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.

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.

24/4/11 – The Easter Triduum

Today brings to a conclusion the great celebration of the Easter Triduum.  Once the sun set on Thursday, we entered into this celebration with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.  The second part of this three-day celebration took place on Friday afternoon with the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion.  Finally, we resumed our celebration on Saturday evening by participating in the high-point of the entire liturgical year – the Easter Vigil Mass.

Each of these parts of the Easter Triduum is characterised by liturgical rituals that are unique to these great three days.

Washing of the FeetAt the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Fr Paul knelt down before his parishioners and washed their feet.  In this ritual, we are reminded of Christ’s commandment to love one another, and the way Jesus challenged the disciples to live out this command.  We engage in the washing of feet each year not as some role-play or historical reenactment, but because we too, as disciples of Jesus, are called not to be served, but to serve.

Veneration of the CrossOn Good Friday, hundreds of us came forward to venerate the cross.  On this day, we celebrate what is very much our Good Friday.  Although Christ died as he hung upon the wood of the cross, as the ritual reminds us, Christ is the salvation of the world.  We continue through to Easter with the hope of that salvation.

Service of LightFinally, the Easter Vigil begins with the Service of Light.  The pillar of fire led the Israelites at that first Passover, through suffering and slavery to new life.  Our pillar of fire, the Paschal candle, leads us to our celebration of Christ’s Passover, his passing over from death to new life.  Guided by the light of Christ, we recall the history of our salvation, celebrate the resurrection, and initiate new Christians into Christ and his Church.

May God bless you all during this time, and over the fifty joyful days of the Easter season.