Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord


Dear Friends,

Palm Sunday may remind us that the Lenten season of sacrifice and self-denial is coming to an end, but this week is extremely important for all Christians. The greatest focus of the week is the Passion (suffering) and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the events that led up to it. The “Chrism Mass” will be on Tuesday in the Cathedral where the Bishop, together with all the priests, will commemorate one important event of the Holy Thursday – the institution of the Priesthood. It is during this Mass that the Bishop will bless the sacred oils used for the Sacraments. Besides Fr. Lancelot and myself, Mike Lanyi, our dedicated Sacristan, and his wife Debbie, who also is very committed to ministering in our parish, will represent our parish. They will bring some of these blessed oils back to our parish.

“Easter Triduum” is a term we hear more frequently this week. It simply means “a three day festival” of prayer and worship, beginning on the evening of Holy Thursday and ending on Easter Sunday. A short note on each of these days is given on page 5 of this bulletin. My earnest request to you, dear brothers and sisters, is that you make every effort this week to attend these sacred events. Can we consider this week as a time of grace for all of us as a family and so make sure that we participate in these worship services even by making some sacrifice this week, by rescheduling other activities, by rearranging other plans and thus giving priority to this week? You will see the grace of God flowing into your lives and into your homes.

You heard me inviting you to attend the Easter Vigil Service, at 8 pm on Saturday, March 30, especially if you have not attended one. Some think it is way too long and so avoid it! Listen to a Catholic layperson who worked in a parish office and thought the same way but had a very different experience when attended it:

“For many years I avoided the Easter Vigil like you avoid people who have a stomach virus.  At some point in my career as a parish staff and minister, I needed to attend.  I was not really looking forward to it.  I had heard it was very long, with many readings and a long homily. Nevertheless, duty called and so off I went. What an amazing experience it was to attend the Easter Vigil.  Yes, it was a bit longer than a usual Mass but containing such beauty and richness that when it was over I thought truly heaven and earth had met that night.”

Why miss such a wonderful opportunity? I must add that the music will be truly upbeat and uplifting. Joan Seamon and all our music ministers have been spending so much of their time and talent into helping us have a truly enriching experience through music for every Mass but in a very special way for the Easter Vigil. Our RCIA class will be receiving the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter Vigil. It will be a great opportunity for you to welcome them into our community as full-fledged members during the Easter Vigil, which is full of signs and symbols of our faith giving us an ethereal experience of sacred mysteries. Hence, I request you to come and experience the beautiful liturgies of the Holy Week, but in a special way the Easter Vigil that the Fathers of the Church termed “the mother of all vigils.”

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal