Thursday, 2 April 2015

The Easter Triduum and the Synod on the Faimily

Today sees the start of the Easter Triduum, the liturgical celebration which begins on the evening of Maunday Thursday, continues with the remembrance of Good Friday and ends with Evening prayer on Easter Sunday. As it recalls the passion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus it is, as Pope Francis has said "the apex of our liturgical year and it is also the apex of our lives as Christians". [1]

The liturgy of the "great Mass" which begins with the institution of the Eucharist and Priesthood on Maunday Thursday, continues with the remembrance of the Passion at 3 O'Clock on Good Friday and ends with the celebration of the resurrection in the Easter Vigil is truly a work of art which cannot but touch one's soul and raise one's heart and mind to God. I look forward with anticipation to the beauty and hope that is contained in the great Easter Exultet.

To make the most of these great celebrations, I will be turning off my phone, closing my laptop and refraining from use of the television. I try to let secular concerns have as little influence on my life as possible during this period so all my reading will also be of a religious nature.

Before I enter this time of reflection, I would like to encourage you to offer your Easter observances for a successful outcome to the Synod on the Family which will take place later this year. It is painfully obvious that marriage and family life, even within the fellowship of the Church, is in dire need of support and reinvigoration. The great pastoral mission of the Church for families cannot be achieved by rejecting Christ's teachings on the nature of marriage - we need rather to rediscover the beauty of God's plan for mankind in this regard which finds it's ultimate template in the communion of the persons of the Trinity and the heavenly nuptial Mass of Christ and his bride, the Church. The Church also needs to be far better equipped for dealing with the consequences of marital and family breakdowns - it is the ultimate conduit of mercy and hope for those who suffer. In addition to healing those in the present, it also needs to look to the future. Young people need to be better equipped to deal with the responsibilities and trials of marriage and this will only be possible if they understand its beauty more fully and delve deeply into the graces it affords those who make the effort to life it faithfully.

The threat to this vision and to the unity of the church is very real. Confusion abounds and it is clear that there is a sizeable body of Cardinals and Bishops who dissent from Church teaching who are determined to push their agenda through at the Synod. Please consider reading @ccfather [2] and @otsota [3] to understand the gravity of what's at stake. Please also consider signing this petition [4] in support of our priests, families and Church.

I wish you a blessed Easter Triduum!    


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