Our Lords Passion

The following meditation is taken from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez, Vol 2, p. 231.

 

Our Lord’s Passion should be a frequent theme in our prayer

Our Lord’s Passion should be a frequent theme in our prayer, but especially so in these days leading up to the central mystery of our redemption.

“My people! What have I done, in what way have I offended you?  Answer me.  I gave you the water of salvation which flowed from my sorrow to drink and you gave me honey and vinegar.  My people, what Have I done to you?” (Liturgy, Good Friday)

The Liturgy of these days during Lent brings us closer to the fundamental mystery of our Faith – the Resurrection of the Lord.  If the liturgical year is centred upon Easter then this period “demands an even greater devotion on our part, given its proximity to the sublime mysteries of divine mercy.” (St. Leo the Great, Sermon, 67)  But we  should not tread this path too hastily, lest we lose sight of  a very simple fact which we might easily overlook.  We will not be able to share n Our Lord’s Resurrection unless we unite ourselves with him in his Passion and Death.(cf. Romans 8:17).  “If we are to accompany Christ in his glory at the end of Holy Week, we must first enter into his holocaust and be truly united to him as he lies dead on Calvary.”(St. Jose Escrivá, Christ is passing us by, 95) So during these days let us accompany Jesus, in our prayers, along his painful way to Calvary and his death on the cross. As we keep him company let us not forget that we too were protagonists in all those horrors, for Jesus “bore the burned of our sins”, (1 Peter 2:24) each and every one of them.  We were freed from the hands of the devil and from eternal death “at a great price” (1 Corinthians 6:20), that of the Blood of Christ.

The custom of meditating on the Passion began in the very earliest days of Christianity.  Many of the faithful in Jerusalem had themselves been present as Christ passed through the streets of the city on the eve of the Pasch (Passover).  They would never forget Jesus’ sufferings as he made his way to Calvary.  The Evangelists dedicated a good part of their writings to the detailed account of those events.  “We should read our Lord’s Passion constantly,” said St. John Chrysostom; “what great benefit we will gain by doing so.  Even if you are as hard as stone, when you contemplate that He was sarcastically adorned, then ridiculed, beaten and subjected to the final agonies, you will be moved to cast all pride from your soul.”  (St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew, 87,1)

St. Thomas Aquinas said that “the Passion of Christ is enough to serve as a guide and model throughout our lives.” (St. Thomas , About the Creed, 6).  One day while he was visiting St. Bonaventure, St Thomas asked him where he had acquired such good doctrine as the one that he set out in his works.  It is said that St. Bonaventure showed him a crucifix, which was blackened from all the kisses he had given it, and explained: “This is the book that tells me what I should write; the little I know I learned from it.” (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Meditations on Christ’s Passion, 1:4) From the crucifix the saints learned now to suffer and truly love Christ.  We too should learn from it.  “Your crucifix….as a Christian, you should always carry your crucifix with you. And place it on your desk.  And kiss it before going to bed and when you wake up; and when your poor body rebels against your soul, kiss it again.” (St. Jose, The Way, 32)

Our Lord’s Passion should be a frequent theme in our prayer, but especially so in these days leading up to the central mystery of our redemption.

 



The Chief medical Health Officer of Kingston has ordered that Masks must be worn at all places we gather indoors. That includes us here at the cathedral. We can’t supply everyone with a mask so please come with one. We would have a limited supply available for a loonie at the entrance of the cathedral.
Please read and observe the six key principles outlined below.

1) The key principle is that we come to Mass to worship God. Out of justice and exercising the virtue of religion we must give God what is God’s due. That quite simply is worship, adoration and praise. Thus, the absolute essentials of Mass will be included so that the Sacramental praise of God will take place and we will be exposed to one another for as brief a time as possible.

2) The second key principle is that the health and safety of parishioners, staff and clergy here at St. Mary’s are essential and require our utmost concern and attention. Therefore, the dispensation from the obligation to come to Sunday Mass by Archbishop Mulhall continues to be in effect. Those who are sick, elderly or have other critical health concerns should not come at this time. However, that is left to your discretion. Should you make the choice to come, knowing the risks, you are most welcome.

3) The underlying principle of all of our restrictions in isolating, physically distancing, wearing masks etc. is the common good as we live out the Lord’s commission to “love one another.” We are to care for each other and at this time we are called to be as prudent and careful as we can to protect the health of everyone else and ourselves.
4) The principle for the next few weeks will be brevity. The received scientific wisdom is that the virus spreads within groups who spend a prolonged period of time together. Therefore, we will be reducing the Mass to the bare essentials.
5) Singing is considered more dangerous than speaking so you are asked to please not sing at all throughout the Mass. I will not be singing either.
6) If you have any sickness, are elderly or have a critical illness you should remain at home. The dispensation from the obligation to come to Mass continues through this time of 30% capacity. Of course, if you choose to come you will not be turned away. We will continue to live- stream the Masses until we are back to a more normal arrangement.
PROCEDURAL NORMS FOR
THE NEXT FEW WEEKS

The Chief medical Health Officer has ordered that Masks must be worn at all places we gather indoors. That includes us here at the cathedral. We can’t supply everyone with a mask so please come with one. We would have a limited supply available for a loonie at the entrance of the cathedral.
Brevity
We will pray a shorter Penitential Rite.
The Gloria will be said not sung. There is to be no singing by the congregation during the Mass. Only by a cantor or as we have today a physically distanced choir in the choir loft…3 metres apart.
We will only have one reading followed by the Psalm
The second reading will be omitted.
The choir will sing the Alleluia on Sundays. During the week it will be omitted. Please do not join in.
The Gospel.
A very brief (3-4 minute) homily will follow.
The Creed will not be prayed.
There will be no petitions. Please prepare your own petitions and offer them in your heart during the Mass.
There will be no procession of the gifts.
There will be no regular collections at this time in the Masses. It will happen later. Ushers will be at the doors to receive your offering as you leave.
The Eucharistic Prayer will be prayed. This is the Most Important Part of the Mass.
The Our Father
Sign of Peace. This is a time when we won’t shake hands. Please do not wave to each other or give the two finger sign of peace. Neither of these reflect what is the intention here…You are recognizing the presence of God in the other person and praying they know God’s peace. The most appropriate gesture is a slight bow or nod of the head to the other person. You have seen me do this at the sign of peace to all of you at every Sunday Liturgy.
Please be seated.
Then the ushers will direct you to the place where you will receive Holy Communion. Please do not leave your pew until an usher has indicated you should do so.
Another usher will be close to the Communion Station to receive your Sunday Offering.
When it is your turn to receive Holy Communion. You will stand 6 feet away on the red line. The person distributing Holy Communion will say “The Body of Christ”. You will say “Amen”. Then move forward within arms length and receive the Host. Once you have received go straight out the nearest exit and make your Thanksgiving on your way home.
Aisles 1 & 5 will come forward to receive Holy Communion and leave by the side doors.
Aisles 2, 3 & 4 will go to the back to receive Holy Communion.
Aisle 2 will exit by the exit closest to the rectory.
Aisle 3 will exit out the centre door which you came in
Aisle 4 will exit out the door by the washrooms.
You are strongly encouraged to receive Holy Communion in the hand. Receiving on the tongue endangers the person giving Holy Communion and yourself, the person receiving Holy Communion. If you wish to insist on receiving on the tongue please wait until the very end as the person giving Holy Communion should sanitize their hands after each communicant. The usher will pass you by and will come back to you after everyone else has received. Please don’t leave your pew until that has taken place.