Pastor’s Corner – March 18, 2018
This Fifth Sunday of Lent marks the beginning of the special sub-season called “Passiontide,” which extends up until Holy Saturday. During this time the Church’s liturgy becomes more somber and a sorrowful mood is reflected in the various practices that occur in the liturgy. The most obvious example of a more somber mood is the veiling of statues and images, which remains an optional practice in the United States and a practice that we have adopted at St. Landry.
Some have asked why we cover the statues in the church during this time? The reason for the tradition is that in His sorrowful Passion, Jesus’ face and whole body were so disfigured by the blows and scourges he received that he was scarcely recognizable. The wounds our Lord endured obscured both his divinity and his humanity in our eyes. For this reason the crucifix’s are veiled in the final days of Lent. The statues of saints are also covered, as they are the handiwork of His Grace, and without seeing the Master, there can be no servants. This brings us to the point made in last Sunday’s readings, that is, God doesn’t love us because we are good, but rather we are good because God Loves us!
We should remember that the final two weeks of Lent are used as an immediate preparation for the sorrowful events of the Paschal Mystery. It is a period of time to focus more and more on the Passion and death of Jesus and so accompany him on his way to Calvary. We should remember our part in causing His Passion in our sins, and remember His great Love for us even when we are not lovable. Through His Grace he will continue to give us new life in His Resurrection.
Next week is Holy Week. A special effort should be made by each of us to attend the major liturgies of the Easter Triduum, namely Holy Thursday Mass celebrating the Last Supper and the Institution of the Eucharist, Good Friday Services commemorating our Lord’s Passion, and the Easter Vigil. The full schedule for Holy Week will be published in a bulletin insert next Sunday for your easy reference.
Just one note on the Easter Liturgies this year. It is understandable, especially for the Easter Vigil, that it is difficult for families with young children to attend because of the late hours it begins and the length of the liturgies. I would note that this year we do not have any Baptisms or Confirmations at the Easter Vigil, so that liturgy should be much shorter than usual. None of the Liturgies should be more than an hour and a half or so. Therefore, it may be a good year for parents of younger children to come to the Easter Liturgies and expose their children to the beauty of all the Triduum Liturgies.
May God Bless all of us during this holy time!
IT’S NOT TOO LATE to sign up for your Parish Directory Family Picture! It is a great way to practice a Lenten discipline, and is a charity to those who have volunteered to help with this project!! Thanks!