Today the Church commemorates the Ascension of the Lord into heaven. In the Catechism we read, “The Church celebrates in the liturgy above all the Paschal mystery by which Christ accomplished the work of our salvation” and that “in the New Testament the word liturgy refers not only to the celebration of Divine Worship but also to the proclamation of the Gospel and to active charity.” In these and many ways we carry out the Great Commission given by the Lord Jesus as heard in today’s Gospel.
The weekdays between the Ascension of Our Lord into heaven and Pentecost (next week) are a preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit. The ancient hymn, Veni, Creator Spiritus, or Come Holy Spirit will be sung in many places, especially at Vespers—the Evening Prayer of the Church.
The Easter Candle, a symbol of Christ, the Light of the World, remains lit at all the Liturgies through Evening Prayer on Pentecost. After that it is extinguished and is only lighted for the Liturgies of Baptism and for Funerals. In Baptism, a person begins their Life in Christ and at the Funeral Liturgy, the Church commends a soul to the Lord to be born into Eternal Life.
In these days following Easter, the newly baptized have continued their postbaptismal mystagogy, an ancient Greek word meaning “to be led through the mysteries.” These have been the days when the newly baptized receive prayers and guidance as they continue to learn and experience the many prayers and rites of the Church to which they now belong.
This Tuesday, May 18th at 10:00 am, Archbishop Vigneron will offer a special Mass for all those in Law Enforcement here and throughout the Archdiocese. This Mass has been offered each year for nearly 100 years and asks God to protect, guide and inspire the members of our Law Enforcement Community. Amidst the many dangers, uncertainties and challenges of our time, we join with them in prayer on that day for their service to the people of our neighborhood, city, county, state and country.
On Saturday, May 22, the Vigil of Pentecost, Archbishop Vigneron will ordain Deacon Zaid Chabaan to the Holy Order of the Priesthood at 10:00 am. Each year, this most solemn and joyful celebration coincides with Pentecost—a time when the Church calls upon the Holy Spirit to pour out the Spirit upon the Church and continue to send laborers into the vineyard. In the evening, the Archbishop will then lead Pentecost Vigil and Vespers beginning at 7:00 pm.
Let us continue to make known our Easter joy through our prayer, worship and charity. Let us ask Our Blessed Mother to intercede for us as we strive to be joyful disciples of her Divine Son. And let us continue to pray for one another as we journey in Faith, Hope and Love.
Anna Romano, Liturgy Coordinator