Await the dawn with us.
Dear Saint Nicholas
During this time of uncertainty, much of our time has been spent waiting: we wait for the stay-at-home orders and for the social distancing to end, we wait for the latest data to show that the curve is flattening, we wait for this pandemic to be over. In the midst of all the unknowns, it can be hard to hope. However, this week is about hope.
This week is a time when we enter into the holiest time of the year in which we commemorate and celebrate the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It will be a different Holy Week from any other we have experienced. We are physically apart, and we won’t be able to celebrate like we usually do, but that doesn’t mean we are alone or that this time is any less holy.
We have the opportunity to choose hope. Whether on our own, with our housemates, or with friends and family, we can act. We can pray, we can trust in God’s promises, and we can patiently await Christ’s resurrection.
Though we are separated, we are still One Body — united in our faith and our eager anticipation of the Easter dawn.
Live in the Light
In these next few days, starting tomorrow, we, as a universal Church, walk with Christ through his Paschal Mystery. I would encourage you to look to Mary as a guide by praying the rosary with your family, your roommates, or on your own.
On Holy Thursday, reflect on the life of Christ leading up to the Last Supper through the
On Good Friday and Holy Saturday, reflect on Christ’s passion and death through the
And on Easter Sunday, reflect on Christ’s triumph over death through the
’s Action Items for Holy Week
The Work of the People
The liturgies that take place during Holy Week are the Church’s most beautiful, meaningful, and extraordinary liturgies of the year. But the word “liturgy” means — and has always been — “the work of the people.” It is something we create together.
Normally, we’d worship together at St. Nicholas inside our beautiful church building, praying with one voice, as one community, under one roof. But now, as the Domestic Church, you have a special opportunity to pray at-home liturgies that will make these days just as special.
Here is a
Triduum Liturgy Guid
that was created specifically for you to celebrate Holy Week at home. Additionally, if you would like to go deeper in your own personal reflections this week,
these beautiful Holy Week devotions
may be helpful.
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC will be livestreaming the Triduum liturgies. When I was the Director of the Office of Worship for the Archdiocese, I planned and assisted many of the Archdiocesan liturgies celebrated at the Basilica, including the Mass of Canonization of Saint Junipero Serra celebrated by Pope Francis in 2015. For information on the Triduum liturgy
and to watch the Basilica's livestream, please click
You can also pray with Archbishop Gregory as he celebrates the Triduum liturgies from the Cathedral by clicking
While we are apart, we are doing our best to keep the lights on and the vigil candles lit. If you are able, please consider an online
to help us keep the parish ready for when we are all able to return to worship together again.
Please know of my sincere prayers for you and your family while we all eagerly await the dawn of the Resurrection.
P.S. I've attached a few pictures below from our Triduum liturgies in 2018.
is the commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, when he established the sacrament of the Eucharist prior to his arrest and crucifixion. It also commemorates His institution of the priesthood. At the end of Mass, Eucharistic Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament takes place where the faithful remain in the presence of the Eucharist just as the Disciples kept a vigil with Christ.
is the day on which Catholics commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Catholics are joined by almost all other Christians in solemn commemoration on this day.
The Easter Vigil
liturgy is the most beautiful liturgy in the Roman Catholic Church. We are awaiting our master's return with our lamps full and burning, so that he will find us awake and seat us at his table (cf. Luke 12:35ff).
Fr. Mel Ayala
on Wednesday, April 8 at 11:00AM