Dear Sacred Heart Family and Friends,
We are facing an unimaginable Holy Week this year. With the suspension of public Masses throughout our country, there will be no in-person Palm Sundays in our parishes, no Triduum liturgies, no joyous Easter Sunday Mass. It’s almost unthinkable, yet here we are. The void created in our spiritual lives by our lack of access to the sacraments can be seen to draw us closer to Christ’s own solitude in his final agony and suffering, and yet, we cannot remain there. By our Easter faith, we know that Christ is alive and among us. “I am with you always,” he promised (Mt 28:20). So while we are unable to celebrate Holy Week in our churches, here are some ways we might bring these holiest days of the year into being in our homes.
1) Set a place for common prayer in the home. One common practice in homes is to have a domestic prayer altar with a simple cloth, a crucifix, Bible or other sacred images, candles, rosaries.
2) Join us in Daily Mass on Prepare beforehand. If you plan to live stream Mass this Sunday or Holy Week liturgies “arrive” five minutes early. Not only will this allow you to ensure that your technology is working properly, but more importantly, it will give you a few minutes to prepare your heart.
3) Dress up. Please plan to dress up for Mass because it will help us make the mental shift from just hanging around our house to entering into the Eucharistic Celebration.
4) Pray the responses aloud and perform the liturgical gestures reverently.
5) Coordinate with family or friends and watch the same Mass.
As more Catholics around the world find themselves unable to receive the Eucharist due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Church encourages us to make an act of “Spiritual Communion,” where we unite ourselves to God through prayer. It is a beautiful way to express to God our desire to be united with him when we are unable to complete that union in the reception of Holy Communion. Below is a traditional prayer of spiritual communion that many saints have prayed over the years.
An Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Please join me in continuing prayer for all who in this moment are suffering, displaced, or experiencing fear, as well as all their family members, friends and healthcare professionals that care for them.
Fr. James, CMI
Holy Thursday, April 9th
Good Friday, April 10th No Mass
Holy Saturday, April 11th
Easter Sunday, April 12th