This weekend, we celebrate Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week! This year feels like it’s my first time celebrating Holy Week with all of you. After last year’s Holy Week, celebrated in front of a camera and an empty Church, I’m so very thankful to be able to celebrate these days with all of you. There is so much that can be said about Holy Week, as it’s really the central focus of our faith. Yet, at the same time, it’s probably good to allow the rites of Holy Week to speak for themselves. This Sunday, we hear the story of the Passion. Holy Thursday, we celebrate the last supper, the first mass, and the institution of the Eucharist. On Good Friday, we recall the crucifixion, and on Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, we celebrate the reality of the resurrection an the empty tomb. I’d encourage everyone to make the time to participate in the services that make up Holy Week, as they are central to what we believe.
There will be a few small changes due to precautions this year, but nothing like last year. We will pass out palms this weekend, but on the way out after mass. On Holy Thursday, we won’t have the washing of the feet. On Good Friday, we’ll still have the veneration of the cross, but we ask that people do not physically kiss the cross. For the Vigil, while we won’t have the outside fire or hold individual candles, everything else should look pretty much as it normally would. Considering where we were this time last year, I’m hopeful that this year will actually feel like a real holy week. We also want to pray for our candidate this year. This coming Saturday at the Easter Vigil, Mike Mays will be received into the Church as a Catholic and be confirmed. So please join us in praying for Mike!
As I’m sure you’re all aware, last weekend our Drive-Thru Turkey dinner went exceptionally well. I really want to thank everyone who helped with the dinner. All of the folks in the kitchen did a wonderful job, I heard lots of great reviews about the food. The Drive-thru also went exceptionally well. From what I can gather from our preliminary data, we served almost as many dinners as we normally did, but unlike in the past, there was hardly a line. I real special thanks goes out to all of our young people. Everyone commented on just how hard all of our young people worked last weekend. We all owe them our thanks as we couldn’t have managed the dinner without them!
So as we continue this week, I hope we can all be thankful for being able to celebrate Holy Week together! I look forward to seeing you at each of the services this week!
Father Matthew Baum is the Parish Administrator at Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.