March 24, 2020
Dear Parish Family,
Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts and actions during this unexpected time. We are all struggling with the limitations that have been placed on parishes and all places of worship. I don’t think any of us ever anticipated a time when mass would not be celebrated and we would not join together for the rites associated with Holy Week and the Easter Triduum. Here is the instruction from Bishop Solis to each of our parishes:
“All Holy Week, Triduum and Easter Services will be celebrated in parishes and missions without the presence of a congregation.”
These extraordinary times are challenging to our traditions and practices. We need to remember a number of things:
- God’s presence and grace transcends this human dilemma. We believe that God’s love for his people cannot be limited or contained by this virus. We must rely on the immense power of God.
- Sacred Scripture reminds us often of God’s constancy. “I will be with you always until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20. “The Lord is kind and merciful.” Psalm 103
- The reality of “Spiritual Communion” is an important part of our faith tradition. There can be many reasons why a person of faith would be unable to physically receive the Body and Blood of Christ. This prayer is a valuable source of strength. “My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you were already there, I embrace you and unite myself wholly to you; permit not that I should ever be separated from you. AMEN
- Inability to participate in the Sacraments, both Eucharist and Reconciliation, removes and dispenses your obligations. We all look forward to the full participation in the Sacraments that will be a special kind of Easter for our parish family.
The Church will remain open during the daytime hours each day of the week. Please visit often. Please honor the quiet and physical space of others who may be there with you.
I will be celebrating the events of Holy Week at the following times. The church will not be open at these times. I will celebrate without a congregation. Please join with me from your homes. Great power can come from these times of shared prayer.
- Palm Sunday 8:00am (there will be no palms for distribution)
- Holy Thursday 7:00pm
- Good Friday Services 7:00pm
- Easter Vigil 8:00pm
- Easter Sunday 8:00am
Thank you for you fine example and courage. Thank you for showing your concern for me and our parish staff. Thank you for your prayers and acts of charity. Thank you for your constancy in stewardship and financial giving.
The Rev. John E. Norman
Pastor, Saint Vincent DePaul Parish