Thursday, March 28, 2013


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
28 Mar 2013
The cucifixion of Our Lord
Holy Thursday, 28 March marks the start of Holy Week, the Easter Triduum.
From the Latin word meaning "three days", the Easter Triduum is the holiest time of the year in the Catholic Church.
The solemn liturgies of the Triduum are the most important liturgies of the Church year teaching the meaning of Christ's life, death and resurrection.
Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell will celebrate the Chrism Mass at 10.30 this morning at St Mary's Cathedral.
Priests from every parish across the Archdiocese will gather to commemorate the three pillars of the Catholic faith: the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the Priesthood and the Mass.
The Archdiocese of Sydney's three Auxiliary Bishops, the Most Rev Julian Porteous, Most Rev Peter Comensoli and the Most Rev Terry Brady will be concelebrants at the Chrism Mass. Seminarians from the Seminary of the Good Shepherd at Homebush and the Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary of the Neocatechumenal Way at Chester Hill will be servers at the Mass.
During the Chrism Mass, the Holy Oils to be used throughout the coming year for Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders and the Anointing of the Sick are consecrated.
Then at 6.30 tonight Cardinal Pell will celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper at the Cathedral. Traditionally held after sundown, this Mass commemorates the Institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion and recalls the Last Supper of Our Lord.
It was at this last supper that Christ after he was betrayed, offered His Body and Blood to God the Father, under the species of bread and wine which he gave to the Apostles as spiritual nourishment, commanding them and their successors in the priesthood to perpetuate this offering.
At the Mass of the Lord's Supper it is traditional in Catholic dioceses for the archbishop or bishop to wash the feet of 12 priests to symbolise Christ's washing of the feet of His Apostles and a symbol of service everyone is called to live.
As the Mass ends in silence, the Blessed Sacrament is carried in procession to St Mary's Cathedral's Altar of Repose where it will remain until Mass the following day.
Holy Thursday concludes with Compline, the Office of Night Prayer at 9 pm which like the Lord's Supper Mass and Chrism Mass will be sung by the Cathedral Choir conducted by the Cathedral's Director of Music, Thomas Wilson.
Good Friday which falls on 29 March this year commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and is the most solemn day in the Christian calendar. It is a day of quiet fasting and mourning, remembering again how Jesus suffered and died for our sins.
Stations of the Cross and Adoration of the Cross will begin at the Cathedral at 10am. Cathedral Scholars under the direction of Oliver Brett will perform the powerful and moving, Crux Fidelis by King John IV of Portugal.
At 3.00 pm on Good Friday Cardinal Pell will preside over the Solemn Commemoration of the Lord's Passion.
Christ has died. Christ is Risen. Christ will come again.
The ceremony and prayers are solemn and reflective. The pulpit and altar will be bare; no candles lit. This creates the awareness of grief over the sacrifice of God's only begotten Son.
Communion will be distributed - the hosts having been blessed in the Thursday Mass.
 The full Cathedral Choir conducted by Thomas Wilson will sing Christus factus est by Bruckner, the Passion according to St John by Victoria, Improperia by Victoria, O vos omnes by Caslas, Miserere me, Deus by Allgri, Lemndtations of Jeremiah by Tallis and Crux Fidelis.
Members of Embrace, the Cathedral's young adult group will join seminarians from the city's two seminaries to distribute small crosses to the faithful.
On Holy Saturday, 30 March, Tenebrae: the Office of Readings will be held at the Cathedral at 10 am.
Saturday night at 7.00pm there will be the high point of the Easter Triduum celebrating the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. This will be celebrated by Cardinal Pell and is an extremely moving service which begins in a darkened Cathedral. There is the blessing of new fire, lighting of the paschal candle and the Easter Proclamation.
The full Cathedral choir will participate. Among the sacred music performed by the Choir during the Vigil will be Sicut cervus by Palesterina, Mass in D by Dvorak, Hallilujah by Handel and O filii et filiae by Baker.
Every year this Easter Vigil attracts thousands of people who recognise the holiest and most important days of remembrance and celebration in the Catholic Church.
The Easter Triduum is the holiest time of the year in the Catholic Church.
The Easter fast, begun on Good Friday ends on Sunday, 1 April when the world celebrates the Resurrection of Our Lord. Statues and artworks covered for Lent are uncovered, the altar is no longer bare and the entire Cathedral is filled with flowers as St Mary's famous bells ring out across the city.
His Eminence, Cardinal Pell will celebrate the Solemn Mass on Easter Sunday at 10.30 am.  The Mass with Apostolic Blessing and plenary indulgence will be accompanied by the voices of the Cathedral Choir who will perform Missa brevis in D by Mozart, O death, where is thy sting by Handel and Worthy is the Lamb by Handel.
The Cathedral Men's Choir conducted by Thomas Wilson will sing at the Solemn Vespers and Benediction at the Cathedral on Easter Sunday at 5 pm.
In addition to Holy Week and Easter Sunday at the Cathedral, there will be a special Easter Sunday Mass for the homeless and in need at the Matthew Talbot Hostel in Woolloomooloo. Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady will celebrate the Mass at Society of St Vincent de Paul's well-known hostel for  homeless men at 9.30 am prior to a special Easter mid-day meal prepared by the hostel staff and served by Vinnies team of volunteers.
Cardinal Pell returned from the papal conclave and election of Pope Francis in Rome last week in time for the Palm Sunday celebrations commemorating Christ's arrival in ancient Jerusalem riding on a small donkey to be greeted by exuberant crowds hailing him as the Messiah and waving palm fronds.
As we know before the week was out, Christ had been betrayed and arrested. What followed was the Lord's terrible suffering and his crucifixion outside the walls of the city.
But three days later came His glorious resurrection which Catholics and Christians of all denominations celebrate on Easter Sunday.
Everyone is welcome to take part in the Easter Triduum at St Mary's Cathedral.
Cardinal Pell's Easter Message for this year can be seen on the homepage of this website from Good Friday.

No comments: