"As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God"
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church
In Vietnam, a custom has arisen in which 15 meditations on the Passion of Christ are chanted in the season of Lent, especially on Fridays. The uniqueness of these chants lies in their tone which is meant to evoke great sorrow and weeping. The distinct vocal technique of these chants is similar to that of ca trù, and is also used by the Vietnamese during the recitation of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. Here one can also see the use of the Tenebrae hearse. Just as in Tenebrae, the 15 candles are extinguished while the church gradually darkens, which portrays the diminishing light of the world as Christ was departing from it.
"Tenebrae" (Latin for ‘shadows’ or ‘darkness") is the name given to the service of Matins and Lauds belonging to the last three days of Holy Week. It differs, in many things, from the Office of the rest of the year. All is sad and mournful, as though it were a funeral service; nothing could more emphatically express the grief that now weighs down the heart of our holy Mother the Church. Throughout all the Office of Thursday, Friday and Saturday, she forbids herself the use of those formulas of joy and hope wherewith, on all other days, she begins her praise of God. Nothing is left but what is essential to the form of the Divine Office: psalms, lessons and chants expressive of grief. The tone of the whole Office is most noticeably mournful: the lessons taken from the Lamentations of Jeremias, the omission of the Gloria Patri, of the Te Deum, and of blessings etc., so the darkness of these services seems to have been designedly chosen to mark the Church’s desolation. The lessons from Jeremias in the first Nocturn, those from the Commentaries of St. Augustine upon the Psalms in the second, and those from the Epistles of St. Paul in the third remain now as when we first hear of them in the eighth century.
Please pray for the eternal rest of Nelson Smitha who has passed into eternity this morning. †16 April 2014
Incline Thine ear, O Lord, unto our prayers, wherein we humbly pray Thee to show Thy mercy upon the soul of Thy servant Nelson, whom Thou hast commanded to pass out of this world, that Thou wouldst place him in the region of peace and light, and bid him be a partaker with Thy Saints. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord, who to redeem the world and to free us from the pains of hell, didst vouchsafe to be born amongst men, subject to pain and to death, to be circumcised, rejected, and persecuted by the Jews, betrayed by Thy disciple Judas with a sacrilegious kiss, and as a lamb, gentle and innocent, to he bound with cords, and dragged in scorn before the tribunals of Annas, Caiphas, Pilate, and Herod; who didst suffer Thyself to be accused by false witnesses, torn by scourges, crowned with thorns, smitten with blows, insulted with spittings, to have Thy divine countenance covered out of contempt, to be many ways set at naught and outraged, to be filled with reproaches and ignominies, and, last of all, to be stripped of Thy clothes, nailed to and raised high upon a cross between two notorious thieves, to be drenched with gall and vinegar, and then pierced with a lance, and so to fulfil the mighty work of our redemption: Saviour most tender, by these Thy many cruel sufferings borne by Thee out of Thy love for me, which I, unworthy as I am, yet dare to contemplate, by Thy holy cross, and by Thy bitter death, free me (and this Thy servant *) from the pains of hell and vouchsafe to bring me to Paradise, whither Thou didst lend the penitent thief who was crucified with Thee, my Jesus, who, with the Father and with the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God for ever and ever. Amen.
* If said for a soul in its agony.
Father Thomas Byles, one of the Catholic priests who went down with the Titanic 102 years ago today. He heard Confessions and prayed with passengers as the doomed ship sank in the frigid waters of the north Atlantic.
O God, who amonst apostolic priests hast adorned Thy servant Thomas with the sacerdotal dignity, grant we beseech Thee, that he may also be associated with them in everlasting fellowship. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Holy Monday through Holy Thursday it is Fast (1 Full Meal + 2 Small Meals) & Partial Abstinence (Only Meat at Main Meal).
Good Friday and Holy Saturday it is Fast (1 Full Meal + 2 Small Meals) and Abstinence (NO MEAT at All)
The Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem by Giotto
Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, Palm Sunday 1919. Note the elaborate Palm the Cardinal is holding and the folded chasubles worn by the Assistant Deacons. The photograph is at the stage when Gloria laus is being sung before the re-entry into the Cathedral.
—Palm Sunday (Procession and Mass of the Catechumens)
Palm Sunday at Saint-Eugène–Sainte Cécile in Paris
Entry into Jerusalem, BL. Fra Angelico