One of the lesser known celebrations of Holy Week is the Chrism Mass. Traditionally held on Holy Thursday this Mass is often moved earlier in the week because of the distances priests travel. At this Mass the Archbishop leads his priest in a renewal of their promises. He also consecrates three oils: The Oil of Catechumens, the Oil of the Sick, and the Sacred Chrism.
All three are used regularly in parish sacramental life. The Chrism is used to anoint the walls of a new church, the head of a newly ordained bishop, newly baptized, the hands of a newly ordained priest, and the head of those Confirmed. Here is a picture of Archbishop Lucas adding the sweet perfume (balsam) to the oil before blessing. The smell reminds us of the goodness of God.
The oils will soon be placed in our ambry.
This was the last of 20 weekends in Burns Gym. Our pilgrimage reaches it’s apex as we enter into Holy Week. Here is a picture of the procession at the 9:30 am Mass. Great crowd of people singing “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
Customarily, Palm Sunday is our parish workday. This time together is as much about fellowship as it is about work. The past couple years have been cancelled due to weather so we were able to accomplish quite a bit. Spring cleaning on a huge level!
A lot of work was done in and around St. Mary’s. The pews were thoroughly dusted and the carpet vacuumed. Great to see our pews back in place.
Courtyards were cleaned our in preparation to receive pavers and glass art (picture of glass panel in courtyard taken October 2014)
Pizza and food prepared…
Stewardship abounding at Sacred Heart Parish.
Our Renewal comes to this point – Holy Week. This has been our destination all along. Christ has been inviting us to drink deeply of the Paschal Mystery – His life, death, and resurrection. We have celebrated Holy Week before but we’ve never been here before. Sacred Heart is a changed parish. Why? Because we went on a journey together. We set out in search of our true home and that home is not a physical place, it’s the heart of Jesus. I think we know him more than we did in November. But there’s more…
It’s all about God’s people. Too many people are looking for home but don’t know where to start. They are looking for people who understand the pain of their struggle and walk with them. These folks will join our church when allow Jesus to “move in” to our hearts. How do I know this? Because all of us were once lost and have been found.
The picture above shows the heart of our parish. It’s a team of parishioners helping with the re-assembly of our pews. This is just one example of stewardship in our parish. We have many stewards – people who are at home in Jesus and use their gifts to glorify God andserve their neighbor. This Year of Renewal has awakened us to our great potential. If we receive Christ’s gift this Holy Week, that potential will be unleased.
The workers at St. Mary’s are going to need 3 or 4 more weeks to fully complete the project. We will have Mass on Easter Weekend but you will see some things unfinished. The tile work in narthex (gathering space) has not begun and we will be dealing with construction dust for a while. But, for the most part you’ll soon get to experience you’re renewed church.
* Holy Thursday and Good Friday – we may be able to celebrate the whole Triddum in St. Mary’s but will know at the last minute. Just follows the crowds when you come, and please come, to all the liturgies of the Week that Changed the World. Jesus is calling.
Ok, so there’s A LOT coming together at once. Let me summarize….no, actually that would take too long. I’ll just sum up.
The pews arrived today. Many hands make light work so we enlisted the help of strong handed students from our Parish school. There are lots of pieces. The crew will start working immediately on assembly.
Some of our sanctuary furniture has arrived as well. We have a new larger celebrant’s chair that will be more prominent. You’ll see it here with one of our refinished prie dieu’s.
Electrical wiring is coming together. Here are three of the main boxes:
The sanctuary tile is looking beautiful. It’s being grouted as I type.
The front stoop is ready for concrete and retaining walls are being rebuilt.
Partitions are being installed in the women’s restroom.
The narthex is ready for ceiling paint and floor tile.
Here’s a panorama of the nave. We’re almost there folks. Please pray for the workers during this time. They have a lot do but they want to see us in for Easter.
Today we found out that Easter Masses are a “go” for St. Mary’s. Hooray! There will be more to finish after Easter but what a joy it will be to re-enter our church on the most important weekend of the year. Yes, Lord!
Here is what happened this past week:
Tile has been installed on the choir risers. Looks great. In this picture the grout hadn’t been applied. You can see the grout color in the next picture.
Here is a shot of the carpet up against the tile (Ignore my dusty footprints on the left part of the carpet). The area under the pews will be carpeted.
The Narthex is ready for drywall on the ceiling and installation of entry doors. You’ll be amazed how large this space feels. Going to be really useful for us.
Tile work is complete in the women’s restroom. It looks great. The room is very spacious.
This hole sits right in front of the sanctuary. Its purpose is a secret for now….
We were able to repurpose the original granite commentator stand. It will now serve as a base for our Ambry, which houses the holy oils (Olea Sancta).
Fabric strips are being installed in between the wooden acoustical slats behind the sanctuary.
Next weekend our homilies will be on a daily diet of the Word of God as a basic tool for growing in the spiritual life. It will be based off of this great video by Matthew Kelly. Give it a watch and get going with the Word of God:
Best Lent Ever: How Should I Use the Bible?
Work continues feverishly on St Mary’s. The north sacristy is shaping up nicely. Cabinets and countertops were installed:
Here is a spectacular view from high above (The “angels view”). Tile is yet to be installed but you can see how much brighter things are without the dark carpet.
This is a view from the new choir stands. Choir members will have an excellent view of the congregation.
Interior door frames are installed and most of the glass is in place. It will be so great to have the option of closing off the narthex (gathering area) when needed. You can also see the framework being installed for the ceiling.