Our beautiful stained glass window is lit from the inside and continues to shine its light outwards and into the community from dusk to dawn. Now also, neighbors walking by can see through the glass doors of the church where an illuminated wooden cross has been placed to remind us of Our Lord’s love for us all. Passers by are invited to pick up a nail and carry it with them on Good Friday and messages in the garden offer witness and encouragement to our neighbors.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols is encouraging Catholics to pray for our priests through Holy Week – particularly on Maundy Thursday when we recall the Last Supper and the institution of the Holy Eucharist. He says….
‘Maundy Thursday is one of the great days of Holy Week. It’s the day in which traditionally there are two great ceremonies; one called the Chrism Mass, in the morning, in which the sacred oils are blessed for the coming year and the priests make their renewal of commitment.(Bishops Conference of England & Wales Tuesday, April 7th, 2020) #PrayForPriests
The second is the Mass of the Lord’s Supper – our recalling the Last Supper that Jesus had with his disciples.
This year we are not celebrating the Chrism Mass, but we are celebrating the Lord’s Supper, and after it, a time of prayer. During that time of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, we’re asking priests to renew their promises, the promises they made at Ordination in a personal and devotional way.
And I ask you, please, to use the time after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper to include prayers for your priests. They give their lives to the Lord in His service.
And I ask you, please, this Holy Week – this Maundy Thursday – to pray for them that they will be faithful and generous. And I know they are spending a lot of time in prayer for you.
You know, this prayer of intercession unites us with Jesus. We’re told that He intercedes for us continually before His father.
And when we pray for one another, our prayers are carried by Jesus into the presence of our loving Father.
Please pray for your priests. They pray for you. Please pray for me’
Following the Angelus at the conclusion of Mass on Palm Sunday, Pope Francis invited “people and families who are not able to participate in the liturgical celebrations” for the Easter Triduum “to gather together in prayer” in their homes, through the assistance of technical means. Precisely in order to meet the need expressed by the Holy Father, and to ensure that no one is excluded, Vatican News has created a YouTube channel with translations of the liturgies into Sign Language. People with communication and hearing disabilities will be able to follow all the Paschal celebrations and rites via live streaming, at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC9tK3J1Rlab3_fu_0mAu9LmYor9fvfJQ
Fr. Philip will celebrate the mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7.00 pm on Holy Thursday and mass from the Cathedral will be online at the same time. During this mass, before the Blessed Sacrament, our priests will be making a personal Renewal of Priestly Commitment. National coverage of Watching after Mass will be streamed from St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham – and you can access this online at www.stchadscathedral.org.uk
Please pray for our priests especially over the coming days.