Roy Donovan reminds us that it was “the women who stood at the foot of the Cross when the men had fled”. He asks, “Pope Francis spoke eloquently about separating colonialism from the spread of the Good News at the pan-Amazon synod. What about separating male culture from the spread of the Good News?”
Seamus Ahearne is wondering if “We may have to learn new and different ways of celebrating Rituals. I think the official Books don’t do it. But that is very true of much of our present Liturgies.”
” If only this time of desert, (of House Arrest) stirred the hunger within, for what really is essential to living life to the full.”
Disciples not only pray for one another, but seek to present the needs of suffering humanity before the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is a set of intercessions specially for this coronavirus year…
Chris McDonnell writes “The choice of where to pray and when to pray has come down to us through subsequent years; for now, this Spring, we have limited options.” and he reminds us of Teilhard de Chardin who found himself in the Ordos Desert in China in 1923, unable to offer the Eucharist and wrote “Since once again, Lord I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar,
I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself. I your priest will make the whole earth my altar and on it will offer you all the labours and sufferings of the world.’
Gerard O’Connell and Colleen Dulle report in americamagazine.org on the establishment by Pope Francis of a new commission to study the issue of the ordination of women deacons.
The liturgy that begins this Tursday evening continues until we reach Easter. We are at the start of a three-day celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. We journey from the Last Supper to Gethsemane tonight, from there to Calvary tomorrow, and from the tomb to resurrection and new life at the Vigil of Easter Sunday.
This is not a ‘normal‘ Holy Thursday, but we may have discovered new aspects of our discipleship – and recovered long-forgotten parts of our tradition – through celebrating in this very unusual way.
Tim Hazelwood is using the social distancing to reflect. “Now may be the opportunity for us to learn that we all are Church and that we must be Eucharist every day, of being thankful and believing that the risen Christ is with us.”
Maura O Shea writes of her perspective on the distancing, isolating, and close downs that have happened as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
If you are in lockdown this Holy Thursday and Good Friday., you or someone with you will have to act as a leader in prayer if you are to actually celebrate – which is more than tuning in to a celebration – these great days.
Brendan Hoban, in the Western People, writes about the absence of Holy Week Ceremonies this year.
“Church leaders are caught between their responsibility to give clear and appropriate guidance and the felt need of the people to celebrate the key events of the first Easter. But their (and our) moral responsibility is clear. The bottom line is that no compromise that might endanger health and life is acceptable.”
Today’s liturgy gives us a preview of the events of Holy Week. The passion, death and resurrection of Jesus are the focus of this and every Sunday celebration.
Dermod McCarthy draws our attention to an interesting webcast.
Seamus Ahearne has time to de-clutter and observe and write;
“it is the cleaners, the bin men, the shelf packers, the shop servers, the drivers of the lorries, the post people, the orderlies, the receptionists taking calls, the local nurses and doctors, the shoppers for the cocooned….. We need eyes to see and to appreciate and to be grateful….. if there is an outbreak of generosity and gratitude; Eucharist is happening.”
Suggestion – put a green branch on your door or window on Palm Sunday.
Pádraig McCarthy offers practical suggestions for an alternative style of Holy Week from the norm.
Even at this late stage, a message from the Irish Episcopal Conference would be a great help to laity and clergy alike. It would also be picked up by the media and could provide a spiritual uplift for many.
Daniel P Horan in the NCR writes on the closure of churches and the suspension of public acts of worship in this time of pandemic.
“we are all called upon to care for one another by taking extraordinary measures that includes the suspension of public worship, means learning to see our love of neighbor not only as an assent to “worldly” or “secular” medical wisdom, but also an actual exercise of our love of God. Each of the manifold ways we are sacrificing to love our neighbors — self-isolation, quarantining, tending to the sick at home, supporting first responders, avoiding public places, not hoarding supplies, working remotely and even not going physically to church buildings — is itself an expression of our love of God.”
Patsy McGarry writes in The Irish Times of priests under pressure to perform funeral Masses despite Covid-19 and of significant numbers of Irish Catholic priests cocooned in their homes as they are over 70.
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