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THE EASTER TRIDUUM: THURSDAY-FRIDAY-SATURDAY

April 9-11, 1998             SECTION THREE              vol 9, no. 71



HOLY SATURDAY

"Lumen Christi! The Light of Christ"

     The anticipation of the Resurrection overflows with the most beautiful liturgies in the Church - the Easter Vigil Mass. Today we bring you "The Significance and Beauty of the Easter Vigil" for from the darkness the Light of Christ shines forth. After centuries of waiting and hoping, all expectations are fulfilled with the opening of Heaven's doors to all who had been in limbo since the time of Adam and Eve. For us it is a day of great joy and celebration, rejoicing at the new catechumens and a renewal of our Baptismal vows. For the moving liturgy, readings and meditation of Holy Saturday, click on LITURGY FOR HOLY SATURDAY

HOLY SATURDAY, April 11, 1998

THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BEAUTY OF THE EASTER VIGIL

     Probably no service in the Liturgical calendar is more beautiful and meaningful than the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday evening. Albeit long, Holy Mother Church gathers her children together for this special service to not only celebrate the Sacrament of the Eucharist, but also the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.

      The Night-watch of the Resurrection begins with the Church totally dark to symbolize the tomb. One candle is lit - the Easter or Paschal Candle which will be lit for every Mass until Pentecost Sunday. Then the light from that Candle is passed to the individual candles the congregation hold and from pew to pew light filters into the Church as the procession begins three times the celebrant chanting "Lumen Christi" or, in the vernacular now, "Light of Christ" to which all answer "Thanks be to God" or "Deo Gratias" in the Latin service.

      Once the celebrant reaches the altar the deacon places the Paschal Candle in its permanent holder and the Easter Proclamation begins. Following is the lengthy seven readings and seven accompanying responsorial psalms or readings, all from the Old Testament to symbolize the lengthy time those who were loyal to the Old Covenant spent in Limbo before being released to Heaven by Christ's Death. It was during the three days in the tomb that Christ "descended to the dead" to call all God's faithful ones from Adam and Eve to the day Christ died into Heavenly bliss.

      We then move into the New Covenant with the Epistle and Gospel Readings followed by Liturgy of Baptism where candidates who have been undergoing the catechumen program are now fully accepted into the Body of Christ's One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. First all recite the Litany of Saints to unite us in the Communion of Saints as we, the Church Militant join the Church Suffering in Purgatory and the Church Triumphant in Heaven to profess our faith, hope and love in the Trinity and Christ's victory over death. There is then the Blessing of Water and the candidates renounce their sins, make their profession of faith and then receive the Sacrament of Baptism with first the saving water, then the anointing with Chrism oil, clothed with the Baptismal garment and presented a lighted candle symbolic that they have been brought into the Light of Christ and rid of Original Sin. The entire congregation then join the newly baptized candidates in Renewal of their Baptismal Promises by first renouncing their sins, then a Profession of Faith. The Celebrant then sprinkles all with Holy Water from the asperges. Now all the newly baptized candidates are fully received by the entire congregation at the beckoning of the Celebrant.

      Following the Liturgy of Baptism is the Celebration of Confirmation where the candidates for Confirmation are invited to come forth where either the Bishop or his appointed representative in the person of the Celebrant lays on hands and then annoints each with the Holy Chrism with the words, "Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit. This concludes the special Easter Vigil liturgy as the Liturgy of the Eucharist begins and, for the first time the newly Baptized are able to partake of this beautiful Liturgy and the entire Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We now have but a few hours to wait until that glorious day - Easter Sunday and the Resurrection - the beginning of the rest of our lives...forever!


PRAYERS & DEVOTION

Today's prayer contains the Renewal of our Baptismal Vows
      "Almighty and eternal God! Thou knowest all things: Thou seest the very bottom of my heart, and Thou knowest that, however sinful I have hitherto been, I am resolved, by the help of Thy grace, to love and serve Thee for the remainder of my life. And therefore, O my God, kneeling before the throne of Thy Mercy, I renew, with all the sincerity of my soul the promises and vows made for me in my baptism. I renounce satan with my whole heart, and will henceforth have no connection with him. I renounce all the pomps of satan, that is, all the vanities of the world, the false treasures of its riches, honors and pleasures, and all its corrupt teachings. I renounce all the works of satan, that is, all kinds of sins. To Thee alone, O my God, I desire to cling; Thy word will I hear and obey; for Thee alone I desire to live and to die. Amen."

Second Day of the Novena of Divine Mercy

     We continue with the Second Day of the Novena of Divine Mercy which will conclude with DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY next week. This Novena was imparted to Blessed Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun of the 1930's who is known as the "Apostle of Mercy." For this second day of the Novena and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, click on DIVINE MERCY NOVENA

SECOND DAY OF THE NOVENA OF DIVINE MERCY: HOLY SATURDAY, April 11, 1998

     Most Merciful Jesus, from Whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service, that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy Who is in Heaven.

      Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard - upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless Mercy for ages without end. Amen.

It is greatly recommended the above novena intentions and prayers be said together with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
(All material taken from Divine Mercy Devotions, copyright Marians of the Immaculate Conception)

CHAPLET OF DIVINE MERCY

      Devotion to Divine Mercy is conveyed through the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as Jesus imparted to Blessed Sister Faustina Kowalska when He relayed, as recorded in her diary "Divine Mercy in my soul", "Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you (1541)...Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death (687)...When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the Merciful Savior (1541)...Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this Chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My Infinite Mercy (687)...Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will. (1731).

      Following is the formula for the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, prayed on the regular beads of the Rosary. It is most appropriate to pray it at 3 o'clock in the afternoon which is the "Hour of Great Mercy" as Jesus said to Blessed Faustina: At three o'clock, implore My Mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the Hour of Great Mercy...In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion. (1320).

      It is recommended to offer each decade to the wounds of Christ, such as the first decade in reparation for the wound in HIs Right Hand; the second decade in reparation for the wound in His Left Hand, the third decade in reparation for the wounds in His Sacred Feet; the fourth decade in reparation for the wounds in His Head in which the Crown of Thorns crushed His Sacred Skull; and the fifth decade in reparation for the wound in His side in which Blood and Water gushed forth as a Font of Mercy for all generations.

      The Novena to Divine Mercy, which Jesus asked Blessed Faustina to begin on Good Friday, 1937 is for nine days from Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter) which is the Feast of Divine Mercy. Jesus told her, By this Novena [of Chaplets and particular intention each day] I will grant every possible grace to souls. (796).


Medjugorje Monthly Message for March 25th

     Dear children! Also today I call you to fasting and renunciation. Little children, renounce that which hinders you from being closer to Jesus. In a special way I call you: Pray, because only through prayer will you be able to overcome your will and discover the will of God even in the smallest things. By your daily life, little children, you will become an example and witness that you live for Jesus or against Him and His will. Little children, I desire that you become apostles of love. By loving, little children, it will be recognized that you are mine. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE

PROVERB OF THE DAY

"When the tempest passes, the wicked man is no more; but the just man is established forever."

Proverbs 10: 25

ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME

Events today in Church History

      For events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history, click on ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME

Historical Events in Church Annals for April 11:


629 and counting, hoping and praying..


For all other standard features, articles and columns, click on Archives



Click here to return to SECTION ONE or SECTION TWO or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.


Apri1 9-11, 1998 volume 9, no. 71         DAILY CATHOLIC