Sunday, 27 March 2016

Happy Easter


Saturday, 26 March 2016

Easter Triduum: Day 3

The hours are counting down when the tomb will open and life will re-enter the body of Jesus. One of the many purposes of Jesus' death was so that he would descend to Hades to free the souls and reopen the gates of heaven, after they were closed when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Here, we have full evidence that Jesus' death had purpose. Now, this is day when we count down the hours to his resurrection.
Our liturgy tonight will bring to a close the Easter Triduum which began on Holy Thursday evening with the Lord's Supper. As you may have recalled, there was no final blessing on the Holy Thursday and Good Friday liturgies. There will be a final blessing at the end of this liturgy. The liturgy is divided into four (4) sections:

  1. The Service of Light: This is where we will light the pascal candle for the first time and that light will spread to the faithful present where we will reflect on Jesus as the 'Light of the World'. 
  2. The Liturgy of the Word: This is where we will listen to all the marvels of God and what he has done for his people since the beginning of time. 
  3. The Liturgy of Baptism: As we are reborn into the newness of Christ through his resurrection, we also take the opportunity to renew our baptismal promises. This year, our parish will not have any baptisms since our RCIA programme has now adapted a two (2) year period, so we will have baptisms next Easter.
  4. The Liturgy of the Eucharist: Now that Christ has conquered death and is now alive, we enjoy his presence which he gives to us every week through the Holy Eucharist. That is why we eat of Christ, The Resurrected on this night. Here we bring to an end our three day mass.
In St. Joseph, we will celebrate our Easter Vigil at 8PM. Please remember to walk with your candles.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Easter Triduum: Day 2

After being arrested in the garden, Jesus surrendered himself to the guards where he was then taken to Annas and Caiaphas and then to Pilate where he was sentenced to death under the influence of the people of the town who shouted "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!".
The same people who shouted "Hosanna in the Highest Heavens!" some days prior is now sentencing Jesus to death in place of a prisoner, Barabbas. Simon Peter, one of Jesus' disciples, also denied Jesus. This was the day which Jesus faced the severe challenges of mankind - betrayal, insult, rejection and humiliation to name a few.
Our Liturgy today is not a mass, it is a continuation from last night's celebration, that is why we had no final blessing. The priest and altar servers will approach the altar in silence at the top of this liturgy and prostrate themselves before a stripped altar, recognizing the absence of Jesus in the tabernacle. The liturgy has three sections:

  • The Liturgy of the Word
  • Veneration of the Cross
  • Communion Rite
We venerate a cross which reminds us of the greatest love act ever performed for mankind. There are different ways we can venerate the cross, kiss, bow or kneel before it. This is pay our respect and honour to which hung our Lord.
There is no consecration during this liturgy, since it is not a mass so the host from the Holy Thursday liturgy is brought out and distributed among the faithful. Again, there is no final blessing since the liturgy continues the next night, the Easter Vigil.

In St. Joseph, we will celebrate the Solemn Commemoration of the Lord's Passion at 3PM. 

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Easter Triduum: Day 1

The Easter Triduum begins today and it is a three day celebration which leads towards our Lord's triumphant victory over death into new life. Palm Sunday, which we celebrated last Sunday, opened Holy Week, which symbolized Jesus' return to Jerusalem and it was in this holy city where all of his fates were met. 
Our Paschal feast begins with what we call 'the very first mass ever celebrated'. It was on this night where Christ broke bread and shared wine for the first time with his twelve and he offered it up as his body and blood. What is also momentous about this first day of the Triddum is the ultimate betrayal of Judas and Jesus washing the feet of his disciples which serves as a sign of humility and service. 
Following the sacred supper, Jesus withdrew with a few of his disciples into a garden in Gethsemane where he spent all night in prayer, just before he was arrested and taken away. The famous words taken from Luke 22:42 are spoken from Jesus where he says, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done". 
Our Liturgy today will reflect the events which took place at the Last Supper. We will sing the Gloria where bells will be rung for the last time until the Easter Vigil, wooden clappers will replace the bells at this liturgy during the consecration. The priest will also wash the feet of twelve lay persons from the community as a symbol of Christ washing the disciples' feet. After the liturgy of the Eucharist, the priest and altar servers will process with the remaining host in a ciborium throughout the church and it will be placed into an altar of repose where the faithful will be invited to spend time with Christ, this relates to the disciples in the garden with Jesus after the supper. During the Holy Thursday liturgy, enough hosts will be consecrated to be used for the Good Friday liturgy since, at that service, no consecration is allowed. 
Once the Holy Thursday liturgy comes to a close, the faithful are invited to depart in silence. No dismissal blessing is given since the service continues on Good Friday.

In St. Joseph, we will celebrate the Lord's Supper at 6.30PM. Bring bread so that we can share with the poor.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Bicentennial Book Notice

The Bicentennial Book committee is still appealing for old photographs. We are seeking photos taken inside the church before 1970. Events such as weddings, first communion, confirmation, feast days, Christmas, Easter, Corpus Christi. Any photo that shows what the inside the church looked like prior to 1970. Please forward these photos to the parish office with your name and contact number. Please be assured the photos will be returned to the owner as soon as they have been scanned or photographed.

With Thanks.

Holy Thursday: Notice

At the Last Supper, Jesus broke bread and gave it to his disciples. As part of our Holy Thursday tradition, we invite all to bring a loaf of bread so that we can distribute it to the poor.
Mass of the Lord's Supper begins at 6.30PM in St. Joseph.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Good Friday or The Annunciation?

QUESTION: This year, the Solemnity of the Annunciation will clash with Good Friday (March 25th). Which will we celebrate?

ANSWER: We will celebrate Good Friday since the liturgies within Holy Week takes preference over any other feast days/solemnities. We will celebrate The Solemnity of the Annunciation on the first open day after the Octave of Easter (That is, anytime after Divine Mercy Sunday).

Chrism Mass 2016

The Annual Chrism Mas takes place on Monday (21st March) and it will return to its original home, The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Our parish will be sending two (2) representatives:
  • Irma Leslie (St. Joseph)
  • Gyasi Husbands-Vialva (Mt. D'or)
They will receive, on behalf of the parish community, the Sacred Oils which will be blessed by our Bishop during the mass and used in the parishes for the next year. These Sacred Oils include:
  • The Oil of Catechumens 
  • The Oil of the Infirm (for the sick)
  • The Holy Chrism
Let us pray for our parish representatives.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Happy Birthday Archbishop Harris

The St. Joseph Parish would like to extend birthday blessings to our local leader of the Catholic Church, Archbishop Joseph Harris. May God continue to bless you and give you his strength.