Holy Week 2020
Reading the account of the Passion of Jesus each year is a special time in our lives. It’s special because it is the account of our salvation, of Jesus giving his life to save us. It was for us that Jesus died. His sacrifice of himself on the cross on Calvary to his Father atoned to God our Father for us.
This week, Holy Week, is indeed a week like no other in the year. A week when we celebrate our special celebrations on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil, what Jesus did for us. This year will be different. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I will be celebrating all the celebrations in an empty church. My heart, however, will carry each of you through this most special time.
I invite you to find creative ways to celebrate Holy Week and Easter in your homes this year as we must social isolate. We are not alone. Our faith unites us. The love of Christ makes us one in body and spirit.
In keeping with this spirit of togetherness, I invite you to celebrate Holy Week but in ways that speak to you personally during this time of trial.
Resources from Diocese, including a link to daily Mass, adoration and praying with Scripture videos, etc: https://www.diocesemontreal.org/en/covid-19. See below for detailed account of what we can do at home.
US Conference of Catholic Bishops – http://www.usccb.org/ – has many similar resources but provides daily readings as well – under Prayer and Worship and Bible – also available in audio form – under Media – also available in Spanish.
Creighton University online ministries has extensive materials for Praying Lent: https://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Lent/ including Stations of the Cross, the Rosary…
Saddleback kids is NOT catholic so the teachings are different especially when it comes to the sacraments – especially the Eucharist – but great videos of Animated Bible Stories, done with humour – also available in Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5aPdmniG3y_n7hXEKTV4qQnIeCe-p6Ws
Contemplate the Seven Last Words of Jesus: https://www.uscatholic.org/church/saints-feasts-and-seasons/2012/03/famous-last-words
Pray the rosary – https://therosary.online/ – with Mary.
Thank you to everyone who has made donations to the parish. If you still have the means to do so, please make an offering to the parish, by mailing a cheque or dropping it off – 75 Roosevelt, Mount Royal, QC H3R 2G9 – or through our PayPal account using the Donate button in the sidebar. We also ask that you remember the Second Collections: March would have been for Development and Peace and most especially the Holy Land Collection which would normally take place on Good Friday. Thank you for your generosity.
Do you feel isolated and in need of spiritual support? Here are some support services in our region:
SASMAD: Spiritual support service for the elderly or sick at home, open 7 days a week, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following number: 1-888-305-0994;
Carmelite Sisters: 514 271 6957;
Missionary Recluses: 514 648 6801;
Fraternités monastiques de Jérusalem à Montréal From 10am to 12pm Tuesday to Friday: 514 271-6957.
Happy Easter and stay safe,
Fr. Robert Clark, Pastor
What can be done as a family?
Families are invited to place an image or statue of Jesus visibly in a window of their home to mark the start of Holy Week. This represents an opportunity to proclaim our faith in the public square. On the diocesan website you will find additional suggestions and a proposed image, which can be printed and used for this purpose. (See details concerning the website in section 4 of this document).
What is available for youth?
Although young people, youth ministers, their supporters and the people of God around them will not be able to gather this coming Saturday, World Youth Day remains the international day of celebration and prayer with and for youth! Join them live on April 4, at 5 p.m., on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygTbG11Y4kA&feature=youtu.be
to follow Palm Sunday Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Lépine, and to appreciate their creative response to this year’s theme: “Young man, I tell you, get up!” ”
The Archbishop will preside at the celebration of the Chrism Mass “in camera” (privately) at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral on Wednesday, April 8 at 7 p.m.
- All ordained ministers of the diocese are urged to follow the celebration live, to experience spiritual communion during the renewal of the episcopal, presbyteral and diaconal promises, which will take place during the celebration.
- There will be a blessing of the holy oils and the consecration of holy chrism. However, the distribution of these oils is deferred until the restriction on public gatherings is lifted.
FOR THE EASTER TRIDUUM:
- According to the Decree of March 25 previously cited, the faculty to celebrate Mass in memory of the Lord’s Supper, without the presence of the faithful, is granted to all priests. They are requested to celebrate in an appropriate place, to omit the foot-washing ceremony and the concluding procession with the Blessed Sacrament.
- A parallel, simultaneous gesture to take place in the parishes: Following the celebration of Mass, continue with an hour of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by the blessing of the neighbourhood. Following the celebration of mass, priests able to do so are encouraged to spend an hour in private adoration from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30, in the church or a place of their choice. Around 8:30 p.m., they are asked to go outside the main entrance to bless the neighbourhood with the Blessed Sacrament. This can also be conducted inside the church. After the blessing, the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the tabernacle.
- At home: the faithful in our diocese can join this adoration in spirit by placing a lighted candle in their window from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- To accompany this time of common prayer, suggestions for Prayers of the Faithful, focusing in particular on serving others along with meditations on the Gospel account of washing the disciples’ feet, will be published on the diocesan website. These and other suggestions will also be available early next week.
- A parallel, simultaneous gesture in the parishes: Erect a cross outside, at the principle church entrance. In memory of the Passion of Our Lord, pastors are encouraged to place a processional cross outside, at the principle church entrance from noon to 3 p.m.
- At home, the faithful can venerate a crucifix and place a cross in their window, as a sign of confidence in Christ’s sacrifice for us and in the victory of Love over Evil, suffering and death.
- To celebrate the Lord’s Passion (in camera: 2 or 3 participants maximum):
- A special intention is included in the Prayers of the Faithful: for those in distress, for the sick and the deceased. A suggestion regarding the formulation of this prayer will be communicated at the beginning of next week.
- Only the presiding minister venerates the Cross.
- The collection for the Holy Land is postponed until September 13, 2020.
- The traditional Archbishop’s blood drive is cancelled. On Good Friday, Archbishop Lépine still encourages the faithful who are able to donate blood to do so but at a blood clinic close to their homes. Consult the Héma-Québec site to find the nearest site: https://www.hema-quebec.qc.ca/index.en.html
- In the early evening, before the Vigil: keep watch with Mary in the silence of Holy Saturday. All are invited to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary. Pastors who, through social media, can link their faithful to this time of prayer are urged to do so.
- Some resources: Family Prayer in each home: https://www.diocesemontreal.org/sites/default/files/ressources/Foi%20catholique/prieres_courantes/Booklet%20-%20Family%20prayer.pdf,
- A parallel, simultaneous gesture in the parishes: Welcome the Light of Easter. At 8 p.m., pastors are asked to light the paschal candle, placed as near as possible to the open doors of their parish church, to bless it and recite the Easter proclamation (Exsultet). This ceremony can also be conducted in the church interior
- According to the decree previously cited by the Congregation for Divine Worship, the Easter Vigil can only be celebrated in cathedrals and parish churches.
- After the Service of Light, pastors have several options: follow a simplified version of the Vigil, or join, via the various means of digital communications, one of the celebrations being broadcast.
- A simplified version of the Easter Vigil liturgy will be sent to you next week.
- For the baptismal liturgy, only the renewal of baptismal promises is retained.
- At home the faithful are invited to place a candle in a window, at 8 p.m., to welcome Easter and express their faith in the Resurrection. Other suggested activities will be sent to you at the beginning of next week.
- A parallel, simultaneous gesture in the parishes: Bells!
Pastors and those responsible for chapels are encouraged to ring the bells of their places of worship at 11 a.m. for 10 minutes. (Note that this is at a different time from the previous Sundays.)
- At home: At the same moment, the faithful are invited to “ring bells” and to sing the Gloria and Alleluia to celebrate their Easter joy. Since Quebec has rediscovered Sunday as a day of rest during this pandemic, we encourage the faithful living under the same roof to take the time to enjoy a family meal together and to share the Easter joy with their loved ones by telephone or other means of communications. The Office du catéchèse du Québec is preparing a paschal ritual that can be incorporated into a family meal to use either at suppertime on Holy Saturday or on Easter Sunday. Details will be sent to you soon.
How will I offer my donation?
Due to the cancellation of Masses especially on the weakened we face a serious shortfall in revenue without our regular collections. The next few weeks will be tough for our parishioners but you can be assured of the support of your parish through our prayers and commitment to serving the community. We ask that you consider continuing your financial support as our fixed expenses continue at the same level (approximately $15,000/mth).
We invite you to send your contribution in the following ways:
- Mail your contribution to the parish office at the address below or drop off in our mailbox at 75 Roosevelt.
- Send in a one-time extraordinary donation.
- Visit our PayPal page to make a donation through your PayPal account or with a credit card.
- Mailing address: Annunciation Parish, 75 Roosevelt, TMR, QC, H3R 2G9
Thank you for your support.