Good Friday

Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last. Luke 23:45-46

Courtesy of Stushieart.com

 

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”  Luke 23: 42-43

 

Minute by Minute

All the cool kids (I’m looking at your Dwija and Cam) are doing it so on this day when I have all three kids here (Shelby has a low-grade fever, so her grouchiness got to stay home today):

5:20 AM–wake up enough to kiss Jeff goodbye, snuggle in my comforter and go back to sleep

7:00 AM–wake up, go to the bathroom and get out of bed

7:10 AM–Lauds

7:13 AM–Will runs out and announces to Joe that Mama is up and praying

7:20 AM–Open Shelby’s door, invite boys to breakfast

7:30 AM–Begin fixing pancakes for breakfast

7:31 AM–Want to bang head on something hard, we have no milk

7:32 AM–I spy with my little eye some buttermilk on the fridge door that is still good. Praise Jesus, You are good in deed.

7:45 AM–Finally sit down to eat my pancakes

8:15 AM–Try to persuade Shelby to put clothes on, fail

8:30 AM–Turn on Pandora and rock out to 80’s New Wave on the Jesus Jones station while cleaning up the mess from breakfast/washing dishes

9:00 AM–Tune into Salt and Light for a rebroadcast of the Chrism Mass in Rome

9:30 AM–Inform both boys they can fix their own drinks

9:45 AM–help Shelby make grits as she has finally decided breakfast is a good idea

10:00 AM–make Shelby More grits

10:08 AM–Let Joey know if he wants the iPad to take it from his sister. She’s had enough time, I’m allowing him to just take it.

10: 15 AM–Make Shelby more grits

10:33 AM–Announce to Shelby she’s consumed all the grits in the house

10:48 AM–Mass is over,  begin contemplating lunch

11:00 AM–Will says, Let’s have more pancakes, so I make more pancakes

11:15 AM–Shelby changes herself (thankfully just a pee diaper) and brings me her school uniform, two jackets, and two backpacks and demands I help her dress

11:30 AM–finally get to eat my lunch pancakes

11:43 AM–clean up the lunch mess

11:50 AM–make hot dog for unnamed boy child who ate pancakes and claims to still be hungry

11: 56 AM—sit down to compose this post

12:00 PM–notice it’s noon and let’s say an Angelus

I know the minutiae is overwhelming.

On Holy Thursday

Christ instituted the priesthood:

He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as ‘Benefactors’but among you it shall not be so. Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant.For who is greater: the one seated at table or the one who serves? Is it not the one seated at table? I am among you as the one who serves.It is you who have stood by me in my trials;and I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father has conferred one on me,that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Luke 22: 25-30

 

And today at the Chrism Mass, Pope Francis extols us, the lay people this way.

 

Dear lay faithful, be close to your priests with affection and with your prayers, that they may always be shepherds according to God’s heart.

 

Have you checked out Catholic Women Rising?

I am a faithful practicing Roman Catholic woman, who attends Mass at least once a week and who believes in and practices the Church’s teachings, specifically pertaining to matters on sexuality, contraception, abortion, marriage and the ordination of women. I believe that the Roman Catholic Church is sympathetic to and representative of the needs and concerns of women and their children, wherever they may be in the world. I would like to offer our new Pope Francis, my prayers and support and thank him for his continued protection and support of mothers and their unborn children. I fully endorse Church doctrine in relation to women’s issues. ~Catholic Women Rising

You can comment on this post here to voice your support.

Catholic Women Rising is the next wave. It is about authentic Catholic feminism and is promised to embrace women who are faithful to the Holy See (not just Roman Rite) and encourage them in their joy and struggles with Catholic teaching. They are new, so show them some love.

It’s not the perfect solution

But I started up with Bloglovin’ and that’s right, I left Google Reader which was gonna dump me come July so, you know, I beat it to the punch. And while it locks up my intrawebs frequently…I am continuing  and hoping it improves.

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A Gospel Reading, the first two readings and then the Passion…what’s up with that?

A lot of Catholics were befuddled by mass on Palm Sunday this year by the order of the mass. And I guess I would have been too if I had not watched mass with the Pope beforehand and sat and read in the missals that our church has available before mass (I got there early anticipating a rush so I had time to kill). Here is a run down I found online. It’s for Year A and we’re in Year C, but you get the idea.

Everything happened at mass in St Peter’s exactly to the letter as it is in that online resource. Now, our church doesn’t do the procession of the palms, because, as I stated we have nowhere to gather and even if we did, the weather this year made that impossible. So our priest processed in to All Glory Laud in Honor, did the opening prayer and then the Gospel reading. Afterward we did not have a homily (we did not have one at all, actually) but we were seated for the readings and the “normal” Liturgy of the Word. I read in the missal that there are three entrances to mass, one which involves the procession, the second which does not involve the procession but proceeded as ours did and then a third “simple entrance” which is what most of us are probably used to. Now, as to why so many of us did something we are not accustomed to before, I have no idea.

I do know that it is not a rogue priest or strange parish thing. After all, as I said, it is how it was celebrated in St Peter’s and the missals were printed before Pope Francis’ election so it’s not some liturgical change related to the change in the Papacy. (And with the schedule he has been keeping, that I would have had to assume it was done in his sleep if it were.) I was glad that I got to hear Pope Francis’ homily especially since our priest did not offer one this week.

Light in Darkness

Joining Maria’s new meme this week Light in Darkness. And thank you to Maria for linking to my blog this week in her own moment of Light in Darkness. If you are stopping by from Maria’s I thank you for visiting and hope you will come again. This video of Palm Sunday mass is too cute, Pope Francis kissing so many babies, he barely makes it to mass on time. But can you blame him? What is better than kissing a sweet baby?! And what a valuable witness to life around us.

What was missing this Palm Sunday

This year, at our parish, I found some things missing at our Palm Sunday mass.

I’ll start with the obvious one. Palms. Now, normally our cavalry of ushers is standing distributing palms before mass and bogarting them so it’s one a person and no more! But as I entered on Sunday, no palms to be seen or found in the narthex and the ushers weren’t handing them out. Which is fine because our parish does not bless the palms or do the procession. Now, we don’t do the procession because honestly, we have no place to gather to do it. We are essentially an urban parish and there is not an area large enough to accommodate the regular mass crowd much less what is typically the Palm Sunday mass crowd (more on that later). And the altar and pulpit (we have a pulpit in our church, a real, walk up the stairs pulpit) were adorned with palms and red, so to me, it was practically a non-issue because in my house, palms get all kinds of lost and my grandparents sent my kids an Easter card each year with a little money and each gets a Cross made out of palms.

Then there were no altar boys. One was seen rushing to the vesting area just before Mass. It was clear he was not scheduled and was stepping in to help out. And that made me notice there were fewer families than usual at mass that day. I think it was mostly because there was no catechism after mass this week. It was in smaller part due to the weather which was cold and pouring buckets of rain out of the sky. In fact, Jeff was all ready to take all three kids with me but the weather stopped that as we have one umbrella, it’s a golf umbrella so it doesn’t fit under the pew, and it’s the perfect opportunity for my kids to have a public fight. A lighter rain and we would have made it happen.

And that leads me to the third thing conspicuously missing: the crowd. Erin Manning calls them CAPE Catholics. Sacerdotus calls them A&P Catholics. Whatever they are, we all know there are Catholics that show up to mass on Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday and Christmas and Easter. And the rest of the year, well, they don’t show up. In our area, we also have this interesting phenomenon of Protestants who attend mass on those days. We have two Episcopalian churches and our only Anglican church that distribute ashes and palms but otherwise,  you’re out of luck. So, in droves, they crowd into Catholic parishes particularly on Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday and Midnight Mass. Not this year. I have to say, and it may sound uncharitable, I felt like Cosmo Kramer on Festivus, “It’s a Festivus Miracle!”

I realize it’s uncharitable because it’s an opportunity to evangelize and minister to these people, but finding a parking space and a place to sit on Palm Sunday does feel a wee bit miraculous no matter how it happens.

Palm Sunday mass is one that slays me every year. Rips me apart and then quietly knits me back together. And this started when I was a young kid. Singing Hosannah! was so joyous and I was always excited, “The King is Coming” excited. We had some sort of children’s book about Easter either at home or at my church growing up and I distinctly remember a picture of Jesus riding on a donkey entering as people waved palms. And it scared me as a child to hear the congregation yell, “Crucify him.” In fact, I know I thought these people had lost their minds because I remember saying to my mother, “But they KNOW who Jesus is. Why are they yelling ‘crucify him’?!” And even long after I understood, even now, it still makes a lump rise in my throat and I can barely say the words myself. But after that difficult Gospel, I am then healed in the Eucharist and somehow made whole again.

And then the big surprise, we did end up getting palms. And instead of the one-a-person approach, the ushers set up card tables in the narthex and told us to take as many as we wanted. So, I got some for the members of my family who did not attend.

After rushing home, I handed each child (and their father) their palms saying to each, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosannah in the highest!” They were watching Brave and immediately palms became bows and arrows. It was like I was the hero of the day.

I had begun my day at 4 AM watching the Palm Sunday mass in St Peter’s Square. Pope Francis invoked the youth in his homily to, “Prepare well in your communities—prepare spiritually above all…” which was in preparation for World Youth Day in Rio in July, but I felt those words were apt to all this Palm Sunday. Prepare ye the way for the Lord, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosannah in the Highest!

It’s Holy Week

So, it’s time to prepare my heart for the coming of our Lord. And for you to prepare your’s. No posts this week as we, in the words of the prophet Joel:

Yet even now—oracle of the LORD

return to me with your whole heart,

with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Joel 2:12

Off to embrace the cross of getting to Mass in severe weather on Palm Sunday.

And so I say to you, Extra Omnes…til  next week and may God Bless you!

It’s a Scandal, It’s an Outrage!

So, there are some rumors going around that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi were allowed communion at the Papal installation mass. Now, so far, I’ve yet to see any actual evidence of it besides an article from Huffington Post and a few bloggers. I had read somewhere before the mass that dignitaries were not offered the Eucharist for the reasons of many of them not being Catholic (there were Jewish and Islamic delegations present as well as secular ones) or not being eligible to as many of us (myself included) presume to judge Pelosi and Biden as being on the basis of their pro-death stance on abortion. But watching the mass, I was fairly certain that Communion was being delivered to the dignitaries who chose to receive. However, no photographic evidence (from EWTN at least) that either of them received or not.

And there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over this. I am inclined to believe that both received just because I can’t fathom either of them has any sense of shame or dignity that would say, “I really shouldn’t do this.” But I am not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater and say that the Church has turned to Satan if they did actually receive. And I certainly cannot indict the priests and deacons sent out to administer the sacrament either. Read the below twitter exchange in Father Nathan’s feed:

This was a question in response to administering the sacrament to those “known” to be in a state of sin. Here were the subsequent responses that dealt specifically with Pelosi/Biden.

 

 

In all likelihood, the priest or deacon did not know who they were, where they were from, or anything about them except they were seated in the dignitary section. We, as Americans, know their sins well, but the Holy Father had only been in his position for a week at that point, somehow I doubt images of American politicians who don’t talk the talk or walk the walk were front and center on his agenda any of these days either. So I’m sure the priests and deacons collected for this mass were not drilled on “who may receive and who may not.” If anyone “sinned” or caused “shame in this case, it would be Biden and Pelosi, not the Holy Father or anyone distributing communion.

And, in any event, we do not have proof at this point they did or did not, just “reports.” So while I would like to hope they were a) humble enough to know not to receive or b) refused it is all speculation at this point and those who would like to dictate judgments from their keyboards are best to not.