This weekend we celebrate Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. As we bless and (ordinarily!) hold palm branches today, at least at one Mass here, we recall Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the Holy City. It is a bittersweet remembrance because we know that no sooner that He celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples than He was arrested, “tried,” convicted, and put to death. BUT Jerusalem is more than the site of Jesus’s Crucifixion. It is also the site of His Resurrection. Through Jesus’s sacrifice we all hope to one day reach the eternal Jerusalem.
Next weekend will, of course, be Easter … the Resurrection of the Lord … THE most important HOLY DAY in the Christian Calendar. We will sing out with joy for the Easter Miracle … THE LORD IS RISEN! We have been saved. Death no longer had ultimate power over us. We antici- pate the day when we too will be raised with Christ. As baptized Christians we have already been raised. We have been raised out of the ashes of despair, raised up to being saved! “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!” This will be an Easter unlike any other since none of you will be able to be at Holy Mass. BUT the message is the same: CHRIST IS RISEN!
A Note of Support to our Homebound Parishioners: In these difficult times we must all band together and help one another in any way we can. If you find yourself in need of groceries, or have a prescription you need to have filled, but are unable to leave your home, please contact me, Deacon Sommer at 314.517.1718, and I can help you. I have a small group of volunteers, from the ACTS community and from our Young Adults Group, who are willing to help you out.
And to all parishioners in general, if you know of anyone who might need help in these areas, let me know and I will contact them.
Thank you, and may God protect you in every way.
Deacon Carl Sommer
HOLY WEEK: This very Holy Week is going to be very different. Almost all of the following was in last week’s bulletin … but I’m not sure who read it, either the printed copy available in Church or the e-mail that was sent to you. Regardless, I invite you to please read on for the schedule here at Saint Monica this week.
The Schedule for the Sacrament of Penance this week: Wednesday, April 8, from 3:30 until 4:30 P.M. and on Good Friday, April 10, from 9:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. After that, Confessions only by appointment. Father Stephen Schumacher, our “summer Associate,” has returned from Rome because of the closure of all the universities in Italy. He should be available for confessions during the last days of Holy Week.
Masses are continuing to be celebrated. We weren’t sure last week what the status would be, so here are the Mass intentions, many scheduled long ago, are scheduled for this Holy Week:
Monday: Carolyn Elfrink; Tuesday: Bernadine Gimenez; Wednesday: Dr Syl Flotte and his daughter, Mary; Thursday: Richard Sander, Jr.
Holy Week: As you know from reading the Saint Louis Review and our bulletin, all public liturgies for Holy Week are suspended.
We will carry on with the Private Services as listed below. With all the ministers we can allow no more than ten people. We will have an organist, and (probably) a cantor present to provide music for these most sacred liturgies. But, again, the total number in attendance, including celebrant, should number 10 or less in accord with President Trump’s and County Executive Page’s recommendation and the current CDC guidelines.
HOLY WEEK/TRIDUUM LITURGIES
Palm Sunday, the Chrism Mass, and all Triduum Liturgies will be live-steamed with Archbishop Carlson from the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. The times for these services follow. We will also stream the Liturgies of Holy Week on our Parish Webpage and YouTube. See the times below.
I: Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord: Private Mass Only.
The Simple Entrance will be utilized. The blessed palm branches will be available in the main lobby of the church, as well as the “choir” entrance and the “cry room / sacristy” entrance throughout Holy Week. We invite you to come and pick up your palm for your homes. There will be PLENTY!
The Archbishop’s Palm Sunday Mass will be live-streamed from Cathedral Basilica at 8:00 A.M. As we have been doing during these days, since the suspension of public daily Masses, the Holy Mass celebrated here at Saint Monica will be streamed on our webpage and YouTube at 9:30 A.M.
II: Chrism Mass
This very important Mass, celebrating the institution of the priesthood, will be celebrated privately by Archbishop Carlson, on Tuesday, April 7th. It will be streamed from the Cathedral at 10:00 A.M. on Holy Thursday, April 9.
III: Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Thursday): Private Mass Only.
The Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be live-streamed from the Cathedral Basilica at 7:30 P.M; we will also stream the Mass celebrated here on our website and YouTube at 7:00 P.M.
In parish churches the priest(s) of the parish can celebrate the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The faculty to celebrate Mass on this day in a suitable place, without a congregation, is granted in an exceptional manner to all priests.
The Office of Worship instructs that the Washing of the Feet, which is already optional, is to be omitted. Also, at the end of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper the procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the place of repose is to be omitted and the Blessed Sacrament is to be kept in the tabernacle.
Archbishop Carlson is asking all priests to spend an extended period of time in prayer and Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament praying especially for the unity of the whole Church and for the safety and health of all people. Our Church will remain open for private prayer until 9:00 P.M. We hope that you will come and spend some time in prayer in adoration before the Lord present in the Tabernacle.
IV: Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday): Private Liturgy Only.
The Good Friday Liturgy will be live-streamed from Cathedral Basilica at 3:00 P.M; we will also stream the Liturgy celebrated in our Church on our website and YouTube at 7:00 P.M.
In parish churches, the Parish Priest will celebrate the Passion of the Lord at a suitable time. In the Universal Prayer, the celebrant will see to it that there is a special intention for the sick, the dead, and for those who feel lost or dismayed (c.f. Missale Romanum, n. 13).
During the time appointed for The Adoration of the Holy Cross, Archbishop Carlson is asking all priests to spend an extended period of time in prayer praying especially for the unity of the whole Church and for the safety and health of all people.
Our Church will be open all day, until 9:00 P.M., for private prayer. Although we won’t have Stations of the Cross publically prayed this Good Friday, there will be booklets in the lobby of Church for those who wish to pray Stations.
This weekend’s bulletin had to be submitted by noon on Friday, March 27th, so these arrangements are not final. HOWEVER, SOMETIME ON GOOD FRIDAY WE WILL STREAM the STATIONS OF
THE CROSS, taped sometime during Holy Week. We will send out a BLAST E-MAIL early this week with the exact time Stations will be STREAMED. Watch for that blast, as well as keep check- ing our Parish Website and Parish FaceBook page.
Please remember, too, that Good Friday is a day of Abstinence from meat, for all over the age of 14, and Fasting (no snacks; two smaller meals), for those 18 through 59.
V: The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night (Easter Vigil): Private Liturgy Only.
The Easter Vigil Liturgy, celebrated by the Archbishop, will be live-streamed from Cathedral Basilica at 8:00 P.M; we will also stream the Liturgy celebrated in our Church on our website and YouTube at 10:00 P.M.
At the Solemn Beginning of the Vigil, or Lucenarium, the preparation and lighting of the new fire will be omitted, the Paschal Candle is lit, the procession is omitted and the Easter Proclamation (Exsultet) follows.
The Liturgy of the Word then takes place. For the Baptismal Liturgy, the Renewal of Baptismal Promises alone is necessary. The Liturgy of the Eucharist then follows. Baptisms and receptions, and please recall we have a very nice sized class this year, will be postponed to near Pentecost, how it was done in the early church, possibly on May 31 or another Sunday in Easter. (The exact date will be determined after a discussion with Deacon Sommer, the Elect, and Candidates.)
VI: Easter of the Resurrection (Easter Sunday): Private Mass Only.
The Archbishop’s Mass will be live-streamed from Cathedral Basilica at 8:00 A.M. We will return to having the Mass celebrated here at St. Monica, streamed at 9:30 A.M. on our website and YouTube.
In place of the Penitential Act, the priest blesses the water, using the Rite for the Blessing and Sprinkling of Water (Appendix II). Assuming that we have returned to Church by the Second Sunday of Easter, April 19th, I will utilize the Renewal of Baptismal Promises at all Masses celebrated on that weekend. If not on April 18-19, then we will do it on April 25-26.
I realize that this is a very different Lent and Holy Week. However, may we continue to pray along with the Church.
As I indicated a couple of weeks ago, “worship aids” are available for free, courtesy of these pub- lishers. (I encourage you to get one or the other … perhaps both … to use during this most holy time of the Church year. They will have ALL of the ceremonies in their online books.)
— MAGNIFICAT: Their online version is being made temporarily available to everyone for free:
— Free temporary access is also available in Spanish: www.magnificat.com/gratis
— Give Us This Day: https://giveusthisday.org/Free
Assuming the current plans go forward, our Parish School will resume on Monday, April 27th.
Of course this is subject to change, depending on the status of the coronavirus. However, assuming that the prohibition for “large crowds” (i.e., crowds with people over 10!) has been lifted, we are going to still have our First Holy Communion Mass on Sunday, April 26th at 2:00 P.M. The parents of our First Communion children were notified earlier this week about that. Our Parish School of Religion will resume on Wednesday, April 29th at 6:45 p.m.
Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry is in dire need of food. As we all know there have been a large number of layoffs recently. If you are able to bring some food to replenish our Food Pantry, which does SO MUCH GOOD, please do so.
Contributions to the Parish and the ACA: We still have bills to pay. So please consider your continued financial support to the parish. Thank you.
The Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) is being delayed, not cancelled, this year. More information will be forthcoming.
In addition the annual Collection for the Shrines in the Holy Land, taken up on Good Friday, and the annual Collection for our Retired Archdiocesan Priests, taken up on Easter, need your support.
These are available for donation on the ON LINE giving that many of you already use. If you don’t use the current ON LINE giving, there is a link on our Website, stmonicastl.org, at the very top of the page, to sign up.
Finally, please continue to pray. Please continue to wash your hands! Please continue to not panic but believe in the love that the Lord has for us.
God’s blessings to you all, Fr Joe Weber