A Walk-Through Palm Sunday Mass – April 5, 2020

Please see our worship guide for Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, “A Walk-Through Sunday Mass @ Home.” The readings are taken from www.usccb.org. I encourage you to set aside a designated space in your home where you and your family can pray and worship together. Use the script provided below. The purpose is to help you worship at home with your family. I encourage you to conclude the worship by reciting the enclosed at the end, asking the Virgin Mary for protection.

I know we will not be celebrating Palm Sunday together as a community this year, but we can still celebrate at home or wherever we are. The Missionaries of the Holy Spirit have provided us with some ideas as to how we can virtually celebrate Palm Sunday this year. On the morning of Sunday, April 5, put a branch on the front door or window of your house.  It does not necessarily have to be a palm branch; any green branch can represent the palm branches that heralded Jesus’ return to Jerusalem.

You may use this introduction before you bless the branch:  For five weeks of Lent we have been preparing, by works of charity and self-sacrifice, for the celebration of our Lord’s Paschal Mystery. Today we come together to begin this solemn celebration in union with the whole Church throughout the world. Christ entered in triumph into His own city, to complete His work as our Messiah: to suffer, to die, and to rise again. Let us remember with devotion this entry which began His saving work and follow Him with a lively faith. United with Him in His suffering on the cross, may we share His Resurrection and new Life.

 These symbolic acts can help us to celebrate this important occasion despite our requirement to maintain social distancing.  This process also can help to connect us with one another as we enter into the Holiest of Weeks. We may be physically isolated, but we are not spiritually separated. We are united as the body of Christ. We are the Church.

The palms (or other branches) are blessed with the following prayer:

Almighty God, we pray you bless these branches and make them holy. Today we joyfully acclaim Jesus our Messiah and King. May we reach one day the happiness of the new and everlasting Jerusalem by faithfully following him who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

A Walk-Through Sunday Mass – April 5, 2020

Sign of the Cross:

Leader: ┼ In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

Leader: Grace and peace to you from God our Father
and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be God forever.
The response is: Blessed be God forever.

All: Blessed be God forever.

Leader: We gather together as a family to celebrate the Lord’s Day.
One with our sisters and brothers
and with the entire Church, let us now listen to God’s Word
and join in prayer.

All: Amen.

Litany Seeking God’s Mercy:

(Together, we acknowledge how grateful we are for the mercy of God).

Leader: As we prepare to hear about God’s love for us,
let us remember that the Lord always offers forgiveness, for God is full of gentleness and compassion (Pause).

Lord Jesus, you take away our fear in times of trouble:
Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Leader: Lord Jesus, you heal the wounds after we hurt each other:
Christ, have mercy.

All: Christ, have mercy.

Leader: Lord Jesus, you are the life that renews the world:
Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Leader: Let Us Pray

Almighty ever-living God, who as an example of humility for the human race to follow caused our Savior to take flesh and submit to the Cross, graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering and so merit a share in his resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

All: Amen.

First Reading (IS 50:4-7)

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

Reader: The Word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm PS 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24.

R. (2a) My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

All who see me scoff at me;
they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads:
“He relied on the LORD; let him deliver him,
let him rescue him, if he loves him.”
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Indeed, many dogs surround me,
a pack of evildoers closes in upon me;
They have pierced my hands and my feet;
I can count all my bones.
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

They divide my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.
But you, O LORD, be not far from me;
O my help, hasten to aid me.
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

I will proclaim your name to my brethren;
in the midst of the assembly I will praise you:
“You who fear the LORD, praise him;
all you descendants of Jacob, give glory to him;
revere him, all you descendants of Israel!”
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Second Reading (PHIL 2:6-11)

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Reader: The Word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

Verse Before The Gospel (PHIL 2:8-9)

Christ became obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name which is above every name.

Gospel: (MT 26:14—27:66) OR (27:11-54)

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity
to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?”
He said,
“Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
‘The teacher says, “My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”’”
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
“Surely it is not I, Lord?”
He said in reply,
“He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
“Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”
He answered, “You have said so.”

While they were eating,
Jesus took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and giving it to his disciples said,
“Take and eat; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying,
“Drink from it, all of you,
for this is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed on behalf of many
for the forgiveness of sins.
I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine
until the day when I drink it with you new
in the kingdom of my Father.”
Then, after singing a hymn,
they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Then Jesus said to them,
“This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken,
for it is written:
I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed;

but after I have been raised up,
I shall go before you to Galilee.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Though all may have their faith in you shaken,
mine will never be.”
Jesus said to him,
“Amen, I say to you,
this very night before the cock crows,
you will deny me three times.”
Peter said to him,
“Even though I should have to die with you,
I will not deny you.”
And all the disciples spoke likewise.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane,
and he said to his disciples,
“Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee,
and began to feel sorrow and distress.
Then he said to them,
“My soul is sorrowful even to death.
Remain here and keep watch with me.”
He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying,
“My Father, if it is possible,
let this cup pass from me;
yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep.
He said to Peter,
“So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again,
“My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass
without my drinking it, your will be done!”
Then he returned once more and found them asleep,
for they could not keep their eyes open.
He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time,
saying the same thing again.
Then he returned to his disciples and said to them,
“Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?
Behold, the hour is at hand
when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners.
Get up, let us go.
Look, my betrayer is at hand.”

While he was still speaking,
Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived,
accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs,
who had come from the chief priests and the elders
of the people.
His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying,
“The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.”
Immediately he went over to Jesus and said,
“Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him.
Jesus answered him,
“Friend, do what you have come for.”
Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.
And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus
put his hand to his sword, drew it,
and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear.
Then Jesus said to him,
“Put your sword back into its sheath,
for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father
and he will not provide me at this moment
with more than twelve legions of angels?
But then how would the Scriptures be fulfilled
which say that it must come to pass in this way?”
At that hour Jesus said to the crowds,
“Have you come out as against a robber,
with swords and clubs to seize me?
Day after day I sat teaching in the temple area,
yet you did not arrest me.
But all this has come to pass
that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled.”
Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Those who had arrested Jesus led him away
to Caiaphas the high priest,
where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
Peter was following him at a distance
as far as the high priest’s courtyard,
and going inside he sat down with the servants
to see the outcome.
The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin
kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus
in order to put him to death,
but they found none,
though many false witnesses came forward.
Finally two came forward who stated,
“This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God
and within three days rebuild it.’”
The high priest rose and addressed him,
“Have you no answer?
What are these men testifying against you?”
But Jesus was silent.
Then the high priest said to him,
“I order you to tell us under oath before the living God
whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“You have said so.
But I tell you:
From now on you will see ‘the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of the Power’
and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.’”
Then the high priest tore his robes and said,
“He has blasphemed!
What further need have we of witnesses?
You have now heard the blasphemy;
what is your opinion?”
They said in reply,
“He deserves to die!”
Then they spat in his face and struck him,
while some slapped him, saying,
“Prophesy for us, Christ: who is it that struck you?”
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard.
One of the maids came over to him and said,
“You too were with Jesus the Galilean.”
But he denied it in front of everyone, saying,
“I do not know what you are talking about!”
As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him
and said to those who were there,
“This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.”
Again he denied it with an oath,
“I do not know the man!”
A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter,
“Surely you too are one of them;
even your speech gives you away.”
At that he began to curse and to swear,
“I do not know the man.”
And immediately a cock crowed.
Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken:
“Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.”
He went out and began to weep bitterly.

When it was morning,
all the chief priests and the elders of the people
took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.
They bound him, led him away,
and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.

Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned,
deeply regretted what he had done.
He returned the thirty pieces of silver
to the chief priests and elders, saying,
“I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.”
They said,
“What is that to us?
Look to it yourself.”
Flinging the money into the temple,
he departed and went off and hanged himself.
The chief priests gathered up the money, but said,
“It is not lawful to deposit this in the temple treasury,
for it is the price of blood.”
After consultation, they used it to buy the potter’s field
as a burial place for foreigners.
That is why that field even today is called the Field of Blood.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah
the prophet,
And they took the thirty pieces of silver,
the value of a man with a price on his head,
a price set by some of the Israelites,
and they paid it out for the potter’s field
just as the Lord had commanded me.

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him,
“Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “You say so.”
And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders,
he made no answer.
Then Pilate said to him,
“Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”
But he did not answer him one word,
so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast
the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd
one prisoner whom they wished.
And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them,
“Which one do you want me to release to you,
Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?”
For he knew that it was out of envy
that they had handed him over.
While he was still seated on the bench,
his wife sent him a message,
“Have nothing to do with that righteous man.
I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds
to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus.
The governor said to them in reply,
“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”
They answered, Barabbas!”
Pilate said to them,
“Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?”
They all said,
“Let him be crucified!”
But he said,
“Why? What evil has he done?”
They only shouted the louder,
“Let him be crucified!”
When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all,
but that a riot was breaking out instead,
he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd,
saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.
Look to it yourselves.”
And the whole people said in reply,
“His blood be upon us and upon our children.”
Then he released Barabbas to them,
but after he had Jesus scourged,
he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium
and gathered the whole cohort around him.
They stripped off his clothes
and threw a scarlet military cloak about him.
Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head,
and a reed in his right hand.
And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
They spat upon him and took the reed
and kept striking him on the head.
And when they had mocked him,
they stripped him of the cloak,
dressed him in his own clothes,
and led him off to crucify him.

As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon;
this man they pressed into service
to carry his cross.

And when they came to a place called Golgotha
¬—which means Place of the Skull —,
they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.
But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.
After they had crucified him,
they divided his garments by casting lots;
then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
And they placed over his head the written charge against him:
This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
Two revolutionaries were crucified with him,
one on his right and the other on his left.
Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying,
“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,
save yourself, if you are the Son of God,
and come down from the cross!”
Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,
“He saved others; he cannot save himself.
So he is the king of Israel!
Let him come down from the cross now,
and we will believe in him.
He trusted in God;
let him deliver him now if he wants him.
For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
The revolutionaries who were crucified with him
also kept abusing him in the same way.

From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
“This one is calling for Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge;
he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed,
gave it to him to drink.
But the rest said,
“Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice,
and gave up his spirit.

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary
was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened,
and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection,
they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus
feared greatly when they saw the earthquake
and all that was happening, and they said,
“A Truly, this was the Son of God!”
There were many women there, looking on from a distance,
who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him.
Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph,
and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

When it was evening,
there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph,
who was himself a disciple of Jesus.
He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus;
then Pilate ordered it to be handed over.
Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen
and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock.
Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb
and departed.
But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
remained sitting there, facing the tomb.

The next day, the one following the day of preparation,
the chief priests and the Pharisees
gathered before Pilate and said,
“Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said,
‘After three days I will be raised up.’
Give orders, then, that the grave be secured until the third day,
lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people,
‘He has been raised from the dead.’
This last imposture would be worse than the first.”
Pilate said to them,
“The guard is yours;
go, secure it as best you can.”
So they went and secured the tomb
by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.

OR

Jesus stood before the governor, Pontius Pilate, who questioned him,
“Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “You say so.”
And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders,
he made no answer.
Then Pilate said to him,
“Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”
But he did not answer him one word,
so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast
the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd
one prisoner whom they wished.
And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them,
“Which one do you want me to release to you,
Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?”
For he knew that it was out of envy
that they had handed him over.
While he was still seated on the bench,
his wife sent him a message,
“Have nothing to do with that righteous man.
I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds
to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus.
The governor said to them in reply,
“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”
They answered, Barabbas!”
Pilate said to them,
“Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?”
They all said,
“Let him be crucified!”
But he said,
“Why? What evil has he done?”
They only shouted the louder,
“Let him be crucified!”
When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all,
but that a riot was breaking out instead,
he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd,
saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.
Look to it yourselves.”
And the whole people said in reply,
“His blood be upon us and upon our children.”
Then he released Barabbas to them,
but after he had Jesus scourged,
he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium
and gathered the whole cohort around him.
They stripped off his clothes
and threw a scarlet military cloak about him.
Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head,
and a reed in his right hand.
And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
They spat upon him and took the reed
and kept striking him on the head.
And when they had mocked him,
they stripped him of the cloak,
dressed him in his own clothes,
and led him off to crucify him.

As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon;
this man they pressed into service
to carry his cross.

And when they came to a place called Golgotha
— which means Place of the Skull —,
they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.
But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.
After they had crucified him,
they divided his garments by casting lots;
then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
And they placed over his head the written charge against him:
This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
Two revolutionaries were crucified with him,
one on his right and the other on his left.
Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying,
“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,
save yourself, if you are the Son of God,
and come down from the cross!”
Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,
“He saved others; he cannot save himself.
So he is the king of Israel!
Let him come down from the cross now,
and we will believe in him.
He trusted in God;
let him deliver him now if he wants him.
For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
The revolutionaries who were crucified with him
also kept abusing him in the same way.

From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
“This one is calling for Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge;
he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed,
gave it to him to drink.
But the rest said,
‘Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice,
and gave up his spirit.

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary
was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened,
and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection,
they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus
feared greatly when they saw the earthquake
and all that was happening, and they said,
“Truly, this was the Son of God!”

Reader: The Gospel of the Lord.

All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Homily:

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday; with this we begin Holy Week.  This is the beginning of an important week, which combines contrasting moments of glory and suffering; therefore, the Church invites us to spend this week prayerfully in order to understand Jesus’ suffering, to experience His pain, and to thank him for His love – Love that led him to the Cross, love that led him to accept the most painful and shameful death.

The readings explain the meaning of suffering, particularly the suffering of Jesus. The first reading, taken from the Book of Isiah, is the third of four Servant Songs. Like the other three, it foreshadows Jesus’ own life and mission. The second reading, taken from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, is an ancient Christian hymn representing a very early Christian understanding of who Jesus is, and of how his mission saves us from sin and death. The first part of the Gospel describes the royal reception Jesus received from his followers, who paraded with him and praised him. The second part of the Gospel describes the Passion of Christ. Today, we are challenged to examine our own lives in the light of Jesus’s suffering. As Jesus embraced his suffering for the glory of the Father and for the salvation of the world, today, we too are called to embrace our suffering by placing our trust in him. Holy Week calls us to welcome Jesus into our hearts so that he may make our burden easy.

I know we will not be able to celebrate the Holy Week services physically as we have been doing. Still, I take this opportunity to share with you a few thoughts and ideas as to how you can celebrate this event at home, with your family. Please remember that Triduum is an important and one continuous service which begins on Holy Thursday and ends at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. Holy Thursday is on April 9th and Good Friday is on April 10th. The climax of the Easter celebration is the Easter Vigil service, which will be on Saturday, April 11th. Though you will not be physically present in a church setting, still it is good know and celebrate this great event. Therefore, let me briefly highlight the spirituality and rich symbolism of the Easter Vigil service. The Vigil service is divided into four parts: Service of Light, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of Baptism, and Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Service of Light: The service of Light will take place at the beginning of Easter Vigil, the atmosphere inside the church is very quiet, the holy water fonts are empty, the lights are extinguished, and the tabernacle is empty. The darkness reminds us of our need for Light, Jesus, in our life. The Vigil service begins outside the church. A new fire is lit and blessed. The Paschal candle is then carried in a procession through the church, with the deacon lifting the candle at three different times, singing: “The Light of Christ.” The congregation sings in reply each time: “Thanks be to God.” After the second intonation, everyone lights their candle from the Easter candle until the whole church is alight. The Paschal candle symbolizes Christ, the Light of the World.  This candle represents the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and the presence of Jesus, the light in our lives.  Next follows the glorious Easter song of the Catholic Church: The Exultant, or, Easter Proclamation. It is an ancient hymn which will be sung over the Easter candle. 

Liturgy of the Word:  Nine readings are provided for the Vigil—seven from the Old Testament and two from the New Testament. Not all are required to be read due to time constraints, but at least three Old Testament readings must be read, including Exodus 14 and two New Testament readings (the Epistle and the Gospel) are read.  These readings help us to meditate on the wonderful works of God for His people since the beginning of creation to redemption and until today.

Liturgy of Baptism:  During this time, the water is blessed, and new members are brought into the Church through baptism. This year we have five non-baptized adult Catechumens. Since we will not be celebrating the Vigil service, these Catechumens will receive the Sacrament of Baptism at sometime late when things become normal.  Meanwhile, let us keep them all in our prayers so that they may continue to walk in the light of Christ. This part of the liturgy also includes the Litany of the Saints. Afterwards, the faithful are blessed with newly blessed holy water, and then the congregation renews their own baptismal promises.  This enables us to understand the foundation of our faith and open our hearts to God’s grace.

Liturgy of the Eucharist: The Mass resumes with the special prayers recited during the Eucharistic Prayer. The whole Church is called to join at the sacrificial table that Christ prepared for us through his death and resurrection. The Mass ends with the glorious, “Alleluia, Alleluia.” As you know we will not be celebrating the Easter Vigil service as a community, but it is significant for us to understand and recall the salvific plan of God. I will celebrate privately the Easter Vigil and I will find ways to record the service, and if not, I will provide links for you to attend this service at home. At the same time, we will continue to provide a liturgy guide: “A Walk-Through Sunday Mass @ Home.”  As your pastor, it is sad that I will not be celebrating the Easter Vigil with you in person, but please know that I will be offering my Easter Vigil service for you, for your family and for our faith community. Please remain safe and strong. God bless!

Profession of Faith:

I believe in God…

Prayer of the Faithful:

Leader: On the cross, Jesus knew that he could call out to his Father and he would be heard. As children of God, we now bring our prayers before God, confident that we too will be heard.

  • For Pope Francis and all the clergy and faithful, as we walk the way of Jesus this week, may we ponder the paschal mystery with new purpose and intent: We pray to the Lord
    R: Lord, hear our prayer.
  • For all of God’s holy Church, that we may be a visible sign to others as we follow the way of the cross in the world today: We pray to the Lord.
    R: Lord, hear our prayer.
  • For peace in areas of the world beset by war, hostility, and conflict, especially in the lands where Jesus walked: We pray to the Lord.
    R: Lord, hear our prayer.
  • That Jesus’ reliance on God through his passion and death may be a model for us in our trials and suffering: We pray to the Lord.
    R: Lord, hear our prayer.
  • For those who feel abandoned, who feel they have no one to turn to, that they may realize that they can always turn to God and that God will never abandon them: We pray to the Lord.
    R: Lord, hear our prayer.
  • For the sick and all who suffer from the Coronavirus, may they experience the love of God through our care and compassion: We pray to the Lord.
    R: Lord, hear our prayer.
  • For those who have died, especially from the Coronavirus, may they be cleansed of their sins and granted the fullness of redemption: We pray to the Lord.
    R: Lord, hear our prayer.
  • For the repose of the faithful departed: We pray to the Lord
    R: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: Almighty and ever-loving God, we present our prayers to you today. Your will guided your Son while he was with us here on earth. May we accept your will as your answer to our needs. We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, who is our Lord and Savior for ever and ever.

Our Father:

A Litany for Spiritual Communion:

Leader: The response is: Lord, bring us closer to you!

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Lord our God,
we wish we could gather today with our parish community,
but we gather here out of love and concern for others.
You teach us that when two or three are gathered in your name,
you are there.
Together, we pray:

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Christ Jesus, you are present in a special way
when bread and wine are turned into your Body and Blood.
Since we cannot receive you in this way today,
We ask that you enter our hearts
so that we may receive you spiritually.
Together, we pray:

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Lord our God,
watch over your family
and keep us safe in your care,
for all our hope is in you.

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Concluding Rite

Antiphon:

Everyone who lives and believes in me
Will not die for ever, says the Lord.

Closing Prayer:

Leader: Let us Pray (Pause)
Nourished with these sacred gifts, we humbly beseech you, O Lord, that, just as through the death of your Son you have brought us to hope for what we believe, so by his Resurrection you may lead us to where you call. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen!

Leader: May the Lord bless us
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.

All: Amen.

Leader: Go in the peace of Christ.

All: Thanks be to God.

Conclude our worship with a Prayer to the Virgin Mary for Protection:

O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.
At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain,
With steadfast faith.

You, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, know what we need.
We are certain that you will provide, so that,
As you did at Cana of Galilee,
Joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
To conform ourselves to the Father’s will
And to do what Jesus tells us:

He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us,
Through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection.

We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.
Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.

In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.

We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.

Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

Amen.