There have been so many difficulties and challenges associated with the Pandemic, that sometimes we forget to look for the blessings; Hopefully, we’ve all found support through the practical help of others, even receiving a card or a phone call. It’s a reminder that we don’t have to be doing great things to make an impact – even a smile could change someone’s day, and have an effect on their life.
The phrase “domestic church” has been used to describe families since the beginning of Christianity. In his Letter to Families, (GRATISSIMAM SANE, 1994) Pope St. John Paul II explained, “The Fathers of the Church, in the Christian tradition, have spoken of the family as a ‘domestic church,’ a ‘little church.’” And, most recently, in his post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation The Joy Of Love (AMORIS LAETITIA, 2016), he says; “The Church is a family of families, constantly enriched by the lives of all domestic churches”. In short, we must never forget that Faith starts in the home.
The closure of Churches, and the restriction of public worship these past months have affected Catholics deeply. Many have felt the pain of not being able to gather for worship; pray & sing together, and especially to be deprived of the Eucharist. Most have made some adjustment to ‘Online Worship’, but it’s not the same.
The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issues a note to Bishops and Episcopal Conferences in February 2021 concerning the celebration of Holy Week 2021.
In it they acknowledged that; “Many countries still have strict lockdown conditions in force rendering it impossible for the faithful to be present in church”; and also that “The use of social media has greatly aided pastors in offering support and closeness to their communities during the pandemic. Alongside these positive results problematic aspects were also observed. For the celebration of Holy Week it is suggested that media coverage of the celebrations presided over by the Bishop be facilitated and favoured, encouraging the faithful who are unable to attend their own church to follow the diocesesan celebrations as a sign of unity”.
Therefore, you are encouraged to follow the Holy Week ceremonies from Armagh Cathedral;
The local Churches from the Pastoral Area will supplement these liturgies with the following;
Mass of the Lord’s Supper; Togher Parish @ 8pm
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (@ 9.30pm) & Night Prayer (10pm) Monasterboice Parish (Fieldstown Church) – via the Parish Facebook Page
Morning Prayer Monasterboice Parish (Tenure Church) @9.30am
Please Note: Stations of the Cross led by members of the Monasterboice Parish Pastoral Council are available to view anytime on Parish Facebook Pages/Websites.
Morning Prayer – Termonfechin Parish @ 9.30am.
Dawn Mass @5.45am – Monasterboice Parish (via the Parish Facebook Page)
Mass of The Lord’s Resurrection @ 10am – Togher Parish;
Mass of The Lord’s Resurrection @ 10.30 am – Clogherhead Parish;
Mass of The Lord’s Resurrection @ 11.30am – Termonfechin Parish.
To help you mark Holy Week in your homes, a reflection with some aids is offered here;
Even though our Easter Ceremonies will be very different again this year, we pray that the hope of Easter will carry us all through the coming months knowing that we will soon be able to meet together again in worship – until then, on behalf of all parishioners, through the Parish Pastoral Councils, & the Pastoral Area Resource Team; May we – Monsignor Jim, Fr. Paul, Fr. Martin & Fr. Paddy pray God’s blessing upon us all.
May God grant us wisdom to know what we must do,
the will to want to do it,
the courage to undertake it,
the perseverance to continue to do it,
and the strength to complete it. Amen.