This blog post is for everyone and anyone who is in charge of preparing in anyway for the great masses next week.
A job of mine for the past couple of years has been to organize servers for holy week and train them for the services. Furthermore more, over the past couple of years I have set up the church for said masses and train more people. It is such a blessing and honour be entrusted with such roles and duties for my parish for the most sacred masses- I love it. As you may imagine there is a lot of work that goes into planning, organizing and carrying out these special masses, anyone who has in any way prepared or organised anything for holy week can attest to that fact.
I often find that whenever I get deeply involved in the planning ( which is required for the careful planning and studying of the masses) I often become so fixated on every detail and worrying about them. I become so fixated on the preparation and plans so as to make these liturgies as beautiful as possible, at least from within the spectrum that my role and influence allow. I often end up finding that I focus so much on preparing for these masses that I forget to prepare myself spiritually. I become distracted with all the details that often during the week before and the week of, I forget to dive deeply, spiritually, into my own personal preparation.
By the time the Triduum Mass conclude I often take a breather and swallow what just happened. Reflecting on what was done well and what wasn't. But the problem and danger is that i didn't take in the amazement of the moment because I wasn't prepared for it. I am not saying it completely goes over me and I don't absorb anything, what I am saying is that because I am often distracted by the physical preparations I miss the spiritually high moments.
Maybe this sounds familiar to you?
It is important as planners for these sacred masses to thoroughly prepare ourselves spiritually before we can truly live out the physical preparations. The preparations we do before Holy week spiritually for ourselves will not only make holy week more touching and special to ourselves but also leave a sign on all whom we help prepare and organize that what we are preparing for is something real, something special and authentic to us. That will not only set an example to others, but help make the rest of our physical preparations easier and add a deeper meaning beyond the mere physical.
For all those preparing for holy week in your parishes: prepare yourself. Here are some ways how:
- Set Aside Time for Personal Prayer
- Everything begins with prayer. Prayer is the direct conversation we have with the loving Lord, who is the source of all strength, ideas, and the reason why we are celebrating these holy days.
- Find a good place to get some of the theology behind each of the days. The Doctors and Fathers of the church offer a good place to begin. Or you can search up sites that offer some more of the theological meaning to what we are preparing for. It will not only help make a difference in how we see these events but change ( in a good way!) in exactly how we participate in them
- Slowly take time to read the passion narratives and the all the major events of the feast. Imagine yourself sitting down at the table and having the Lord wash your feet. Imagine being part of the crowd that is shouting to Crucify him. Imagine looking up and seeing Christ nailed to the cross. Imagine again, being one of the first people to see the empty tomb. What would your reaction be? What would you be experiencing and how would you respond to Jesus washing your feet? to the crowd shouting.. ect
- Keep in mind the seven I Ams of Jesus that are listed in the Gospel of John. These seven sayings help us understand and know Jesus on a higher better and deeper level.
- Allow the grace and the realities of this time really sink in. Take the time to swim in Gods grace. There is a time to supply everyone with life jackets and floats and time to enjoy swimming. Enjoy the graces and the power of the Resurrection of Christ over death.
I pray for the best and most holy week to everyone!
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