Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday
Today, we wait in silence to celebrate the Resurrection. We remember that Jesus descended to hell, that place of the dead. He went to the good section, the Bosom of Abraham, to proclaim the good news that He was about to open the gates to Heaven. Currently, the Bosom of Abraham is empty. By the grace of God and our cooperation, may we all avoid going to the bad section of hell. Rather, let's follow Jesus so that we might rise with Him.
Inside our church we were 88 people on Holy Thursday and 155 on Good Friday. The 155 were mostly singles, and we still had room.
Based on the sign-ups for three or more, I think the 10 AM Easter Sunday Mass will be the most crowded. I've added more chairs to the parish hall to maximize the number of people who can safely fit inside our church. Unfortunately, some spots don't have the greatest view.
I plan to set-up a few chairs outside the main entrance. With the doors open, you can see the sanctuary. We may very well go over 200 people (mostly) inside our church at 10 AM and 12 PM. If we reach capacity, you can listen in your cars. We'll bring Holy Communion out to the parking lot via the entrance between the rectory and church.
Because of the large numbers, we're going to be strategic. I wish I could go back in time and encourage Fr. Matera to build a big rectangular church that would be so much easier to navigate. What we have is an irregular polygon with a variety of seating.
We may need to slow people entering so that we can help people find good seats. We have found that newcomers need extra help. Even many regulars would choose nearby seating that we want to reserve for those who have difficulty walking.
I'm very much looking forward to seeing so many people come to Mass for Easter. It'll be like a mini-resurrection for our parish.
Easter Vigil at 8 PM
Because of the pandemic, I will prepare the paschal candle before Mass begins. We won't have an Easter fire nor individual candles. Everyone will find seats like a regular Sunday Mass.
To begin the Easter Vigil, I will light the paschal candle. Holly will then sing the Exsultet. We will hear the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Old Testament readings (skipping the other four). We'll have the Gloria, Epistle, Gospel, and Homily. While I'll bless some water, I won't sprinkle all of you. Tristin is being received into the Church, will be confirmed, and receive his First Holy Communion. We'll renew our baptismal promises. After the Prayer of the Faithful, the Liturgy of the Eucharist will proceed very much like a regular Sunday Mass.
We will have four Easter Sunday Masses at 8 AM, 10 AM, 12 PM, and 2 PM. We won't get you wet, but we may do the renewal of baptismal promises in place of the Creed.
Dismissal during the Easter Octave
Assuming the priest remembers, he will say, "Go in peace, allelluia, alleluia." You'll respond, "Thanks be to God, allelluia, allelluia."
God love you,
Fr. Jim O'Neill
on Saturday, April 3 at 9:53AM