You are invited | Community

Boy, how time flies! Next week is already Holy Week. There is a lot going on at Notre-Dame de l’Espérance parish and we want to invite you to come to the planned events. On Thursday, April 7 at 5 p.m., we have the Stations of the Cross. Through prayer and song, we walk with Jesus as he moves from arrest to crucifixion and burial, which leads to resurrection.

On Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m., we have our last Lenten fry. Then on April 9 at 4 p.m. and April 10 at 9:30 a.m., we celebrate Palm Sunday. Each participant receives a palm branch, we hear the reading of the passion of Jesus, and we celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

Then, on April 14, Maundy Thursday, we celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 p.m. In this celebration of the Mass, we remember with Jesus how he instituted the Eucharist and showed us that we must wash each other’s feet, as he washed the feet of his apostles saying: “What I have just done is to give you an example: what I have done, you must do.” Then on Good Friday April 15, at noon, we celebrate the Passion of the Lord, when he is crucified, taken down from the cross and laid in the tomb.

Scriptures are read, hymns are sung, and cross worship is done individually as we remember Jesus again as he is crucified. “There is no greater love for a man than to lay down his life for his friend.”

Then, on April 16, Holy Saturday, there will be a blessing of the Easter basket at 9 a.m. in the chapel. Easter baskets and foodstuffs will be blessed. From 9:00 p.m. at dusk, we celebrate the Easter Vigil Mass, during which new members are initiated into the church with the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Additionally, the Easter candle is lit by the Easter fire, holy water is blessed, and holy oils are received. As you can see there is a lot going on during the Easter Vigil Mass, it can take up to two hours or more. We are told that the early Christians prayed, sang and celebrated all night and until morning.

Then on April 17, Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord is celebrated with mass at 9:30 a.m. Traditionally, people prepare by dressing up a bit more. Families reunite as adult children return with their grandchildren, and those who might miss Mass sometimes attend with joy and celebration.

I expect the church to be filled to capacity this year as COVID-19 fears have generally passed. People are on the move again. There will be smiles and hugs as we find the ones we missed. I also miss those who are not Catholic, who want to celebrate salvation in a special way and have no place or person to celebrate with. Please come! All are invited.

“May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he let his face shine on you and give you his peace.

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