Every week, Holy Family hosts 4 ‘Sunday’ Liturgies (Yes, one is Saturday evening!). Each requires lector(s), musician(s), server(s), cantor, ushers, cleaners, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, and our new Tech Team. Since the pandemic began a year ago, we have been hosting these liturgies with a very limited number of volunteers. I can't even begin to express my gratitude and thankfulness to those who have stepped up and were quick to return (safely) to assist with the most important endeavor we do as a Faith Community – offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It can’t be done without all the help… I know, I struggled through it for 2 months last spring by myself or with a sole musician – it wasn’t pretty! So, thank you, thank you, thank you to those who have volunteered.
This said, our number of volunteers has remained largely unchanged since we resumed Masses last May. Many of our weekend Masses have 1 or 2 lectors, the same pair of ushers, 1 or no altar server, etc. The number of people returning safely to Mass has been slowly increasing – Praise God! And there is a universal longing for things to ‘return to (some safe form of) normal’. This must include a willingness for the People of God to volunteer to share in God’s work. I realize some may not yet feel safe or be safe to minister in these ways. But I would ask people to pray about how you can assist. You are needed - yes. But more importantly, you need to do God’s work for your own spiritual wellbeing as a Christian disciple.
Covering of Statues & Images
“Why are the statues & images in church covered?” This ancient practice is permitted in the Church during what is known as Passiontide – the 5th week of Lent until the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday of the Easter Vigil. During these last days of Lent, we fast even with our eyes from the reminders of God’s glory in our life by means of the Saving Cross and the saints. Only as we enter once again physically, spiritually, liturgically, and sacramentally into these Mysteries during the Triduum will we once again see the Saving Work of God anew.
The first to be uncovered will be the Crucifix when it is carried forward during the Good Friday Service to the heart stopping words: “Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the salvation of the world. Come let us adore.” Let that phrase sink into your being. We are challenged, called, commanded even to adore, worship, give praise for the Cross which held affixed to it, the very Salvation of the world – our Lord, Jesus Christ. We are challenged, called, commanded to draw near to this instrument of death which in true Justice we deserve for ourselves. We are challenged, called, commanded to draw near to the Tree that will forever give us True and Lasting Eternal Life flowing from God’s Infinite Mercy through the Son sacrificed. Not until we’ve encountered that truth, can we once again gaze our sight upon the wonders of sanctity, holiness, and the promise of heaven in the Saints.
This is just another way to incorporate the Lenten Trifecta of Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving into our Liturgical life as we continue our Lenten Journey to Mount Calvary.
Holy Family, Protected and Led by St Joseph, Pray for us.
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries