We pivot from the joys of Christmas to begin our preparations for the coming Lenten and Easter seasons. We remember that the wood of the crib leads us to the wood of the cross. Indeed, the mystery of the cross stands at the center of our lives and each of our liturgies.
In the article “Preparing for the Triduum: Connecting the Paschal Mystery to the Daily Life of the Assembly,” Stephen S. Wilbricht, csc, suggests that parishes link the paschal mystery to daily living to assist the faithful in understanding that they “are called to die to self in order to be raised up anew for others.” Turning preoccupation with the self to attentive sacrifice for others is participation in the paschal mystery, the author writes. Parish staff will want to study this article together to determine the ways that parishioners can be gathered around simple projects that will help them connect to Christ’s dying and rising.
In the article, “The Holy Week Liturgies: Forming the Faithful to Live as Christ,” Vicki Klima invites pastoral ministers to see the catechetical opportunities present within these celebrations. Through her reflection, Klima offers ideas to help parishioners make the connection between their participation in the paschal mystery and their everyday life. Patricia Storms’ article, “Choreographing the Liturgies of Holy Week and the Triduum,” guides parish worship teams through all the practicalities of preparing the liturgies of Holy Week and Triduum. From pre-Holy Week meetings with pastoral staff through post- Easter volunteer appreciation dinners, this article raises thoughtful considerations for ensuring that celebrations run as smoothly as possible from start to finish.
Members of the Christian faithful will find fresh insight on the Apostles’ Creed in Rhodora Beaton’s “The Creed Unites Believers to God and One Another.” Beaton reminds us that the core of our faith is not a doctrinal statement but an invitation to live in relationship with God and with one another. The transition from using the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed on Sundays to using this more ancient formula during Lent reminds us of our baptism and renews our sense of belonging as members of the Christian community.
In “The Cross, Our Hope: The Crucifix in the Worship Space,” Fr. Brian Ching provides solid principles for art and environment ministers as they consider the placement and adornment of crucifixes and crosses in the liturgical setting.
Families and mentors in the faith will find helpful tips for engaging even the youngest members of the family in Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. In “Observing Lent as a Family,” Kathryn Ball-Boruff offers encouragement to families to keep it simple, emphasizing the importance of personal witness and allowing free choice in inviting children to join in acts of sacrifice and service.
As we prepare to invite parishioners to join us for the liturgies of the Sacred Paschal Triduum, now is a great time to provide liturgical catechesis aimed at helping the faithful enter more fully, actively, and consciously into the celebrations. Kathy Kuczka gives an accessible overview of “The Solemn Intercessions of Good Friday” that invites the faithful to deepen their awareness of the ways this ancient prayer calls them to exercise their baptismal priesthood by interceding for the needs of the world. Parishes will want to insert this article into the bulletin in the weeks before Holy Week.
Know of my prayers for your ministry as you seek to draw the faithful into a deeper encounter with the saving mysteries we celebrate.
Bishop Joseph N. Perry
Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago
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