Walking the Walk

liturgical space 022Our Judeo-Christian tradition includes many long journeys towards a unique encounter with God.  The Israelites’ search for the Promised Land, Elijah fleeing to Mount Horeb, and Joseph and Mary travelling to Bethlehem are some example.  Jesus’ own long journey of his public ministry ultimately leads to his final journey to Golgotha.

Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, looking towards the Dome of the Rock
Looking into the old city of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives

Many Christians since have been inspired to seek encounter with God through pilgrimage.  It may be to sacred places abroad like the Holy Land, or walking in the footsteps of saints.  The processions of our liturgy enrich our worship by drawing us physically into the journey of encountering God.  They are, in their own way, pilgrimages into the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and our upcoming Holy Week celebrations are full of them.

Fr John and Severs showing the cross, Good Friday 2009Beginning with the procession at 9:00 am Mass on Palm Sunday, we continue with the processions of oils, gifts for the poor, and the Blessed Sacrament on Holy Thursday.  The cross is the focus of procession on Good Friday, as it is brought into the church, and as we approach it in adoration.  Finally, the Easter Vigil brings with it the procession of the light that dispels the 25320897818_a85d3d4b9f_b_ddarkness, and the procession to the font where we will not only renew our own baptism, but celebrate the baptism of five new Catholics – Thippi, Mathanki, Lucy, Song and Alan – who will then go on to process to the altar for the first time in Holy Communion.

Let us take the opportunity to participate in these processions prayerfully and place ourselves within the saving act of Jesus that is not just a historic event, but something that the liturgy makes real and present for us here and now.

Holy Week

Carmel Bulletin, 29 March 2015

Today we begin once again to approach the most holy days of the entire liturgical year.  We invite you all to participate in the celebrations of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum.

Our Diocese will celebrate the Chrism Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Wednesday at 7:30 pm.  At this Mass, Bishop Kevin Manning will bless the oils that will be used in the celebration of the sacraments over the next year and consecrate the Sacred Chrism.  They will be presented to Fr Paul and representatives of our parish, and presented in our church prior to the commencement of the Holy Thursday evening Mass.

Bowl and Jug for the Washing of FeetThere is not a morning Mass on Holy Thursday, Good Friday or Holy Saturday.  The Easter Triduum begins with the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:30 pm. The Parish Centre is reserved on this evening as the altar of repose for the Blessed Sacrament.  The main church doors will be used, with the parish centre entrance reserved for mobility access only.  Please bring your Project Compassion box with you and Vinnies food donations also and place them in the baskets provided.  Solemn adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which continues after Mass, will conclude with Night Prayer (Compline) at 9:45 pm.

Procession of the CrossStations of the Cross will be prayed on Good Friday at 9:00 am, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be celebrated from 9:30 – 10:30 am.  The church will remain open during the day for those who wish to come and pray.  The main celebration of this day is the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 3:00 pm.

Fire at Easter VigilIf you have flowers to contribute to the Marian Shrine or other saints at Easter, please bring these down to the parish centre on Holy Saturday from 9:00 am – 10:00 am.  The main celebration of this day and the entire Easter Triduum is The Easter Vigil at 7:30 pm.

Finally, Easter Sunday Masses will be celebrated at 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 10:30 am and 6:00 pm.

Recalling Good Friday

Carmel Bulletin, 25 May 2014

After the celebration of the Easter Triduum commences with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, it continues with the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday.  The service begins without the usual Sign of the Cross and Greeting of the Mass, and ends without the customary blessing and dismissal, reflecting that this is a continuation of the Triduum celebration.

Adoration of the Holy CrossThe Adoration of the Holy Cross is the central ritual of this celebration.  It is unique to the Good Friday liturgy.  It is fitting, therefore, that we give the time for everyone to participate in it.  To open up the full richness of the ritual, and to allow everyone to engage in it, we offer the opportunity to everyone to come forward and venerate the cross.  Having everyone come forward to venerate at the same time helps to unify both the assembly and the ritual.

Although Christ died on the cross, the focus of the veneration is not to adore Christ.  The invitation to the Adoration of the Cross makes clear that we venerate the cross itself:

Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the salvation of the world.

In accordance with long-held tradition, Mass is prohibited on Good Friday.  The liturgy concludes with the distribution of Communion consecrated at Mass the night before.

Recalling Holy Thursday

Carmel Bulletin, 14 May 2014

The Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper is the beginning of the Easter Triduum.  It is the first part of the extended three-day celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.  It is the only Mass we are permitted to celebrate in the parish on Holy Thursday.

Each part of the Triduum has a ritual element that makes it unique.  While the Missal states that it is optional, the Washing of Feet is particular to Holy Thursday, and many people gather to engage in this unique and moving ritual.

Bowl, jug of water and stool for the Washing of FeetThe Latin name for the Washing of Feet, the mandatum, not only lends itself to one of the names for this day (Maundy Thursday), but indicates the focus of this ritual and of this Eucharistic celebration.  The point of this ritual is that Christ gives a mandatum novum (new commandment) to love one another as he loved his disicples; a love so great that he would kneel like a servant to wash their feet, and sacrifice himself so that we all may have eternal life.  This ritual is also preceded by the proclamation of the only gospel account of the original mandatum (John 13:1-15).

The Last Supper is intended to sustain the apostles as they live their lives beyond that moment, just as the Eucharist is intended to nourish and sustain us beyond the Mass as we go out and ‘wash the feet’ of those we encounter.  Thus, the only account of the Last Supper in this celebration is that in the Eucharistic Prayer, when we actually do what Christ gave us to celebrate in his memory.

Neither the Washing of Feet nor the Last Supper are intended to be mere reenactments.  Each one of them has a memorial dimension, but they also make Christ present amongst us now, and change and transform us today.  They move us to live as disciples today, with our eyes firmly set on the goal that is complete unity with Christ when we take our place at the eternal banquet of heaven.

24/3/13 – Holy Week

Fr John and Severs showing the cross, Good Friday 2009

Today we begin once again to approach the most holy days of the entire liturgical year.  We invite you all to participate in the celebrations of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum.

Our Penitential Service is on Tuesday at 7:30 pm, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be celebrated on Good Friday, from 9:30 to 10:30 am.

Bishop Anthony will celebrate the Chrism Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Wednesday at 7:30 pm.  At this Mass, the oils that will be used in the celebration of the sacraments over the next year will be blessed, and the Sacred Chrism consecrated.  They will be presented to Fr Paul and representatives of our parish, and presented in our church prior to the commencement of the Holy Thursday evening Mass.

There is not a morning Mass on Holy Thursday, Good Friday or Holy Saturday.  The Easter Triduum begins with the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:30 pm. The Parish Centre is reserved on this evening as the altar of repose for the Blessed Sacrament.  The main church doors will be used, with the parish centre entrance reserved for mobility access only.  Please bring your Project Compassion box with you and Vinnies food donations also and place them in the baskets provided.

Stations of the Cross will be prayed on Good Friday at 9:00 am.  The church will remain open during the day for those who wish to come and pray, with a Syro-Malabar Rite service during the day as well.  The main celebration of this day is the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 3:00 pm.

If you have flowers to contribute to the Marian Shrine or other saints at Easter, please bring these down to the parish centre on Holy Saturday from 9:00 am – 10:00 am.  The main celebration of this day and the entire Easter Triduum is The Easter Vigil at 7:30 pm.

Finally, Easter Sunday Masses will be celebrated at 7:00 am, 9:00 am and 10:30 am only.  To close the celebration of the Easter Triduum, we invite you to join us for Evening Prayer (Vespers) at 6:00 pm.