December 15, 2017

Holy Week

Our 2017 Holy Week Schedule at St. Francis of Assisi is as follows:

Sunday, April 9th – Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

christ-entering-jerusalem-on-an-ass

Regular Mass Schedule – Saturday, April 8th at 5:00pm; Sunday, April 9th at 7:15am, 8:45am, 10:30am, 12:15pm, 5:30pm & 7:15pm (Spanish).

Our celebration of Palm Sunday has both a festive and a somber character.  The Mass begins with a procession which commemorates Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  He was greeted with waving palm branches which were laid at his feet – and we bless palm branches to remind ourselves of this practice.  At the conclusion of the procession, however, the celebration changes.  The readings remind us of the suffering and death of the Lord.  The people on the streets of Jerusalem who had shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David!” on Sunday were shouting “Crucify him!” by Friday.  The liturgy is a perfect introduction to the Easter Triduum which will be celebrated on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

The liturgy of Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion features blessing and distribution of palms, solemn procession, proclamation of the Passion Narrative from St. Matthew’s Gospel, and the Eucharistic liturgy.

Monday, April 10th – Monday of Holy Week

Regular Masses – 8:15am & 12 Noon

                Parish Penance Service – 7:00pm – Many priests available for individual confessions

Tuesday, April 11th – Tuesday of Holy Week

Regular Masses – 8:15am & 12 Noon

Chrism Mass -7:00pm at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 1695 Central Avenue, Memphis.

Wednesday, April 12th – Wednesday of Holy Week

Regular Masses – 8:15am & 12 Noon

Confessions – 6:30-7:30pm

Thursday, April 13th – Holy Thursday

jesus-washing-peter-s-feet-1876

               No Regular Masses – Only one evening Mass

Mass of the Lord’s Supper – 7:00pm; Chapel of Reservation open until 10:00pm.

The commemoration of the Last Supper begins the “Easter Triduum,” which is actually one celebration spread out over three days.  Unlike the normal Sunday Mass, there is no blessing from the priest or dismissal from the deacon from the beginning of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper until the end of the Easter Vigil.

The Church believes that Jesus established the Eucharist at the Last Supper, so this evening celebration has a special character.  Indeed, the story of the institution of the Eucharist – one account of the Last Supper – is read from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.  The gospel reading, however, does not mention the bread and wine that we associate with the Eucharist.  Instead, we hear John’s account of the washing of the feet.  Then the priest reenacts it – by washing the feet of parishioners.  It is a humbling reminder that all of us are called to serve – that’s what being the body of Christ is all about.  At the end of the evening, the Eucharist is taken from the church and placed in the chapel – reminding us of Jesus’ walk to the garden on the night before His death.

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper includes Washing of Feet, Eucharistic Procession and Reposition of the Eucharist.

Friday, April 14th – Good Friday

Crucifixion

Good Friday is a Day of Fast and Abstinence.  No Regular Masses.

             Stations of the Cross – 12 Noon

             Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion – 7:00pm

Commemorating the day on which Jesus died, our liturgy on Good Friday begins with silence.  The altar and the sanctuary have been stripped of all decoration, the tabernacle is empty, and the cross is veiled in red.  It is simple and profoundly moving.  We participate in the reading of the Passion narrative from John’s Gospel and in special intercessions, we pray for ourselves and for everyone in the world. It is a reminder that Jesus is not a personal savior, but the savior of the world.  The wood of the cross is revealed in a poignant ceremony and all come forward to reverence it with a kiss.  Never has wood seemed so important than when we remember that it bore our salvation.

In accordance with the ancient tradition of the Church, Good Friday is the only day of the year on which Mass is not celebrated. The Celebration of the Lord’s Passion does not include the Eucharistic sacrifice – as that sacrifice pales in comparison to that of the Cross.  Instead, the Eucharist consecrated the evening before at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper is distributed to the faithful.   We depart in silence.

The Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion features the proclamation of the Passion Narrative from St. John’s Gospel; General Intercessions, Veneration of the Cross, and Distribution of Holy Communion.  The Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion is the Church’s Good Friday liturgy as there is no celebration of Mass on Good Friday.

Saturday, April 15th – Holy Saturday

Holy-Saturday

                No Regular Masses and NO afternoon Confessions

             Confessions – 10:00am-12 Noon

             Easter Vigil Mass – 7:00pm

The culmination of the Easter Triduum is the Easter Vigil, which is the high point of the Church’s year.  Here, the three sacraments of initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist – are celebrated.  The silence and darkness that ended our Good Friday celebration is broken by enkindling a great fire.  From this fire the Paschal Candle is lit.  During the Easter season, and at Baptisms and funerals throughout the year, this candle reminds us that Christ is our light.  From this candle, we light our own candles – reminders of the flame of faith given to us at our own baptism.  Around this fire, we listen to the great proclamation of Easter and then keep vigil – watch – by listening again to the great story of our salvation proclaimed through Sacred Scripture. The Alleluia returns and the story of Easter is proclaimed in the gospel text.

We bless water – another symbol of Christ, the living water, and those who are to be welcomed into the Church are baptized or make their profession of faith and are confirmed.   One with us in faith and baptism, they join us at the Eucharistic table for the first time.  Finally, for the first time in three days, the priest blesses the people and they are invited to “Go in peace, Alleluia, Alleluia!”

The Easter Vigil includes Blessing of Fire and of the Easter Candle, the Easter Proclamation, Readings of the Story of Salvation, Celebration of Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist.

Sunday, April 16th – Easter Sunday

Noel-coypel-the-resurrection-of-christ-1700

Our Mass schedule is different on Easter Sunday and different than in prior years.  Please note the changes from our regular schedule.

Masses on Easter Sunday ONLY are celebrated at the following times:

              7:00am (In the Church);

             8:30am (In the Church);

             8:45am (In the Parish Life Center);

             10:30am (In the Church);

             10:45am (In the Parish Life Center);

             12:30pm (In the Church);

               NO 5:30pm Mass;

             7:15pm (Spanish – In the Church)