Holy Week liturgies - Catholic Courier

Holy Week liturgies

Some of the most sacred moments the members of our family have ever experienced have happened during Holy Week liturgies. When these liturgies are done well and we enter into them fully, it can feel as if we transcend time and space. The use of light, the readings, the music and the silence can enable us to experience the divine in an extraordinary way.

I will never forget the year that our daughter, Emily, "got it" at the Holy Thursday liturgy. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper enabled her to understand the relationship between Jesus and his disciples in a new way. It enabled her to understand the profound depth of her own relationship with Jesus. As we were leaving the church, she announced, "That was the best Mass I ever went to." We knew that God’s grace had been at work in her during the liturgy.

Good Friday liturgy has a different kind of appeal. Seeing the priest and deacon lying prostrate on the ground is a powerful symbol of servanthood. Something about the act of kneeling to touch or kiss the cross touches each member of our family in a unique way. I never feel so sinful, and yet I never feel so forgiven.

The Easter Vigil liturgy never fails to capture our sons’ attention. Something about standing on the steps of a church around a fire, carrying a small flicker of light into a darkened church and watching the church fill with light really carries a strong message. None of us will ever forget last year, when the wind carried sparks from the fire away from the church all the way down the street. God’s powerful love cannot be contained.

The liturgies of Holy Week offer special opportunities to experience God and the church through word and sign. We give our children, and ourselves, a great gift when we participate fully.

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