn 18:10-11 </li></ul>
  21. 21. History & Tradition <ul><li>Began to take shape circa Seventh Century </li></ul><ul><li>Celebration of two Masses survive: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chrism Mass </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. History & Tradition <ul><li>Medieval Times </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also known as “Shere Thursday” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Men sheared (shaved) beard and cut hair </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performed penances throughout Lent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Baptism on Thursday </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Holy Thursday <ul><li>Readings </li></ul><ul><li>Washing of Feet </li></ul><ul><li>Liturgy of the Eucharist </li></ul><ul><li>Reposition of Blessed Sacrament </li></ul><ul><li>Stripping of Altar </li></ul><ul><li>Adoration of Blessed Sacrament </li></ul>
  24. 24. Holy Thursday <ul><li>First Reading: Exodus 12: 1-8, 11-14 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The establishment of the first Passover meal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh repeatedly to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt to pray to their God in the desert for three days, but was refused </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The work of the Lord in the Passover </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Holy Thursday <ul><li>First Reading (Con’t) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The command of the Lord for the Israelites to keep this feast </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To be observed as an ordinance forever </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Important point to note… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A memorial feast is the type of sacrifice that is repeated on a regular basis. A memorial feast DOES NOT simply recall what was once done. It makes the participants just as present as the participants in the original sacrifice </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Holy Thursday <ul><li>Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Proclamation of the Lord’s Death </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participation in the memorial sacrifice that makes the participants present at the first institution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ This cup is the New Covenant in my Blood” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fulfilling the Old Covenant </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Holy Thursday <ul><li>Second Reading (Con’t) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By proclaiming the death of the Lord, we are UNITING ourselves with Him as He celebrates the Last Supper, and then is tried, and later crucified on Calvary </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Holy Thursday <ul><li>Gospel: John 13: 1-15 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The perfection of Love </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To serve and NOT to be served </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jesus showed by example what love is all about, even to the point of dying on the cross </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Holy Thursday <ul><li>Washing of Feet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It shows both the worth God ascribes to the humility of service, and the need for cleansing with water (a symbol of baptism) in the Mandatum , washing, in Jesus' washing the feet of His disciples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The hymn Ubi Caritas is usually sung at this time (“Where there is charity and love, there God is…”) </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Holy Thursday <ul><li>Reposition of the Blessed Sacrament </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Witnesses to the Church's esteem for Christ's Body present in the consecrated Host </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Sacrament will remain &quot;entombed&quot; until the Communion service on Good Friday </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No Mass will be celebrated in the Church until the Easter Vigil proclaims the Resurrection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only the dying ( Viaticum ) may receive Communion in between Holy Thursday/Good Friday and Good Friday / Easter Vigil </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Holy Thursday <ul><li>Stripping of the Altar </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recalls the Agony in the Garden, and the arrest and imprisonment of Jesus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Altar bared, crosses removed or covered, symbolising the moment in the Passion of Christ when He was stripped of His garments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transformed from the communion table into the tomb slab of Good Friday </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually done with a bare minimum of ceremony </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Holy Thursday <ul><li>Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eucharist placed in an altar of repose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Sacrament is not exposed in a monstrance, but kept in the ciborium (Latin cibum, “food”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Silent adoration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Answer to Christ's invitation &quot;Could you not, then, watch one hour with me?&quot; (Matt 26:40) </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Good Friday
  34. 34. A Remembrance and a Promise <ul><li>The mystery of death and resurrection </li></ul><ul><li>Fourth century: Easter is historical commemoration </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation of Catechumens for Baptism at Easter </li></ul><ul><li>The meaning of the Cross </li></ul><ul><li>Veneration of the Cross became a custom of the people of Jerusalem </li></ul><ul><li>Veneration of the Cross described by pilgrims: Bordeaux in 333 and the Spanish Lady Etheria later in that century </li></ul><ul><li>N.B.: Good Friday is a day of fasting , and abstinence from meat, for those aged 14 – 60 and in good health. </li></ul>
  35. 35. The Good Friday Liturgy <ul><li>Good Friday liturgy is from an ancient form </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrated in a bare Church </li></ul><ul><li>Cross has either been removed, or is covered </li></ul><ul><li>No altar frontal or ornamentation used </li></ul><ul><li>Clergy wear albs with red stoles (Red = martyrdom) </li></ul><ul><li>The presider may wear a cope or chasuble (The Cope is for events outside of Mass) </li></ul><ul><li>In the Latin Church, the only time the clergy prostrates (goes face-down) before the altar all year </li></ul><ul><li>If Communion is to be distributed, the corporal and chalice are placed on the credence table </li></ul>
  36. 36. Good Friday Readings <ul><li>Isaiah 52:13-53:12 </li></ul><ul><li>The fourth “servant song&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>The song begins with the triumph of the servant </li></ul><ul><li>Then the triumph of the enemy </li></ul><ul><li>The servant is the redeemer of Israel </li></ul><ul><li>Commentary </li></ul>
  37. 37. Good Friday Readings <ul><li>Hebrews 4:4-16;5:9 </li></ul><ul><li>The high priesthood of Jesus </li></ul><ul><li>Affirms Jesus’ divinity and humanity </li></ul><ul><li>Obedience to the Father </li></ul><ul><li>Commentary </li></ul>
  38. 38. Good Friday Readings <ul><li>John 18:1-19:42 </li></ul><ul><li>Arrest and questioning (18:1-27) </li></ul><ul><li>Trial before Pilate (18:28-19:16a) </li></ul><ul><li>Crucifixion, death and burial (19:16b-42) </li></ul><ul><li>Commentary </li></ul>
  39. 39. Veneration of the Cross <ul><li>The Cross is processed in and revealed (“Behold, the wood of the Cross…) </li></ul><ul><li>Revealed after a brief time covered </li></ul><ul><li>Brings the Passion story to a climax </li></ul><ul><li>Permits individual forms of veneration </li></ul>