Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Holy Week: Ad Random

amusing.gifThere are a number of stories on the back burners this week, just waiting for the right moment. Then again, there's Holy Week.

This is the one time of the Church year when things should come to a stop, or at least a crawl. It isn't necessarily so for many of us. When I was a sacristan in Georgetown years ago, I was amazed at the number of people who came to the church door on the Saturday evening before Easter, around five o'clock, asking whether there was a regular Mass at 5:30.

Once I attended a conference given by a liturgical institute, where some priest got up and proposed that a liturgy be "designed" (or whatever term he used), which would combine the three great feasts of the Paschal Triduum -- that would be Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil -- rolling them into a single celebration in one sitting. I spoke to him afterwords, suggesting the danger of people eventually attending only that liturgy. His response: "Yes, but at least they would come."

Maybe they should just stay home, for all the difference it makes.

Imagine a whole segment of the "practicing Catholic" population not even knowing what the whole notion of a "holy week" really means. A secular society cannot possibly prepare us for that, the idea of sacred time. Not that the American bishops are much help, what with moving the feasts of the Epiphany and Ascension to the nearest Sunday. They'd probably even move Christmas if they thought they could get away with it. (This is what happens when you run out of ideas for pastoral letters.)

I traditionally take Holy Thursday and Good Friday off. You can be sure that mwbh will be here to keep you properly focused, as we explore the question we posed this past Sunday: “Why is this week different from other weeks?”

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