Browse by Topic: Easter

Br. Michael James Rivera, O.P.'s picture

Christ is risen!

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The feast of Easter has begun, and what a glorious feast it is! Although secular society may choose to mark the occasion for one day, with chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks, we Christians know that the reason for our celebration is something much more than that.

 

It began 40 days ago, when we were marked with the sign of the cross in ashes. Lent, that solemn season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving followed. We gave up our favorite foods. We did works of charity. We turned back to the Lord in prayer and through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our sins confessed and our consciences clean, we came to church on Palm Sunday and sang “Hosanna” to our king. Sadly, the allure of sin was to still too great, for after Jesus washed our feet on Holy Thursday, we betrayed him, deserted him, and denied knowing him.

 

Perhaps it was this thought in my mind that made Good Friday so especially moving for me this year. Although I sang the part of Jesus in the Passion according to John-- composed by one of our former Nemwan Center interns, Tyler Ross Boegler--I actually identified with all the other characters. I could picture myself as Judas, betraying Christ with a kiss; for this is what happens every time words of gossip or insult leave my lips, those same lips which receive the Body of Christ in Holy Communion. I could see myself in Peter’s shoes, saying, “I do not know him.” Every time I turn away from a brother or sister in need, and ignore my Christian duty, I echo these words. Every time fear and shame impede my ability to profess our faith, it is as if I am saying, “I do not know Christ.”

 

All the experiences of Good Friday: the pain, sorrow, anguish and confusion; they leave us in a place of desolation. After walking the Via Crucis, praying through the Passion, and venerating the wood of the cross, we are left wondering if anything good can come out of this suffering. We find ourselves in darkness and misery.

 

After many hours, suddenly, a light shines in the gloom. It is the light of Christ, risen from the grave, that dispels the darkness and casts out all shadows of fear and doubt. Bells ring, people sing with joy, “Alleluia” and “Resurrexit” are the words upon our lips. This is the reason for our celebration. Christ’s death has conquered sin, and his resurrection has conquered death. The gates of the netherworld are smashed to pieces, and the gates of heaven are open wide to those who believe.

 

Now is the time to rejoice with the holy women who came to pay their last respects, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. Now is the time to sing God’s praises with the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints. And not just for one day, but for 50 days. The season of Easter has begun, and what a glorious season it is!

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Br. Boniface Willard, O.P.'s picture

Holy Week at St. Albert's

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Today, with Palm Sunday, Holy Week begins. It is especially at times like this that the more monastic side of our life comes to the fore and all our energy is given to the preparation and celebration of these beautiful liturgies, the high point of the liturgical year and a foretaste of what is to come. For us the brothers, it is a time of intense focus on the liturgy, and it is an exhausting week. But it is also a great joy for us to prepare and participate in the liturgies of Holy Week. It has also been a great pleasure for us in the last few years to have with us in these days the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, who live in Loomis, CA, and who are laying the groundwork for a new foundation one day. And we also invite any who live in the Bay Area and who so desire to join us for the various liturgies of this week. Below is the liturgical schedule for the Triduum and Easter Sunday. May you have a blessed Holy Week and an Easter full of joy and grace.



Holy Thursday:

Tenebrae - 6.30am
Mass of the Lord's Supper - 7.30pm

Good Friday:

Tenebrae - 7.30am
Verneration of the Cross and Liturgy of the Presanctified - 7.30pm

Holy Saturday:

Tenebrae - 7.30am
Vigil Mass - 8.30pm

Easter Sunday:

Lauds - 8.30am
Mass - 9.30am