Thank you to our Music Ministry

thank-you-god-bless-you-card58859lgOn this Easter Monday I come to say a loud and resounding THANK YOU to the music ministry of our parish, St. Edward the Confessor!  Thank you and God bless you all. If you were able to be at any of our services during Holy Week, you would have been aware of the tremendous depth, breadth, richness, power, and love found in our combined music ministries. Under the guidance of Director of Music, Mary Jo Brue, and the many hands, hearts, and voices that are a part of it, we have 9 different groups that come together as one during special celebrations, such as Easter. The music is so beautiful, so powerful. So much work and preparation goes into what happens…. Thank you and God bless you to our Music Ministers! You made Holy Week and Easter so beautiful… just like you do every week of the year.

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Χριστός ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!

the-empty-tomb-george-richardsonΧριστός ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη! Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti!

These Greek words sum up what today is all about. In fact they sum up everything about our Catholic Christian – or any Christian – faith. Christ is Risen! Truly He Has Risen!

May every blessing and hope of the resurrection be yours! Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti!

alleluia

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Why have we come to the cross? by Phyllis Cardona

Jesus on the CrossMeditation: Why have we come to the cross?
by Phyllis Cardona

Why have we come to the cross?
Are we among the curiosity seekers?
Are we still trying to figure out what is going on?
Are we here to reframe the events so that we can
maintain the status quo without challenging our beliefs?
Are we fearful and hiding in the shadows or
Are we looking for a leader, for someone to rely on?
Why have we come?

Why have we come to the cross?
Are we here to protest the injustice?
Are we here to argue with God,
and to wrestle with irresolvable issues?
Are we here to lay down some rage –
to figure out if we can ever forgive God
for allowing this to happen?
Why have we come?

Why have we come to the cross?
Are we here because we are immobile and
stunned by the suffering and pain of this
dreadful display of cruel and inhuman treatment?
Are we searching for the few remaining faithful ones
we can cling to to bolster our own faltering faith?
Why have we come?

Why have we come to the cross?
Are we afraid of what the hour of our own death will be like?
Are we afraid that all of our efforts will end in vain,
And that no one will be with us to bless us on our way,
to mourn our passing and to care for our loved ones?
Why have we come?

Why have we come to the cross?
Are we here to stand vigil with a dying friend?
Are we here to prepare the body for burial –
to wipe away the signs of a brutality
we can hardly bear to witness,
and to restore, in some way, a measure of reverence
and dignity that humanity cries out for?
Are we here to console his Mother and to
share in the silent communion of a final, loving gaze?
Why have we come?

Whatever the reason, we are here. Together we stand at the foot of the cross, not afraid of the reason why we are here, but knowing that we must be here to face all that is known and yet unknown because it is in this very place that God is powerfully present.

Thank you to Phyllis Cardona of Albany. A writer, retired catechist, and so much more, Phyllis generously shared some of her work with us this Lent and we are grateful.

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Am I too late? A last day of Lent reflection from jail

tell-me-not(This Last-day-of Lent reflection is a guest post offered by Shannon O’Donnell. She is a longtime online Catholic friend, from the Seattle-Tacoma area, author, and jail chaplain. Her words never fail to move me.) It’s the last week of Lent, the last days, really. Some days I have been aware of the season, other days, not so much. In the county jail where I work, “Lent” describes more than just those six weeks before Easter. Some people refer to it as “Hell on the Hill.”

In mid-February, we distributed ashes at Catholic services. At communion services and prayer groups, at the one Mass, and I carried a small box of ashes with me as I met with offenders for private talks. Ashes were one thing most people could relate to, so anyone who asked received them.

Out in the parishes, Continue reading

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Last gasps of Lent

-1Here we are, another Lent come and nearly gone. How do we feel? Any different from how we felt on Ash Wednesday? Or how we felt last year? Or the year before?

If you look at the selected Evening Prayer in the daily devotional Give Us This Day, you will find a reading from the Book of Acts (Acts 17:27b-31). It is not the standard evening prayer for today, as found in the Liturgy of the Hours, but I read it (yes – early, because I thought I was giving a reflection on it tonight) and I thought it really delivered the message of what these last gasps of Lent might offer us.

imagesHere we are at the end of our 40 day trek through the desert. We are likely weary, hot, tired, thirsty, exhausted. Or maybe we are not, because we saw the “last oasis before Easter” exit earlier in our Lenten journey, so we did the sensible thing – we bailed. Some of us may be somewhere in between, straddling a well-practiced Lent and a lazy one. That last one covers me, as I careened from one extreme to the other, a sacrificial Lent and a somewhat less disciplined one. God, I’m sorry about eating so much of that cake that Erica baked; I did not mean to, it just happened.

It may seem Continue reading

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How will you enter? A Palm Sunday reflection

christs_entry_into_jerusalem_hippolyte_flandrin_1842Today we remember that Jesus’ entered Jerusalem to cries of Hosanna, meaning “save, we pray!” Hosanna is also interpreted to mean blessed as well. The messiah enters the holy city at the start of the festival of Passover to save and to bless – but not in any way that people might have imagined. We are also called to consider how we will enter into Jerusalem ourselves.

What are our hopes, dreams, beliefs, and prayers today? Do we cry out for Jesus to “save, we pray?” Do we cry out to be bless or be blessed? Do we believe that Jesus will , or in fact, has already, saved us? Or are we just showing up because they are giving out free palms? How will we enter Jerusalem?

628x471If you went to or will go to mass on Palm Sunday you will be blessed by the Sprinkling Rite at the beginning of the liturgy, as the priest, deacons, or others go around the church with Holy Water. Will you Continue reading

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The Annunciation – Say Yes

Silence. Listening. Emptying. Filling. Receiving. Giving.

Today I offer you something that I put on my personal blog, There Will Be Bread, a few years ago, with some new questions about what this day might mean to us as God’s people.  What seemingly impossible things are we called to say yes to today? What is in the space between God and our yes that makes for miracles? How will we each bring Christ into the world without reservation?

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