Thursday, March 31, 2016

PM: Offertory Thursdays--2nd. Sunday Of Easter

The Angel of the Lord came down from heaven and said to the women: "The One whom you seek has risen, as he said he would", alleluia. 
Matt. 28:2, 5, 6
Even a heavenly host believes in the Resurrection. We should always seek Him, as His word is trustworthy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

PM: 2nd. Alleluia Wednesdays--2nd. Sunday Of Easter

Eight days later, while all the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood in the midst of his disciples and said: "Peace be with you." 
John 20:26
With His Resurrection, Jesus finally gives the world the "peace which surpasses all understanding". That peace is freedom from sin and reconciliation with the Father as His adopted children.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

PM: 1st. Alleluia Tuesdays--2nd. Sunday Of Easter

During the Easter Season, the Gradual is replaced by another Alleluia, to continue acknowledging our joy.
On the day of my resurrection, says the Lord, I will go before you into Galilee. 
Matt. 28:7
The risen Savior will always lead us. Are we willing to follow faithfully?

Monday, March 28, 2016

PM: Introit Mondays--2nd. Sunday Of Easter

As newborn babes, alleluia, long for pure spiritual milk, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. 
V. Rejoice in honor of God our helper; shout for joy to the God of Jacob. 
1 Peter 2:2
As we conclude the Octave of Easter, we finish our celebration of the Resurrection.Like an infant, and much like those who have been recently received into the Church, we still hunger for spiritual nourishment.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

PM: Special Edition--Easter Sunday

While every Sunday is a "little Easter", this is the big one.
I am risen, and I am always with you, alleluia; you have placed your hand upon me, alleluia; your wisdom has been shown to be most wonderful, alleluia, alleluia. 
V. O Lord, you have searched me and known me; you know when I sit down and when I rise up. 
Ps. 138: 18, 5, 6; V. 1, 2
The Introit is the fulfillment of God's promise. He is risen! He is risen, indeed! Emmanuel--truly.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 
V. Praise the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. 
Ps. 117:24; V. 1
The Gradual make note that the day of our salvation is a special day. It it indeed one the Lord has made special.
Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. 
1 Cor. 5:7
See the image of the Alleluia. The Lamb Who was once was slain is now risen. Death has no power over Him and, by adoption as the Father's children, us. While it actually does follow the Alleluia verse in the Extraordinary form, the Sequence  "Victimae paschali laudes" precedes it in the Ordinary Form.
The earth trembled and was still, when God arose in judgment, alleluia. 
Ps. 75:9, 10
The Offertory notes all creation groaned under the yoke of sin. Christ's resurrection was, in a sense, a sigh of relief.
Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed, alleluia; therefore, let us keep the feast by sharing the unleavened bread of uprightness and truth, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.  
1 Cor. 5:7,8
This is the same Communion as the one for the Easter Vigil. As we begin the Easter season, hopefully we are more than ready for the banquet to come, both on earth and in heaven.

2016 Easter Card


May Jesus Christ, our risen Lord and Savior, bless you with the "peace which surpasses all understanding."
May He, Who passed from death to life, show you the Father's mercy and love, so you may also be merciful and loving.
May He bless you with Easter joy both now, in this life, and in the life to come.

Happy Easter, Everybody!

He is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

"Get The Understudy!"

For the past two years during the Easter Vigil at Holy Family Church, South Ogden, the Exultet has been sung using an arrangement by Lynn Trapp for soloist (priest, deacon, or cantor), choir, organ, and optional timpani. Once again this setting will be used.

For the past two years, the soloist has been a cantor from outside the ranks of the choir, due to scheduling conflicts with the cantor the church has on staff. While this year  the person we have is available, our music director has decided, because of his relative newness to the liturgy, to assign this role to someone else.

For the past two years, I have dutifully sung the tenor part. That will not be the case this year.

For the third time in my career as a church musician, I have been given the honor of proclaiming this glorious prayer of the Church. As I humbly step into this role proper to a cleric, may I (taking from the section I, as a lay cantor, cannot sing), "...standing in the awesome glory of this holy light, invoke...the mercy of God almighty, that He...may pour into me his light unshadowed, that I may sing this candle's perfect praises."

For the rest of the text, in both Latin and English, click on the links provided.

PM: Special Edition--Easter Vigil

Awash in darkness, we await the Light of the World.
R. Light of Christ. 
V. Thanks be to God. (Repeat three times).
There is no Introit, per se. The Pascal Candle retraces the steps and pauses of the Cross in the Good Friday liturgy. When it reaches it resting place for the next 50 days, the magnificent hymn of praise, Exultet, is chanted.

Are you ready for seven Canticles, serving the purpose of the Gradual (depending on how many Reading are proclaimed)?
Make a joyful noise to the Lord all the earth; serve the Lord with gladness. 
V. Come into his presence in exultation.  
V. Know that the Lord is God. 
V. It is he that made us and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. 
Ps. 99: 2, 3
As His creation, we are subject to Him. More than enough reason to be joyful; even now so that we have been redeemed.
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion; the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall never be shaken.
V. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people, from this time forth and for evermore. 
Ps. 124: 1, 2
The Tract from the 4th. Sunday of Lent makes a return. Like Abraham, we are to put our trust in the Lord, Who will be with us always.
Let us sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea; he has become my strength and my protection unto my salvation. 
V. This is my God and I will praise him, my father's God and I will exalt him. 
V. The Lord shatters the forces of war; the Lord is his name. 
Exodus 15:1, 2
While the Psalms are the primary source of the Propers, this passage, the song of joy the Israelites sang, is a pleasing exception. "My help comes from the Lord, Who created heaven and earth."
Praise the Lord, all nations; praise him in unison, all peoples. 
V. For his mercy is confirmed upon us and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever. 
Ps. 116
We give thanks to the Lord for his everlasting love and mercy. He will never fail us.
My beloved had a vineyard on a hill, in a fruitful place. 
V. And he fenced it in and made a ditch around it, and planted it with the vine of Sorec and built a watchtower in the midst of it. 
V. He hewed out a wine vat in it. Now, the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel. 
Isaiah 5:1, 2
We are called to be fruitful. But only if we, the branches, are grafted to the True Vine.
Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; let the earth hearken to the words of my mouth. 
V. Let my speech be longed for as the rain; let my words come down like the dew, like showers upon the grass. 
V. Yes, and like snow upon the dry herb; for I will invoke the name of the Lord. 
V. Ascribe greatness to our God; the works of God are true and all his ways are justice. 
V. God is faithful, there is no iniquity in him; the Lord is just and holy. 
Deut. 32:1-4
Another Proper which is not a Psalm. But there are echoes of Psalm 121: 1-2, when our help comes from the Lord Who created heaven and earth.
As a hart longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for you, O God. 
V. My soul thirsts for the living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of my God? 
V. My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me daily: "Where is your God ?" 
Ps. 41: 2, 3, 4
The groaning of our souls, imprisoned by sin, call out to God. Soon, the question will be answered.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures forever. 
Ps. 117:1
This Alleluia is short and sweet. We acknowledge the mighty power of the Most High.

We begin the conferring of the Rites of Baptism and Confirmation with the intoning of the Litany of the Saints.
I saw water issuing forth from the Temple, on the right side, alleluia; and all those to whom this water came obtained salvation and they exclaimed: "Alleluia, alleluia." 
Ezek. 47:1, 9
As we renew our own baptismal promises, we are reminded of the cleansing water and blood which poured from the side of Christ.
The right hand of the Lord has done valiantly, the right hand of the Lord has exalted me; I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord, alleluia. 
Ps. 117:16, 17
In thanksgiving for His saving actions, this Offertory begins our preparation in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. We are still in awe that He did this for us.
Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed, alleluia; therefore, let us keep the feast by sharing the unleavened bread of uprightness and truth, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. 
1 Cor. 5:7,8
If you miss this Communion, don't worry; it's the same one for Easter Sunday. As Lent and the Triduum come to a close, hopefully we are more than ready for the banquet to come, both on earth and in heaven. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

A Jubilee Year Reminder

Another "better later than never post". (Old habits die hard.)

In keeping with the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, today is the start of the Divine Mercy Novina.

I hope you began or will begin. Remember, there is a plenary indulgence attached to it.

Fortunately for me, I still have time.

Fortunately for all of us, there is still time to repent so we can receive God's mercy.

"Jesus, I trust in You."

PM: Special Edition--Good Friday

This is the only day of the year in which the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass does not take place. Instead, we recall the Holy Sacrifice itself.

There is no Introit for this liturgy. Or, rather, we could say the Introit is the sound of silence. For those who understand this day, no words of introduction are needed; for those who don't, no words will suffice.
Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come unto you. 
V. Do not turn your face away from me; in the day of my distress, lend me your ear. 
V. On each day that I call upon you, please make haste to hear me. 
V. For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn as if in a furnace. 
V. I am smitten like grass, and my heart is withered; I have forgotten even to eat my bread. 
V. O Lord, you will arise and have pity on Zion; for the time has come to have mercy on her. 
Ps. 101:2-5, 14
In this Tract there is an echo of Psalm 22 in these verses. The opening of that Psalm will be heard during the proclamation of the Passion according to St. John.
Christ became obedient for us unto death, even death on a Cross.  
V. Therefore God has highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name.  
Phil..2:8; V. 9
The Gradual is the same as Palm (Passion) Sunday. Having been laid low, Christ is now exalted.
This is the wood of the cross, on which hung the Saviour of the world. 
R. Come, let us worship.
Thrice intoned as the Veneration of the Cross begins. How ironic the response (in Latin) is part of the refrain to the Christmas carol "O Come, All Ye Faithful". All throughout His life, as well as ours, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords demands our adoration.
R. We worship you, Lord, we venerate your cross, we praise your resurrection. Through the cross you brought joy to the world. 
V. May God be gracious and bless us; and let his face shed its light upon us. R.
This Antiphon is the proper response of the People of God for the salvific action of this day, as they pay individual homage to the Cross.
R1. My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me! 
I led you out of Egypt, from slavery to freedom, but you led your Saviour to the cross. 
R2. Holy is God! Holy and strong! Holy immortal One, have mercy on us! 
For forty years I led you safely through the desert. I fed you with manna from heaven and brought you to a land of plenty; but you led your Saviour to the cross. R2. 
What more could I have done for you? I planted you as my fairest vine, but you yielded only bitterness: when I was thirsty you gave me vinegar to drink, and you pierced your Savior with a lance. R2. 
For your sake I scourged your captors and their firstborn sons, but you brought your scourges down on me. R1. 
I led you from slavery to freedom and drowned your captors in the sea, but you handed me over to your high priests. R1. 
I opened the sea before you, but you opened my side with a spear. R1. 
I led you on your way in a pillar of cloud, but you led me to Pilate's court. R1. 
I bore you up with manna in the desert, but you struck me down and scourged me. R1. 
I gave you saving water from the rock, but you gave me gall and vinegar to drink. R1. 
For you I struck down the kings of Canaan, but you struck my head with a reed. R1. 
I gave you a royal sceptre, but you gave me a crown of thorns. R1. 
I raised you to the height of majesty, but you have raised me high on a cross. R1.
The Improperia. Starting with a verse from the prophet Micah (6:3), we heard the pleading first of the Father, then of the Son. Recall the First Reading and the Passion Narrative today when you ponder these words.
O faithful Cross, incomparable Tree, the noblest of all; no forest hath ere put forth the likes of thine own leaves, thy flowers, thy fruits;
* Gentle wood with a gentle nail, to support so gentle a burden! 
1. Sing, O my tongue, of the battle, of the glorious struggle; and over the trophy of the Cross, proclaim the noble triumph; tell how the redeemer of the world won victory through his sacrifice. 
2. The Creator looked on sadly as the first man, our forefather, was deceived, and as he fell into the snare of death, taking a bite of a lethal fruit; it was then that God chose this blessed piece of wood to destroy the other tree's curse.* 
3. Such was the act called for by the economy of our salvation: to outwit the resourceful craftiness of the Traitor and to obtain our remedy from the very weapon with which our enemy struck. 
4. And so, when the fullness of that blessed time had come, the Son, the Creator of the world, was sent from the throne of the Father, and having become flesh, he came forth from the womb of a Virgin.* 
5. The infant cried as he was placed in the narrow manger; his Virgin Mother wrapped his body in swaddling cloths, encircling his hands, his feet and his legs with tight bands. 
6. When more than thirty years had past, at the end of his earthly life, he willingly gave himself up to the Passion; it was for this that he was born. The Lamb was lifted up onto a cross, offered in sacrifice on wood.* 
7. Behold the vinegar, the gall, the reed, the spittle, the nails and spear! His precious body is torn open, water and blood rush forth. This great and mighty river washes land, sea, stars - the entire world! 
8. Bend thy branches, tallest of trees, relax thy hold on his tightly stretched body; soften up the hardness which nature hath given thee, and present to the body of the Heavenly King a more bearable support.* 
9. Thou alone hast been worthy to carry the ransom of the world; mankind's ship had gone down beneath the waves, but thou openest the way to our port of rescue. For thou art anointed with the sacred blood which sprung forth from the body of the Lamb. 
10. Equal and eternal glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Illustrious Paraclete, the Blessed Trinity whose divine grace redeems and conserves us always. Amen.*
(* indicates only this part of the refrain is sung.) 
This hymn is a fitting meditation on the life and death of Christ. Salvation history in a nutshell.

There is neither an Offertory or Communion antiphon today. As the Blessed Sacrament is brought from the Altar of Repose, we recall the final action of Holy Thursday. As we received the Body of Christ, we are reminded of what has happened the past 24 hours, both then and now.

What wonderous Love is this.

March 2016 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Universal Intention - Families In Difficulties. That families in need may receive the necessary support and that children may grow up in healthy and peaceful environments. 
Evangelization Intention - Persecuted Christians. That those Christians who, on account of their faith, are discriminated against or are being persecuted, may remain strong and faithful to the Gospel, thanks to the incessant prayer of the Church. 
Reflections for these intentions are found here.

(Mea maxima culpa. Better late than never. Then, again, what better day to bring these forward?)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tonight's Recessional Hymn

All four Gospels state Jesus and His disciples left the Upper Room after completing the Passover Supper (Matt. 26:30, Mark 14:26, Luke 22:39, John 18:1). As the Blessed Sacrament is to be taken to the Altar of Repose, we follow Him as well, singing a hymn of praise, either the one written by St. Thomas Aquinas or its English translation:

Pange, lingua, gloriosi
corporis mysterium,
sanguinisque pretiosi,
quem in mundi pretium
fructus ventris generosi
rex effudit gentium.

Nobis datus, nobis natus
ex intacta Virgine,
et in mundo conversatus,
sparso verbi semine,
sui moras incolatus
miro clausit ordine.

In supremae nocte coenae
recumbens cum fratribus,
observata lege plene
cibis in legalibus,
cibum turbae duodenae
se dat suis manibus.

Verbum caro panem verum
verbo carnem efficit,
fitque sanguis Christi merum;
et si sensus deficit,
ad firmandum cor sincerum
sola fides sufficit.

Tantum ergo sacramentum
veneremur cernui,
et antiquum documentum
novo cedat ritui,
praestet fides supplementum
sensuum defectui.

Genitori Genitoque,
laus et iubilatio,
salus, honor, virtus quoque
sit et benedictio.
Procedenti ab utroque
compar sit laudatio.

Amen.

++++++++++

1. Sing, my tongue, the Savior’s glory,
Of His flesh the mystery sing,
Of the blood, all price exceeding,
Shed by our immortal king,
Destined, for the world’s redemption,
From a noble womb to spring.

2. Of a pure and spotless virgin,
Born for us, His love to show,
He, as man, with man conversing,
Stayed, the seeds of truth to sow;
Then He closed in wondrous fashion,
This His life on earth below.

3. On the night of that last supper,
Seated with His chosen band,
He, the paschal victim eating,
First fulfills the law’s command;
Then as food to all His brethren
Gives Himself with His own hand.

4. Christ, the Word made flesh, by speaking,
Earthly bread to flesh He turns;
Wine becomes His blood so precious—
Unconceived in human terms!
Hearts sincere perceive this marvel;
Faith its lessons quickly learns.

5. Down in adoration falling,
This great sacrament we hail;
Over ancient forms of worship
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith tells us that Christ is present
When our human senses fail.

6. To the everlasting Father,
And the Son who made us free,
And the Spirit, God proceeding,
From them each eternally,
Be salvation, honor, blessing,
Might and endless majesty.

Amen.

PM: Special Edition--Holy Thursday

Tonight we begin the Sacred Triduum. These are the holiest days of the liturgical year, where we enter into the mysteries of Christ's Passion, Death, and Resurrection.
Let our glory be in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; in him we have salvation, life and resurrection; through him we are rescued and set free. 
V. May God have mercy on us and bless us; may he cause his face to shine upon us and may he have mercy on us. 
Cf. Gal. 6:14; V. Ps. 66
The Introit speaks of our glory in His "shame". Yet it is because of this "shame" we have been forgiven and redeemed.
The eyes of all creatures look to you, O Lord, and you give them their food in due season. 
V. You open your hand and fill every living thing with your blessings. 
Ps. 144:15; V. 16
With the Gradual, recall also the Gospel passage when fathers here on Earth will not deny good things to their children. So it is with our heavenly Father.
From the place where the sun rises to the place of its setting, my name is great among the nations. 
V. And in every place, a sacrifice is offered to my name, a pure offering, for my name is truly great among the nations. 
V. Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine I have prepared for you. 
Malachi 1:11 and Prov. 9:5
We hear in the Tract an echo of the Third Eucharistic Prayer. The focal point of every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass condensed in one sentence. The invitation of Jesus for the Last Supper is here.

What follows are some antiphons that you might hear during the rite of the Washing of the Feet:
After rising from the table, the Lord poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of his disciples. Such is the example that he left them.\ 
Cf. John 13;4, 5, 15
The Lord Jesus, after eating supper with his disciples, washed their feet and said to them: "Do you realize what I have done for you, I who am your Lord and your Master? I have given you an example so that you may do likewise." 
John 13:12, 13, 15
R. "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered, "If I do not wash your feet, you will have no portion with me." 
V. Jesus came to Simon Peter, and Peter said to him:  R.  
V. "At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand."  R. 
John 13:6, 7, 8
If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, then surely, all the more, ought you to wash one another's feet. 
Cf. John 13:14
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. 
V. That is what Jesus declared to his disciples. 
John 13:35
I give you a new commandment: love one another, just as I have loved you, says the Lord. 
John 13:34
Let these three abide in you: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love. 
V. Now faith, hope and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 
1 Cor. 13:13
Comping from the Gospel just proclaimed, the actions of Jesus are recalled. The motive behind it is the last listed antiphon.
R. Where love is found to be authentic, God is there. 
V. The love of Christ has gathered us together into one. Let us rejoice and be glad in Him. Let us fear and love the living God, and love each other from the depths of our heart. R. 
V. Therefore when we are together, let us take heed not to be divided in mind. Let there be an end to bitterness and quarrels, an end to strife, and in our midst be Christ our God. R. 
V. And, in company with the blessed, may we see your face in glory, Christ our God: pure and unbounded joy for ever and for ever. R.
The Offertory is the only Proper which is actually a hymn. In a sense, this is the Mandatum for the People of God.
"This is my body which is given up for you; this is the cup of the new covenant in my blood", says the Lord. "Each time that you partake thereof, do it in memory of me." 
1 Cor. 11:24, 25
In this Communion, Christ's command to "eat of His flesh and drink of His blood" (cf. John 6) is heard. The ultimate question is, "Do we truly believe it is Him?"

Domimus meus et Deus meus.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Propers Meditation: Schedule Change

To keep the focus on the Passion of Christ. I will not be following my regular pattern of posting the Propers for this upcoming Sunday on their individual weekdays. While we are an "Easter people", redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb of God, I think it best to meditate on "the week that changed the world".

That is not to say I won't be offering those thoughts. With four different liturgies at the end of the week, I will be using the "Special Edition" approach and posting them on the day they happen. My hope is they will be a useful preparation for your celebrations.

I will return to my regular pattern on Easter Monday.

Until Holy Thursday....

Those "Words" Again

As we enter into Holy Week, I once again present my meditations on the "Seven Last Words", the statements Jesus uttered as He hung upon the Cross as recorded in the Gospels. The posts will appear every day at 3:00 PM (my local time), the "Hour of His Glory".

They are traditionally a powerful source of inspiration for sermons at this time of the year. I am sure there are more than a few saints who expounded upon them much more capably than I ever could or will. They are even a source of inspiration for composers, whose musically settings accompany Tenebrae services far and wide. I have never sought to compete with such worthy musings: my only hope is they are a starting point for your own meditation and contemplation.

As it is with my reflections on the "O" Antiphons at the last of Advent, it is my gift to you as we enter in the Church's High Holy Day, where the mystery of our redemption is on full display for the world to see, just as it was some two millennium ago.

May you find them fruitful.

Friday, March 18, 2016

PM: Communion Fridays--Palm (Passion) Sunday

Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink it, thy will be done. 
Matt. 26:42
The cup of His Passion He drank. He showed us how to do the Father's will.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

PM: Offertory Thursdays--Palm (Passion) Sunday

My heart awaited reproach and misery; and I hoped for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none; I looked for one who would comfort me, and found no one. For food they gave me gall; in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. 
Ps. 68:21, 22
Do we give consolation to the Crucified? Do we give Him solace?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

PM: Tract Wednesdays--Palm (Passion) Sunday

Christ became obedient for us unto death, even death on a Cross. 
V. Therefore God has highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name. 
Phil..2:8; V. 9
The Gregorian Missal labels this the Gradual for today. Reinforcing the Second Reading, it is also an acknowledgement of not only His kingship, but His being the Son of God.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

PM: Gradual Tuesdays--Palm (Passion) Sunday

My God, my God, look upon me, why have you forsaken me? 
V. My words of sin have drawn me far from salvation. 
V. O my God, I call by day and you give no reply; I call by night and not without reason. 
V. Yet, you dwell in the sanctuary; you are the praise of Israel. 
V. Our fathers placed their hope in you; they trusted and you delivered them. 
V. They cried out to you and they were saved; they put their hope in you and they were not confounded. 
V. But I am a worm and no man; scorned by men and despised by the people. 
V. All who see me mock at me, they make mouths at me, they wag their heads. 
V. "He trusted in the Lord; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, for he delights in him." 
V. And so they looked and gazed upon me; they divided my garments among themselves, and for my raiment they have cast lots. 
V. Save me from the mouth of the lion; my afflicted soul from the horns of the unicorn. 
V. You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you sons of Jacob, glorify him 
V. A future generation shall be announce on behalf of the Lord, and the heavens will declare his
justice; 
V. Unto a nation yet to be born, and whom the Lord has prepared. 
Ps. 21:2-9, 18, 19, 22, 24, 32
This is in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass for this day the Tract. One of the "Seven Last Words", it is an appeal to see Jesus as He truly is. Read the whole Psalm (it is Psalm 22 in modern numbering).

Monday, March 14, 2016

PM: Introit Mondays--Palm (Passion) Sunday

The Introit is to support the action of procession toward and into the church. There is quite the entrance this day.
Hosanna to the Son of David, the King of Israel. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Before the palm branches are blessed, the echoes of the "Holy, holy, holy..." we recite before the Eucharistic Prayer. As Jesus enter Jerusalem acknowledged as King, so should we, not only here but also in our lives.
The children of Jerusalem welcomed Christ the King. They carried olive branches and loudly praised the Lord: "Hosanna in the highest."
And/Or 
The children of Jerusalem welcomed Christ the King. They spread their cloaks before him and loudly praised the Lord: "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
 Cf. Matt. 21:9
These are sung as the procession makes it way to the church. The People of God, whether of Old or New Testament, must continually prepare the way for the Lord in their lives. (Here the hymn "All Glory, Laud, and Honor" is also used to assist in the liturgical action.)
As the Lord entered the Holy City, the children of the Hebrews proclaimed the resurrection of life, * and, waving olive branches, they loudly praised the Lord: "Hosanna in the highest." 
V. When the people heard that Jesus was entering Jerusalem, they went to meet him * and, waving...
This is sung upon entrance into the church. We still sing His praises; yet, how quickly the mood will change upon the proclamation of the First Reading.

Friday, March 11, 2016

PM: Communion Fridays--5th. Sunday Of Lent

Three verse are presented, again depending on which Gospel is proclaimed today.
If a man would serve me, let him follow me; wherever I am, my servant will be there too. 
John 12:26
To serve Christ is to follow Him. When doing His will, we are His servants and He is with us.
When the Lord saw the sisters of Lazarus in tears near the tomb, he wept in the presence of the Jews and cried: "Lazarus, come forth." And out he came, hands and feet bound, the man who had been dead for four days. 
John 11:33, 35, 43, 44, 39
This is used when the story of the raising of Lazarus is proclaimed (Cycle A). Freed from sin, freed from death, humanity is restored through the Word, the Lord Who is "the Resurrection and the Life".
"Woman, has no one condemned you?" - "No one, Lord." - "Neither do I condemn you; go and do not sin again." 
John 8:10, 11
This is used when we hear the Gospel about the woman about to be stoned for adultery (Cycle C). The words of mercy and forgiveness are spoken; this is what we experience in the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Thursday, March 10, 2016

PM: Offertory Thursdays--5th. Sunday Of Lent

I will praise you, O Lord, with my whole heart; deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and observe your word; revive me according to your word, O Lord. 
Ps. 118:7, 10, 17, 25
Having just finished the Liturgy of the Word and now beginning the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we continue our praise and adoration of the one living and true God. Having consumed the Word with our ears and mind, we now prepare to consume the Word in His Real Presence, that It may revive us to live and observe what He has said.


Wednesday, March 09, 2016

PM: Tract Wednesdays--5th. Sunday Of Lent

Often have they fought against me from my youth. 
V. Let Israel now say: Often have they fought against me from my youth. 
V. Yet, they have not prevailed against me: my back has become an anvil for the hammering of sinners. 
V. They have long oppressed me with their iniquities. But the Lord of justice will break the neck of sinners. 
Ps. 128:1-4
The battle of sin and rebellion against God is the plot of the story of salvation history. But God, using love as an anvil and mercy as a hammer, continues to call us back to Him and reforms our lives to His will.

PM: Gradual Tuesdays--5th Sunday Of Lent

Rescue me, Lord, from my enemies; teach me to do your will. 
V. O Lord, you who save me from the wrath of the nations, you shall cause me to triumph over my assailants; you will save me from the man of evil. 
Ps. 142:9, 10; V. Ps. 17:48, 49
"When the student is ready (to hate sin, repent, and follow God), the teacher will appear." It is only "with the help of His grace" will we be able to overcome the evil in ourselves and the world.

(NB:  My apologies for posting this a day late.)

Monday, March 07, 2016

PM: Introit Mondays--5th. Sunday Of Lent

Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly nation; from wicked and deceitful men deliver me, for you are my God and my strength. 
V. Send forth your light and your truth; these have led me and brought me to your holy mountain and to your dwelling place. 
Ps. 42:1, 2, 3
Jesus, "the light of the world" and "the way, the truth, and the life", is what draws us to His holy mountain, His church, and to His dwelling place, the sanctuary and tabernacle therein. It is there we ask for His help, His Grace, to be delivered from the evil in the world.

Friday, March 04, 2016

PM: Communion Fridays---4th. Sunday Of Lent

Three choices are available, two depending on which Gospel was proclaimed.
Jerusalem, built as a city whose parts are bound firmly together! It is there that the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, to give thanks unto your name, O Lord. 
Ps. 121:3, 4
This is the traditional antiphon. We, as the new tribes of Israel, go to the New Jerusalem and give thanks (partake of the Eucharist). Our common unity (communion) is the Real Presence.
The Lord made some clay with his spittle, and he spread it over my eyes; and I went forth, I washed myself, I began to see, and I put my faith in God. 
John 9:6, 11, 38
This one is the compliment to the Gospel of the Man Born Blind (Cycle A). Only God can restore us; only He can make us whole. Blinded by sin, washed in the waters of baptism, made whole again through confession, he provides the means to salvation.
My son, you should rejoice; for your brother who was dead has come back to life; he was lost and he has been found. 
Luke 15:32
This one is the compliment to the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Cycle C). God seeks us always, especially when we stray. He rejoices when we are re-united with Him.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

PM: Offertory Thursdays--4th. Sunday Of Lent

Two choices are here for our consideration.
Praise the Lord, for he is loving; sing in honor of his name, for he is gracious. He has accomplished whatever he resolved to do in heaven and on earth. 
Ps. 134:3, 6
We acknowledge the power and might of God. These attributes shine forth when His love, mercy, and graciousness are on display.
Enlighten my eyes lest I fall into the sleep of death; lest my enemy say: "I have prevailed against him." 
Ps. 12:4, 5
Used when the Gospel is the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Cycle C). We ask God "that we may see". Unlike Adam and Eve when their eyes were "opened", we ask for the grace to choose the good and not let sin triumph.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

PM: Tract Wednesdays--4th. Sunday Of Lent

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion; the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall never be shaken. 
V. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people, from this time forth and for evermore. 
Ps. 124:1, 2
God is with us (Emmanuel--a name for Jesus). Our faith in Him should be as firm as the mountains.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

PM: Gradual Tuesdays--4th. Sunday Of Lent

I rejoiced when it was said unto me: "Let us go to the house of the Lord." 
V. Let peace reign within your walls, and abundance in your towers. 
Ps. 121:1; V. 7
Continuing with the idea of rejoicing in the presence of God, we find blessing upon blessing when we do. God is never outdone in generosity. He especially gives us a peace "which surpasses all understanding."