My Dear Parishioners,
Today is Palm Sunday, or sometimes called Passion Sunday. We mark the triumphal entrance of our Lord Jesus Christ into the Holy city of Jerusalem remembering that He was greeted with shouts of joy and adulation and the waving of palm branches as people of that day greeted royalty. The name Passion Sunday refers to the reading of the extended Gospel of the Passion. It is the first time that those coming into our Church hear that particular Gospel at a Sunday Mass. It is also the beginning of the most sacred time of our Liturgical year, Holy Week. I invite all of you to make an extra effort to be present to Our Lord at this sacred time.
During Holy Week we will hear confessions on Tuesday, March 30 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. and Wednesday, March 31 from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. (please note that there are no scheduled confessions during the Sacred Triduum, so this is the last opportunity to go to confession before Easter). The Sacred Triduum starts on Thursday, April 1st. We will have Morning Prayer at 8:00 a.m. and the traditional Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:30 p.m. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper is a great opportunity to join as a family and celebrate the dual occasions when Jesus instituted both the Eucharist and the Priesthood. After Mass on Holy Thursday, there will be the procession with the Eucharist to the altar of reposition and church will be open for adoration until Midnight. Many people still keep the tradition of visiting three churches this evening as most of them have an extended period of adoration into the evening.
On Good Friday April 2nd at 3:00 p.m. we will celebrate the Solemn Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion with a special service. These prayers are designed to recall the Gospel story of the Lords’ crucifixion, also to honor or venerate the wood of the cross as the altar on which Jesus offered His Supreme Sacrifice, and finally it provides the opportunity to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. This is not a Mass. As a matter of fact, Good Friday is the only day of the year on which Mass is forbidden. We will celebrate the Stations of the Cross on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Finally, the Easter Vigil is celebrated on Saturday April 3rd at 7:30 p.m. It is the ultimate celebration of the Lord’s resurrection. It marks the end of the waiting for the new dawn to come. Fire is blessed and the new light of Christ is symbolically brought into the Church. New Christians are baptized or received into the Church and our story, that is, the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is retold and we are renewed. Please note that the Easter Vigil Mass is at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and there is no 5:00 Mass that day. Our Easter Sunday Masses are on April 1st at 7:30, 9:30, & 11:30 a.m.
Please help spread the Good News of Easter by welcoming those who may be visitors to our church. We want them to feel like they belong and are accepted. Also please be mindful of the parking lots. I know you get tired of the reminders, but efficient parking is really necessary to allow the most number of people the chance to park. The Valley Road lot is for single space parking. The lot closest to the church is for head in or “bumper to bumper” parking.
Please do not leave open spaces because that effectively boxes out others from entering. Thank you for your assistance.
Archbishop Perez has asked that the following letter be communicated to you this weekend.
God Bless You,
March 28, 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On Good Friday, April 2, 2021, we celebrate the mystery of the Lord’s Passion, contemplating the sacrifice by which Jesus redeemed the human race from sin and death. It also has been our long standing tradition as Catholics to offer alms in support of the Catholic Community in the Holy Land.
As directed by our Holy Father, Pope Francis, funds generated by this collection support programs and services in the Holy Land. Support is needed to maintain the sacred places, to provide educational and pastoral programs as well as outreach programs for the poor through established charitable institutions.
On behalf of those Christians and others in so much need, I seek your most generous and sacrificial support of the Good Friday Collection for the Holy Land on April 2, 2021. I know that God our Father will reward your generosity beyond all measure.
Gratefully and with best wishes in Jesus Christ,
+Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia