Fr. Geary’s Letter, 4-10-22

Dear Parishioners of St. James:

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Holy Week begins today with the celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Jesus knew He would be dead the following Friday but allowed the people to acclaim Him as the Messiah with palm branches and shouts of joy. The Church offers rich liturgical celebrations marking the Lord’s institution of His Most Holy Body and Blood on Holy Thursday, His Crucifixion and death on Good Friday, and His glorious triumph over death at the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday morning.

The (bi-lingual) Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be offered on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.  Come to the Upper Room where Our Lord instituted the Most Blessed Sacrament and conferred the Sacrament of Holy Orders upon the apostles. After Holy Communion, the priest carries the Most Holy Eucharist in procession to the altar of repose as we mark Jesus’s walk to the Garden of Gethsemane where He would pray and be betrayed by Judas. We will keep Our Lord company in His agony until 10:00 p.m. in silence.

The Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord will be offered at 1:00 p.m. in English and 7:00 p.m. in Spanish. The Passion from the Gospel according to St. John is read and we will venerate the Cross, acknowledging the death of Our Blessed Lord for our redemption. We leave the church in silence as we await the celebration of the Resurrection.

The (bi-lingual) Easter Vigil begins at 7:00 p.m. with the Easter fire and the candidates for full communion joining the procession with lighted candles into the dark church. The Easter proclamation is sung by the deacon and the readings from Scripture recall salvation history culminating in Our Lord Jesus Christ’s victory over sin and death. The Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation and Holy Communion follow welcoming new members in Christ’s Mystical Body. Songs of rejoicing conclude with resounding Alleluias. 

Come and celebrate Holy Week at St. James Church. Fast and pray these last few days so that you may celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection with hearts made new by the saving mysteries.

God bless you,

Fr. Geary

Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL