Sunday, April 2, 2023

Holy Week

As a pastor, I always loved Holy Week. Of course, there was always that annual moment of panic, of worry whether the palms had arrived and if there were enough of them. (They always did, and there were always enough!) But, after that, there were few parish occasions more inspiring and unifying than the annual celebration of our basic story. Every day, I miss being a pastor - but never more so than in Holy Week.

"So, on Palm Sunday, with the chant of 'Hosanna filio David' we seem to enter another world," wrote 20th-century liturgical scholar Adrian Fortescue. "One would like to spend these days in something of the nature of a retreat," he continued. "That is not possible for most people. But at least, we should, as far as we can, leave behind our usual cares, at the threshold of Palm Sunday, to take them up again when we come out of the great days after Low Sunday."

I won't exactly be leaving behind my usual cares, much less pending these days on retreat. But - ever desirous of at least spending Holy Week in a parish - I will be traveling across the country to experience Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday in a parish. Then, after Easter morning Mass, I will be able to visit my nearby family for a holiday catch-up.

May this special week, when we recall the central story of our redemption be a time of renewal and blessing for the whole Church and for the whole world!

Image: Palm Sunday, The Roman Missal, Catholic Book Publishing Corp., NJ, 2011.

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