Tonight was the third “part” of the Triduum. It began on Holy Thursday evening with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and then continued yesterday with the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion. Tonight, we celebrated the Vigil Mass of Easter.
There is much to that Mass that was not able to be celebrated tonight because of the restriction on public gatherings. We did not have the blessing of the fire outdoors, we did not process the Paschal Candle through the church, we did not have a full church of people holding smaller candles during the Exultet or at their renewal of Baptismal promises.
What we did have, however, was the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection. Not even a pandemic can prevent that from happening. Mass was live-streamed for our parishioners to watch. From the numbers of viewers reported and from the responses people have been making, the services appear to be very well “attended”. I am grateful for that.
Church, after all, is not the building in which we worship. Church is the people of God. Where two or three are gathered in His name, Jesus is there and so is the Church. While it will be a great joy to worship together once again some day, I am grateful that we are able to bring the Masses and other services to our people via the internet.
If this would have happened when I was growing up, we would have been completely cut off from our priests and from any kind of worship. I lived at the time of the introduction of the television (in black and white, no less). There was no such thing as personal computers and there was definitely no such thing as the internet.
Today, technology is helping us to worship together and to stay connected just as it enables our students to continue their classroom learning. I am thankful for all of that.
Speaking of grateful, I take this opportunity to thank my associate pastor, Fr. Declan McNicholas, for the wonderful job he has been doing at the parish since his ordination last summer. He is truly a godsend to us. I thank, as well, two of our seminarians who have been instrumental in live-streaming our Masses and other services: Steven Caraher and Robert Ross. They have also assisted in reading at our daily and weekend Masses. Thanks, as well, to our Music Ministry: Angie Lorandos and Laura Javorka. Music truly enhances the liturgy and takes it up another level. Thanks to Ricky Caraher and Nick Szala for their help during Holy Week. While we were able to keep the number of people in one place under ten, their participation helped us to add more dignity to the Masses with bells and incense and all the other things Masters of Ceremonies do for us.
To my parishioners, I miss you. I pray that God bless you abundantly on this Easter weekend. And I look forward to our being together again. To all of my parishioners as well as to my family and friends: Blessed Easter.
Resurrexit sicut dixit. Alleluia, Alleluia!
The Lord is Risen as He said. Alleluia, Alleluia!