Watch this year’s politically correct, social justice, slightly over the top, occasionally sappy Way of the Cross – from Rome

waycrossromeClick here to watch
(90 minutes)

Editor’s note: This wonderful annual, highly inspirational event used to be a must-see for Holy Week. But now we have various social justice groups and specially designated “victims of circumstance” competing for attention with the Passion of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior – and that’s a bit “over the top”.

I give it one and a half stars, due to shameless popery and poorly contrived social justice connotations.

Official Vatican Text

The earth shakes. The world is judged.

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And Jesus, having cried out with a loud voice, gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in two, from the top to the bottom. And the centurion who stood over against him, seeing that crying out in this manner he had given up the ghost. said: Indeed this man was the son of God. (Mark 15:37-39)

This earthquake, which has significant historical corroboration, shows that the foundations of this rebellious world ultimately cannot stand before God. The foundations are struck; the powers of this world quake. Scripture says,

  1. People will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from the fearful presence of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth. (Is 2:19).
  2. For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. ‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. (Haggai 2:6-7)
  3. In my zeal and fiery wrath, I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. (Ez 38:19)
  4. The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” (Psalm 2:2-6)
  5. In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.
    (Daniel 2:42)
  6. The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the heavens will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. (Joel 3:16)
  7. A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! The crown will not be restored until he to whom it rightfully belongs shall come; to him I will give it. (Ez 21:27)

Yes, the world shakes; the world is judged. And, most important, as Jesus says, Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. (John 12:31)

Read more from Msgr. Charles Pope

This year’s Holy Week may be marked by a blood-red moon

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by Doug Lawrence

And going out, he went, according to his custom, to the Mount of Olives. And his disciples also followed him. And when he was come to the place, he said to them: Pray, lest ye enter into temptation. And he was withdrawn away from them a stone’s cast. And kneeling down, he prayed. Saying: Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me: but yet not my will, but thine be done. And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony, he prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground. (Luke 22:39-44)

A lunar eclipse has long been a regular feature of Passover and Easter, as Passover has always been marked by a phase of the lunar cycle.

In the passage above, we read of Jesus’ sweat looking like drops of blood, as they trickled down to the ground.

lunar_eclipse

I’m not one to try to rationalize miracles, but I’ve never been convinced there ever was a miracle here, since drops of sweat, illuminated by the subdued light of a blood-red, fully eclipsed moon, would indeed naturally appear as blood, especially if moonlight provided the only available illumination.

Another interesting thing about a lunar eclipse – you can’t have things both ways. It’s impossible to have a (natural) solar eclipse the day after a (natural) lunar eclipse, since everything in the heavens is totally out of phase. Plus – natural solar eclipses don’t last for three hours – and they’re not visible across the whole earth. That would make the darkness that covered the whole earth from noon to 3 on Good Friday, truly supernatural! 

And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole earth until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani? Which is, being interpreted: My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:33-34)

This was also a prophetic and very specific fulfillment of Old Testament sacred scripture:

Christ on the Cross by Diego Velazquez, 1632

And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that the sun shall go down at midday, and I will make the earth dark in the day of light: And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation: and I will bring up sackcloth upon every back of yours, and baldness upon every head: and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the latter end thereof as a bitter day. (Amos 8:9-10)

More

 

 

Jimmy Akin: 9 things to know about Good Friday

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Good Friday is the most solemn day of the Christian year.

It is the day our Savior died for us.

It is the day we were redeemed from our sins by the voluntary death of God Himself at the hands of man.

Here are 9 things you need to know.

Read more 

Good Friday

Obama dedicates Passover to Muslims, ignores Good Friday, but (finally) makes it to church for Easter.

The president said he realizes that his attendance at Sunday services is disruptive, so he stays away.

By that standard, shouldn’t he stay away from the presidency, as well?

Obama’s handlers have no idea how to handle the subject of religion, because most of them don’t know the meaning of the word. No other politician since Vladimir Lenin has managed to treat people of faith with such disdain and ineptitude. Nor do any of his staffers … most of them godless, leftist ideologues … have a clue.

These guys probably think a bunny rose again from the dead on Easter!

Read more

The Mass of Holy Thursday: Consecrating an additional host, and the stripping of the altars.


Another rite, peculiar to today, is the Priest’s consecrating two Hosts during the Mass.

One of these he receives in Communion; the other he reserves, and reverently places it in a Chalice, which he covers with a veil. The reason of this is, that, tomorrow, the Church suspends the daily Sacrifice.

Such is the impression produced by the anniversary of our Saviour’s Death, that the Church dares not to renew, upon her Altars, the immolation which was then offered on Calvary: or rather, her renewal of it will be by the fixing all her thoughts on the terrible scene of that Friday Noon. The Host reserved from today’s Mass, will be her morrow’s participation.

This rite is called the Mass of the Presanctified, because, in it, the Priest does not consecrate, but only receives the Host consecrated on the previous day. Formerly, as we shall explain more fully further on, the holy Sacrifice was not offered up on Holy Saturday, and yet the Mass of the Presanctified was not celebrated, as it was on the Friday.

As soon as Vespers are over, the Celebrant returns to the Sanctuary, assisted by the Deacon and Subdeacon. He goes to the altar, and takes off the cloths and ornaments. This ceremony signifies the suspension of the Holy Sacrifice. The altar should be left in this denuded state, until the daily offering can again be presented to the Divine Majesty…. He is now in the hands of his enemies.. who are about to strip him of his garments, just as we strip the Altar. He is to be exposed naked to the insults of the rabble…

Read more

Holy Week: Good Friday

58. On this day, when “Christ our passover was sacrificed,”63 the Church meditates on the passion of her Lord and Spouse, adores the cross, commemorates her origin from the side of Christ asleep on the cross, and intercedes for the salvation of the whole world.

59. On this day, in accordance with ancient tradition, the Church does not celebrate the Eucharist: Holy Communion is distributed to the faithful during the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion alone, though it may be brought at any time of the day to the sick who cannot take part in the celebration.64

60. Good Friday is a day of penance to be observed as of obligation in the whole Church, and indeed through abstinence and fasting.65

61. All celebration of the sacraments on this day is strictly prohibited, except for the sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the Sick.66 Funerals are to be celebrated without singing, music, or the tolling of bells.

62. It is recommended that on this day the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer be celebrated with the participation of the people in the churches (cf. n. 40).

63. The Celebration of the Lord’s Passion is to take place in the afternoon, at about three o’clock. The time will be chosen which seems most appropriate for pastoral reasons in order to allow the people to assemble more easily, for example shortly after midday, or in the late evening, however not later than nine o’clock.67

64. The Order for the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion (the Liturgy of the Word, the adoration of the cross, and Holy Communion), that stems from an ancient tradition of the Church, should be observed faithfully and religiously, and may not be changed by anyone on his own initiative.

65. The priest and ministers proceed to the altar in silence and without any singing. If any words of introduction are to be said, they should be pronounced before the ministers enter.

The priest and ministers make a reverence to the altar prostrating themselves. This act of prostration, which is proper to the rite of the day, should be strictly observed, for it signifies both the abasement of “earthly man,”68 and also the grief and sorrow of the Church.

As the ministers enter the faithful should be standing, and thereafter should kneel in silent prayer.

66. The readings are to be read in their entirety. The responsorial psalm and the chant before the Gospel are to be sung in the usual manner. The narrative of the Lord’s passion according to John is sung or read in the way prescribed for the previous Sunday (cf. n. 33). After the reading of the passion a homily should be given, at the end of which the faithful may be invited to spend a short time in meditation.69

67. The General Intercessions are to follow the wording and form handed down by ancient tradition maintaining the full range of intentions so as to signify clearly the universal effect of the passion of Christ, who hung on the cross for the salvation of the whole world. In case of grave public necessity the local Ordinary may permit or prescribe the adding of special intentions.70

In this event the priest is permitted to select from the prayers of the Missal those more appropriate to local circumstances, in such a way however that the series follows the rule for General Intercessions.71

68. For veneration of the cross, let a cross be used that is of appropriate size and beauty, and let one of the forms for this rite as found in the Roman Missal be followed. The rite should be carried out with the splendor worthy of the mystery of our salvation: both the invitation pronounced at the unveiling of the cross, and the people’s response should be made in song, and a period of respectful silence is to be observed after each act of veneration—the celebrant standing and holding the raised cross.

69. The cross is to be presented to each of the faithful individually for their adoration since the personal adoration of the cross is a most important feature in this celebration; only when necessitated by the large numbers of faithful present should the rite of veneration be made simultaneously by all present.72

Only one cross should be used for the veneration, as this contributes to the full symbolism of the rite. During the veneration of the cross the antiphons, “Reproaches,” and hymns should be sung, so that the history of salvation be commemorated through song.73 Other appropriate songs may also be sung (cf. n. 42).

70. The priest sings the invitation to the Lord’s Prayer which is then sung by all. The sign of peace is not exchanged. The Communion Rite is as described in the Missal.

During the distribution of Communion, Psalm 21 or another suitable song may be sung. When Communion has been distributed the pyx is taken to a place prepared for it outside of the church.

71. After the celebration, the altar is stripped; the cross remains however, with four candles. An appropriate place (for example, the chapel of repose used for reservation of the Eucharist on Maundy Thursday) can be prepared within the church, and there the Lord’s cross is placed so that the faithful may venerate and kiss it, and spend some time in meditation.

72. Devotions such as the “Way of the Cross,” processions of the passion, and commemorations of the sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary are not, for pastoral reasons, to be neglected. The texts and songs used, however, should be adapted to the spirit of the Liturgy of this day. Such devotions should be assigned to a time of day that makes it quite clear that the Liturgical celebration by its very nature far surpasses them in importance.74 

Link

The Stations of the Cross

Holy Week: The Easter Triduum

38. The greatest mysteries of the redemption are celebrated yearly by the Church beginning with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday until Vespers of Easter Sunday. This time is called “the triduum of the crucified, buried and risen”42; it is also called the “Easter Triduum” because during it is celebrated the Paschal Mystery, that is, the passing of the Lord from this world to his Father. The Church by the celebration of this mystery, through liturgical signs and sacramentals, is united to Christ her Spouse in intimate communion.

39. The Easter fast is sacred on the first two days of the Triduum, during which, according to ancient tradition, the Church fasts “because the Spouse has been taken away.”43 Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence; it is also recommended that Holy Saturday be so observed, in order that the Church with uplifted and welcoming heart be ready to celebrate the joys of the Sunday of the resurrection.44

40. It is recommended that there be a communal celebration of the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. It is fitting that the bishop should celebrate the Office in the cathedral, with as far as possible the participation of the clergy and people.45

This Office, formerly called “Tenebrae,” held a special place in the devotion of the faithful as they meditated upon the passion, death and burial of the Lord, while awaiting the announcement of the resurrection.

41. For the celebration of the Easter Triduum it is necessary that there be a sufficient number of ministers and assistant who are prepared so that they know what their role is in the celebration. Pastors must ensure that the meaning of each part of the celebration be explained to the faithful so that they may participate more fully and fruitfully.

42. The chants of the people and also of the ministers and the celebrating priest are of special importance in the celebration of Holy Week and particularly of the Easter Triduum because they add to the solemnity of these days, and also because the texts are more effective when sung.

The Episcopal Conferences are asked, unless provision has already been made, to provide music for those parts which should always be sung, namely:

a) The General Intercessions of Good Friday, the deacon invitation and the acclamation of the people;

b) chants for the showing and veneration of the cross;

c) the acclamations during the procession with the paschal candle and the Easter proclamation, the responsorial “Alleluia the litany of the saints, and the acclamation after the blessing of water.

Since the purpose of sung texts is also to facilitate the participation of the faithful, they should not be lightly omitted; such texts should be set to music. If the text for use in the liturgy has not yet been set to music it is possible as a temporary measure to select other similar texts which are set to music. It is, however, fitting that there should be a collection of texts set to music for these celebrations, paying special attention to:

a) chants for the procession and blessing of palms, and for the entrance into church;

b) chants to accompany the procession with the Holy Oils;

c) chants to accompany the procession with the gifts on Holy Thursday in the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, and hymns to accompany the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the place of repose;

d) the responsorial psalms at the Easter Vigil, and chants to accompany the sprinkling with blessed water.

Music should be provided for the passion narrative, the Easter proclamation, and the blessing of baptismal water; obviously the melodies should be of a simple nature in order to facilitate their use.

In larger churches where the resources permit, a more ample use should be made of the Church’s musical heritage both ancient and modern, always ensuring that this does not impede the active participation of the faithful.

43. It is fitting that small religious communities both clerical and lay, and other lay groups should participate in the celebration of the Easter Triduum in neighboring principal churches.46

Similarly where the number of participants and ministers is so small that the celebrations of the Easter Triduum cannot be carried out with the requisite solemnity, such groups of the faithful should assemble in a larger church.

Also where there are small parishes with only one priest, it is recommended that such parishes should assemble, as far as possible, in a principal church and there participate in the celebrations.

According to the needs of the faithful, where a pastor has the responsibility for two or more parishes in which the faithful assemble in large numbers, and where the celebrations can be carried out with the requisite care and solemnity, the celebrations of the Easter Triduum may be repeated in accord with the given norms.47

So that seminary students “might live fully Christ’s Paschal Mystery, and thus be able to teach those who will be committed to their care,”48 they should be given a thorough and comprehensive liturgical formation. It is important that during their formative years in the seminary they should experience fruitfully the solemn Easter celebrations, especially those over which the bishop presides.49

Link

Good Friday Rosary Campaign Picking Up Steam


Imagine what might happen if every Catholic in the world would pray a Rosary on the same day!

We have an example in October of 1573, when Europe was saved from the invasion of the mighty Turkish fleet, by the praying of the Rosary by all Christians!

So, on Good Friday, let us all pray a Rosary for peace in the world and the return of moral values to our communities. If possible, please pray your Rosary between Noon and 3:00pm.

Also, please e-mail this message to every Catholic on your address list, and ask them to pass it along to every Catholic on their lists.

Let’s unite in praying one of the most powerful prayers in existence, for these intentions, on one of the holiest days in our Church year.

God bless us all!

Submitted by Joan H, and Doria2

Lenten Regulations for the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois


No meat allowed:
Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent.
Applies only to those over the age of 14.

Fasting – eating only one full meal per day:
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Applies only to those from 18 to 59 years of age.
Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength,
may be taken according to each one’s needs,
but together they should not equal another full meal.
Eating between meals is not permitted on these two days,
but liquids, including water, milk, and fruit juices, are allowed.

When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.

To disregard completely the law of fast and abstinence
is seriously sinful.

The Bottom Line:
Eat only one, meatless meal on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Abstain from meat (while otherwise, eating normally) on every other Friday, and you should be good to go,
for the next 40 days.

Sundays are not part of Lent. Eat what you want!

More reflections on Good Friday

“To be connected with the Catholic Church is to be associated with scoundrels, warmongers, fakes, gluttons, hateful, gossips, child-molesters, murderers, prostitutes, publicans, double-minded, slothful, adulterers and hypocrites of every description.

It also, at the same time, identifies you with the greatest saints and the finest persons of heroic soul of every time, era, country, race, and gender. Men and women who surrendered their will to God’s will, who willingly without shame stood in place of the weak and those who without regard to self laid down their lives for even those who hated them, and all this for the love of Jesus and for glory unto God.

To be a member of the Catholic Church is to carry the mantle of both the worst sin and the finest heroism of soul because Christ’s Church always looks exactly as it looked at the original crucifixion:

God hung among thieves.

– Anonymous

Submitted by Doria2

Reflections on Good Friday and the Passion of Jesus Christ

The coming of the Son of God to die for us, so sins could be forgiven,
is history’s greatest love story.

In that singular event, the Law, free will, good, evil, faith, grace,
and most importantly, God Himself
acted to bring about the salvation of the world.

It happened in a way that most never expected …
that billions still refuse to accept
and many more do not fully understand.

It happened for the benefit of mankind
and for the glory of God …
and it was good!

Good Friday

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Good Friday: The World’s First Exorcism

St. Michael’s exorcism of heaven is witnessed in the 12th chapter of the Book of Revelation where he forcefully casts out the ravenous dragon from God’s realm, and his minions with him. The devil wanted to devour a new-born baby and deprive a woman of her motherhood – kind of like the abortion industry does today – but God would have nothing of it. Yet, Revelation also warns us of the consequences of that exorcism: “But woe to you, earth and sea, for the devil has come down upon you!” Woe, indeed.

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The devil must also be cast from the earth to the one place where he belongs, in the hell that God created for him and his angels, and this definitive exorcism of the earth was accomplished on Good Friday. Jesus exorcised the devil from our lives by the one and only force that has the power to separate man from the devil and cast him out: His own Precious Blood. One week before His death the Lord Himself solemnly proclaimed that He would apply His authority in this way:

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Now has judgment come upon this world; now will this world’s prince be driven out, and I – once I am lifted up from the earth – will draw all men to myself (Jn 12:31-32).

These are powerful words for sure but not to be taken as just the pious hopes of a man with a death sentence. Jesus was telling us that He would do for us what no other death or human act could accomplish. He would place an absolute barrier between us and the devil with a wall of Blood called the Crucifixion. It all fits together for anyone who has eyes to see: He is the Paschal Lamb that was slain for the sins of His people; He is the new Passover sacrifice celebrated as His people departed the land of slavery; His is the Blood on the doorposts and lintels of His people’s hearts guarding them from the angel of death. No wonder the Church “lifts up” the Cross of Christ for all men to see!

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On Good Friday we must re-learn the value of this Blood for our sad world! By this Sacrifice the devil has indeed been cast out and has no power over those who have entered into the new covenant won by Christ at the cost of His Blood. The devil will continue to carry out his warfare against God’s people, but his work now has no lasting consequences for those who choose Christ. Those who are freed by the Blood of Christ are free indeed. For this reason the Church exhorts us to remain in communion of mind and heart with the Church, the one place where this Sacrifice is celebrated daily. It is the only assurance we have of total protection from evil.

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The Blood of Christ is also our greatest weapon against the evil that afflicts those we love. Do you have a loved one that is pierced by an addiction? Call Christ’s Blood down upon him daily. Pray that the shed Blood will penetrate all the demonic bonds on his soul and break their grip. Do you have a family member or friend mired in an immoral lifestyle? Immerse her in Christ’s Blood and symbolically bring her in prayer to Calvary to stand with Mary at the only place in the world the devil will not go. In time you will see the immense fruitfulness of that Sacrifice. It has the power to exorcise the world and free all its inhabitants from evil.

Today, Good Friday, the Day of our salvation, we proclaim in our Church’s liturgy the immense hope we have for healing from the devil’s malice:

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Behold, behold, the wood of the Cross on which was hung our salvation! Come, let us worship!

Sincerely,

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International