Praying together at Easter time…
Our Easter Private Intentions Altar is in place here in St Patrick’s Chapel in Kiltegan. It is a daily reminder to us to pray for all of you – our friends, supporters and benefactors. Within the altar are the many prayers and private intentions which we received from you in the mail, through our website, through the “light a candle” format and on the prayer cards. Many of you are worried about family and friends, elderly parents and grandparents, job security, financial issues and so on. We are keeping all of that in mind and we ask you please, to pray for us too. The simple prayer of St Teresa of Avila can calm your nerves when you are feeling stressed and anxious. Maybe you would like to pray it with us:
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing upset you.
God alone is unchanging.
With patience all things are possible.
Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone is enough.
May God and St Patrick guard and protect each and every one of you. Amen.
We will bring you images of our Easter 2021 Altar shortly.
Holy Thursday - April 1st
This evening we begin the celebration of the Easter Triduum, three days when we recall the central elements of our faith, the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. This evening we recall the institution of the Eucharist, the sacrament which keeps our faith and that of our Christian communities alive. Because of the pandemic the celebrations are obviously curtailed and attendance at Mass will not be easy. However, St John in his gospel reminds us that on Holy Thursday night while Jesus instituted the eucharist he also directed his followers to wash each other’s feet. The eucharist without care of neighbour is not ideal.
This year, while not being able to regularly attend Mass we have been called to care for our neighbour’s wellbeing as never before. The various protocols are today’s version of washing our neighbour’s feet. It is understandable that we miss going to church for Mass. However, St John would say that every day we restrained ourselves to put other people first is likewise imitating Jesus on Holy Thursday. These days, frustrating as they are, are holy days also.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming the death of the Lord.
This is what I received from the Lord, and in turn passed on to you: that on the same night that he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it, and he said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me.’ In the same way he took the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’ Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming his death.
Good Friday - April 2nd
Over the past year we have been forced to face sickness and death as we never would have imagined. Every family has its own story of loved ones, friends and acquaintances dying alone or being sick for long periods without visits. We have been tested to the limit. Please God we can get inspiration from our celebration today. Jesus, an innocent man, facing his unjust death could see beyond the evil around him and knew that goodness would come from his own goodness. New life would come from his underserved suffering. Through his death God was opening the way to new life.
Today, as we look at the cross, we remember so many different crosses which have come into our lives and pray that God will use them as a steppingstone to help us cope in these nervous times. “There was silence over all the land.”
Although we can’t celebrate Holy Week together this year, we gather around the Cross and invite you to join the monks of Glenstall Abbey (Murroe, Co Limerick, Ireland) in prayer, music and song in ‘Fuaim na Croise.’
Holy Saturday Night - April 3rd
For St Augustine tonight’s vigil celebration, always celebrated when darkness has fallen, is ‘the mother of all vigils”. We celebrate the foundation of our faith and hope in Jesus Christ – His victory over death. This year our parish celebrations and participation will obviously be limited.
However, the elements we use in the church celebration to convey the profound meaning of this feast are still around us. Light and darkness, fire and water, words (scripture) and music can lead us to the deeper meaning of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. We can reflect on these visible things around us and pray that soon we will be able to celebrate baptism and the eucharist. These are the sacraments which make us sharers and participants of this marvellous night’s celebration.
May all our dear relatives and friends who have died during the past year share in the new life which Jesus, risen from the dead, promises to us all. “Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?” St Paul’s First letter to the Corinthians, 15:55.
Easter Sunday - April 4th
“Christ is Risen, Alleluia” is today’s message – a message to be proclaimed throughout the ages. On this, ‘the Feast of feasts’, ‘the great Sunday’ the church sings out the Good News to all the world. The daily liturgy over the next fifty days, up to Pentecost Sunday will constantly come back to this bedrock of our faith. We can never exhaust the significance, implications and relevance of Jesus Christ rising from the dead. “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is pointless” is how St Paul simply explains it to his recent converts.
May the power of this great event seep into our souls and inspire us to overcome ‘death’ in the many forms we encounter it along our journey of life.
Wishing you a happy, safe and blessed Easter.