Important Days Ahead...
Palm Sunday, the final Sunday before Easter Sunday, marks the beginning of Holy Week. Catholics and in fact, other Christian churches distribute palms on Palm Sunday to commemorate Christ's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, when palm branches were placed in His path, before His arrest and Crucifixion on Good Friday.
Holy Week, which commemorates the Passion of Christ, begins on Palm Sunday. Holy Week ends on Holy Saturday. In fact, Holy Week is the Week of all weeks.
Holy Thursday (also known as Maundy Thursday) is the day on which we celebrate the Last Supper, at which Christ instituted the Mass [the Holy Eucharist] and the Sacrament of Holy Communion. It is the first day of the Triduum, the three days before Easter Sunday, during which we commemorate Christ's Passion. Our Holy Thursday liturgy this year will be at St. Mary Parish, Harrisburg, at 7:00PM. This is for all three parishes.
In the Catholic Church, Good Friday is the only day of the year we do not celebrate the Eucharist. Good Friday is the day on which we commemorate the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross, the act that brought salvation to all who believe. It is the culmination of Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday. Our Good Friday liturgy this year will be at St. Mary Parish, Harrisburg, at 7:00PM. This is for all three parishes.
In the Catholic Church, Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday, is the final day of the Triduum, the three days during which we commemorate Christ's Passion. This is the day we celebrate the vigil of all vigils – the Easter Vigil. Our Easter Vigil this year will be at St. Mary’s Our Lady of Victory Parish, Eldorado, at 8:00PM. This is for all three parishes.
Easter is the greatest of all feasts when we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In fact, without Easter, our faith will be in vain. Easter Sunday this year will be at 8:00 AM at St. Joseph Parish, Elizabethtown and at 10:30 AM at St. Mary Parish Harrisburg.
Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Octave of Easter (the Sunday after Easter Sunday).
The Ascension of Our Lord, a Holy Day of Obligation, celebrates the day that Christ, in the presence of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven. The Ascension occurred on the 40th day of Easter, so it falls on a Thursday, and thus is often called Ascension Thursday; however, in most dioceses in the United States, the celebration of the Ascension has been transferred to the following Sunday.
Pentecost Sunday, which marks the end of the Easter season in the Christian calendar, celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after Easter Sunday.
I am so excited about all these and I believe you are too. I want to encourage you to be part of these celebrations. All are welcome! May the grace that comes with all these celebrations never pass us by.