Christ is risen, alleluia! He is risen indeed, alleluia!
Friends, on this great solemnity of Easter, we rejoice with an indescribable joy because our Lord has conquered sin and death by rising from the grave. The first eight days comprise the Octave of Easter and are celebrated as solemnities which are all equivalent to Easter Sunday itself. The Paschal Feast is celebrated for fifty days “in joy and exultation as one feast day, indeed as one ‘great Sunday’,” (Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year, no. 22). Throughout the entire Easter Season the Paschal Candle remains at the ambo, symbolizing that Christ is present among us and that he has shattered the darkness of sin and death. Our newly baptized and fully initiated members (“neophytes”) enter the final period of their formation--the period of postbaptismal catechesis or mystagogy. We all take part in this period of mystagogy too:
“[Easter] is a time for the community and the neophytes together to grow in deepening their grasp of the paschal mystery and in marking it part of their lives through meditation on the Gospel, sharing in the eucharist, and doing the works of charity” (RCIA, no. 244).
Indeed for each of us, mystagogy--entering deeper into the paschal mystery--should be a daily part of our lives: how has God entered into my life today or what invitation has he extended to me? How did I respond? Am I living my baptismal call? Am I growing in love for God and for my neighbor? Do I live each day like my eternity depends on it?
Throughout Easter, look for those daily ways God enters into your life and note your response. Consider daily the blessings he has extended to you: praise and thank him for those blessings. Whatever Lenten prayer practice you began, continue it throughout the Easter season--it will continue to strengthen you! There are two psalms which are particularly appropriate for this joy-filled season. I suggest memorizing these two verses and letting one or both of them be the first words you speak each day. The first is the psalm we sing today: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad” (Psalm 118:24). The second is: “Let all the earth cry out to God with joy, alleluia!” (Psalm 66:1).
This is the time for many “alleluias!” Let us raise our voices together in praise of our God who has saved us from sin and death and given us a new birth through water and the Spirit. A blessed Easter to all of you!
We would like to extend a huge thank you to Nancy Boes who spent numerous hours making the antependia for the ambo and altar. The banding of the antependia matches Fr. Poggemeyer’s personal chasubles. There are colors for each of the liturgical seasons and feasts. We hope that these antependia help us to more deeply into the seasons of the year and the great celebrations of our faith!
White with gold: Christmas, Easter, feasts of the Lord, and the saints (confessors)
White with blue: Marian feasts and saints that had great devotion to Mary
White with violet: memorials of saints in Advent and for funeral Masses (to remind us to pray for the deceased)
Red: Good Friday, Pentecost, Exaltation of the Cross, Holy Spirit, and martyrs
Violet: Advent, Lent, All Souls, and days of penance
Rose: Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent) and Lætare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent)
Green: Ordinary Time