Holy Week experiences

Excepting the Orthodox, Holy Week is here. Anyone interested in sharing experiences?

Just back from tonight's (Tuesday) Mass of the Oils at the local Catholic Cathedral (I'll be in Rotorua for Easter... looking around this beautiful country I am residing in).

Well...you couldn't swing a thurible without taking out a few priests...and possibly the non-permanent (I forget the proper adjective...) deacon and the permanent deacon who were there too. This crooked photo I took gives an idea.

A very beautiful, and packed (though there are only 13 or so rows of pews...) service -- no room left so I stood up the back with the heat from the vent on the ground near me making me feel a bit drowsy. I've been attending said Masses lately (by choice) and it was lovely to hear the organ and singing.

The bishop's sermon was rather good and covered a number of themes, most notably the place of the oils. He also talked about the horrific child sexual abuse in a way that was honest and forthright.

High school age children (in school uniform) featured heavily from the intercessions to carrying the large bottles of oils to more. That was nice.

I know most of you will be intimately familiar with the goings-on in NZ Catholicism, but some points for the few who aren't...

The one thing that continues to warm my heart is the place of the Māori language in the liturgy. From hymns to readings (the entire Revelation reading was read in Māori, with English on the screen) to some of the responses and prayers (the first few sentences from the Eucharistic Liturgy, priest/bishop and people, were in Māori), to words scattered throughout the sermon... It was just so natural, and the loudness of the congregation response showed it. I planned to sign up to learn it, and I am all the more eager. I know Australia has many indigenous languages, so it's not comparable exactly, and I am sure some are in use in churches in certain areas, but as a whole we could learn from NZ here.

We were introduced to 4 Filipino Cistercians who just arrived and are settling in a monastery nearby (Dannevirke, for those in NZ). An order of French origin whose name I've forgotten is also looking to claim NZ for themselves and will be setting up a monastery close by also. As a lover of monasteries, and sometime wannabe monk, this gladdens me.

Not sure I'll attend Thursday's Mass of the Last Supper...but I plan to go to that night's Night Prayer of the Church at the coolish (remember we are in autumn) time of 22:00. I do not think I had heard of it before, nor its equivalent the next morning, but a google set me straight.
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  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Argh...sorry. Bad link to bad photo.

    Better one: http://imgur.com/gallery/qqDbUMC
  • We got HW off to a good start with a lively Palm Sunday Procession (with real palm branches, begged from a neighbouring garden!), and some good Hymns (All glory laud and honour etc.). Attendance was a little thinner than usual - school holidays started some time ago, so quite a few peeps had gone to Away.... :grimace:

    We are having a short evening Mass on the first 3 days, with a hymn and a short address, and 5 turned up yesterday. Maundy Thursday's Mass will include Reception of the Oils, Foot-washing, Procession to the Altar of Repose, Watch of Prayer, Compline etc. etc., all complete, and got up regardless!

    A goodly number of folk have signed up for sections of the Watch, so we are hoping for a reasonable turn-out for the Mass itself.
  • AngusAngus Shipmate
    This week, until Friday, we are having an evening Eucharist, at 7, followed by Compline at 8...then leaving in silence. Last night was a very simple contemplative experience, enhanced by whistling winds!
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Finnish Orthodox usually follow the Gregorian calendar, no?

    I am in a very evangelical area and there is one (1) Anglo-Catholic church, so splitting my week between them and the large RC parish church. I am sad to not find anywhere higher-church using CW, as the A-C place uses the Roman missal. Not that I think the Roman missal is bad, but I think I am definitely a Catholic Anglican and would have liked better Anglican offerings locally.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited April 16
    Come to Us...... :grin:

    .....we do, I admit, tend to use the RCC lectionary for weekday Mass (it's all in one book, so very convenient), but the most part of our Sunday and major Holyday Masses are CofE (Eucharistic Prayer B, for the Reader who Understands), with CofE Collects, Kyries, Gloria, Creed, Post-Communion Prayer, and Psalm/Readings.

    Slight anomalies occur - some respond 'And with your spirit', others 'And also with you' - but I am hopeful that, in due course, Father NewPriest will incline more to the end of the CofE spectrum, as he did in his previous parish. Our Sunday/weekday Mass booklet sorely needs revamping....

    In all fairness, there are occasions when the RCC provision is distinctly less wordy/complex than that of the CofE!
  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    Come to Us...... :grin:

    .....we do, I admit, tend to use the RCC lectionary for weekday Mass (it's all in one book, so very convenient),

    Slight tangent, but the CW weekday mass lectionary is almost identical to the RCC. There is now a pukka Anglican book that could replace the Daily Missal that you are presumably using, but there doesn't seem to be much point unless the former is falling to bits.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited April 16
    No indeed - we seem to have a plethora of RCC books which are not falling to bits, but we do have a small legacy coming from a late member of the congregation, so.....
    :wink:

    For the moment, let it stand, but thanks for the heads-up.

    I realise that I do tend to harp on about numbers attending services, especially in HW, and at Christmas, but it's encouraging to see that we usually get at least 50% to 75% of our usual Sunday 'crowd' (I use the term loosely!) at the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday liturgies.

    This, I suspect, is quite a high proportion, compared to some churches (yes, comparisons are invidious, I know).

    OTOH, it speaks well of the commitment to the Faith of those who do come, holidays, work, family matters etc., notwithstanding.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Eucharistic Prayer B is the correct option as any fule no!
  • Thank you, Nigel!
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    Finnish Orthodox usually follow the Gregorian calendar, no?
    Indeed they do...thanks for the correction. I did add that in to my post, including an Orthodox Holy Tuesday hymn, but when I reread it I thought I had blabbed on long enough without it and removed that whole section. Thanks for stating it.

    angloid wrote: »
    pukka
    ?
  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    Eucharistic Prayer B is the correct option as any fule no!

    One of! How boring if you limit yourself to only one of eight.

    Climacus: Google it! From the Hindi or Urdu - literally
    "cooked, ripe" and figuratively "fully formed", "for real" or "sure". It presumably got into UK slang because of imperial connections, but I don't think using it has any racist connotations. (if it does, I'll withdraw it and beware in future).
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thanks angloid...appreciated; and sorry -- I should've googled.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited April 16
    angloid wrote: »
    Pomona wrote: »
    Eucharistic Prayer B is the correct option as any fule no!

    One of! How boring if you limit yourself to only one of eight.

    I tend to agree, but so far have only managed to get our various priests to use one of the latest two (the simple one - which I think might be or I or J, if they continue using letters, or perhaps 9 or 10).
    :grimace:



  • Baptist Church. Daily Readings and prayer 7 to 7.30 Monday to Thursday: Reflection on the Cross 2 pm Friday.
  • @ExclamationMark , what readings do you use?

    Also, I take it that there is no tradition of a Communion Service on Maundy Thursday?
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    Certainly, if I was attending a URC I would expect a communion service on Maundy Thursday. Actually, it is the one service in the calendar I still miss. For all the thoroughness and ceremony of my current church, there is nothing like the quiet, intimate remembrance that is the Maundy Thursday Communion service. It usually has a small congregation, often with all members sat around tables, some of the Passover's call and response retelling of the narrative but I would stress the narrative is the Christian narrative. perhaps done through dramatised readings with different voices. A meal is often shared, but usually, it is something simple such as bread, cheese and fruit. When the meal is over then you move onto the Eucharist. I am painting with broad strokes, the details vary between each occurrence yet the character remains the same. What is created is a liminal space where there seems to me, a thin barrier between those gathered in the church hall and those in the upper room. Yes it is imagination and modern imagination and I know in some ways it is totally wrong but it remains moving.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    In (individual) churches with a tradition of Friday Eucharistic Adoration, I assume this does not happen on Good Friday for obvious reasons. Is it ever worked into Maundy Thursday? It seems like it could fit in quite well.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I have noted that there are sites I have stumbled across (surely most people google "eucharistic adoration" regularly to keep up with trends...) that seem to indicate it is a feature in Catholic churches after the Mass of the Lord's Supper. Like you I'd be interested in the experiences of Shipmates here.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    I have definitely sometimes encountered it being done before mass rather than afterwards. Wednesday and Friday are the most usual days to have it in my experience yet I've never thought about how Holy Week would impact it!
  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    I think that the general meaning of 'eucharistic adoration' in a Catholic church refers more to the placing of the Host in a monstrance on the altar for people to use as a focus for prayer sometime after Mass.

    Should you go or if you have been to the 'missa in coena Domini' or Mass of the Lord's supper on Holy Thursday you will notice or you will have noticed that at the end of the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament/consecrated Hosts are solemnly removed from the tabernacle, which is left empty, while the Blessed Sacrament is carried with some solemnity to another chapel within the church, designated as the 'altar of repose'.While the rest of the church is stripped bare, the faithful are encouraged to spend some time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, remembering the agony in the garden. This is, of course, a form of 'eucharistic adoration' but it is not what is generally understood by the term
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Ah...thank you Forthview.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    Well, slightly different terminology but...

    Where I attend Eucharistic Adoration happens normally before Mass on a Thursday Lunchtime. They do not call it that, it is called 'Holy Hour'

    My guess is the answer is yes. We keep a vigil at the blessed sacrament on Maundy Thursday at the Requiem Altar from 9:00 pm to Midnight. If I have the chance I will try and take a picture tomorrow evening. If not the chances are Father will so I will just link to that. The pay off for this is our Friday service starts at about 2:00 pm so we have less than an hour in church.

  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thanks Jengie.
  • @ExclamationMark , what readings do you use?

    Also, I take it that there is no tradition of a Communion Service on Maundy Thursday?

    There has been at the churches I serve once I brought it into the Easter Week witness. We will do so tonight
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    We have a sunrise (sun not guaranteed!) service on Easter Sunday on top of the moors where a cross is erected each year. Followed by bacon butties down at the ancient Chapel at the bottom of the hill.

  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    I have a picture of you standing there and across the valley on the opposite side is a fellowship I know also awaiting the dawn to hold a service looking at the same cross. Then they would return to their church for breakfast though one year they had bacon butties while awaiting the dawn. I suspect it is not the same cross and I also do not think they still hold the sunrise service but it is a pleasant reverie.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    The C of E website has a Maundy Thursday meditation with a short film reflecting upon the Last Supper. It is framed within a Tenebrae which one of my favourite Holy Week services.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Our vicar banned Stations of the Cross, Tenebrae, and Service of Light, as being “too Roman”, so tomorrow there is an ecumenical “service in the shadows and silence” at the Methodist church instead.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited April 18
    Puzzler wrote: »
    Our vicar banned Stations of the Cross, Tenebrae, and Service of Light, as being “too Roman”, so tomorrow there is an ecumenical “service in the shadows and silence” at the Methodist church instead.

    Huh. Your vicar obviously doesn't know (or care) that Times and Seasons contains plenty of material for Stations, and a Service of Light, thus proving that they have an accepted place within the CofE. Not necessarily in every parish, of course...

    Do many churches do Tenebrae these days, though? TBH, there seems enough to do on Maundy Thursday/Good Friday/Easter Eve and/or Day, without quite such a hefty dose of Psalms beforehand! Still, YMMV.

    Can't see how chanting lots of Psalms is particularly Roman, though.

    The 'service in the shadows and silence' sounds fun (not). You won't be able to see, and you won't be able to hear......
    :confused:

    OTOH, you may be pleasantly surprised, if the Methodists are leading it!
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    I said I would get photos of the Thursday Vigil but a friend posted a picture of last years altar of repose and I thought you might like to see it.
  • [
    Puzzler wrote: »

    Do many churches do Tenebrae these days, though? TBH, there seems enough to do on Maundy Thursday/Good Friday/Easter Eve and/or Day, without quite such a hefty dose of Psalms beforehand! Still, YMMV.

    Define "lots." All Saints, Margaret Street does it on Spy Wednesday and Little St. Mary's on Good Friday evening. I attended both (not in the same years) when I lived in England. LSM's concluded a Good Friday program that included Mattins and Litany, an outdoor ecumenical service, preaching of the passion, the solemn liturgy, and a children's service -- amply justifying it's satyrical tagline of "a church for people who really like church."

    In the US, it's also done by a few "shrine" churches. The Advent of Christ the King (San Francisco), the Advent (Boston), St. Ignatius of Antioch (NYC), and St Thomas, 5th Avenue (NYC) all do sung tenebrae on the Wednesday. Ultra-Tridentine S. Clement's, Philadelphia may be the only church to do said tenebrae on all three days.

    But it is striking to note the churches that don't do it . Chicago and DC have two famous Anglo-Catholic shrines each and no tenebrae between them. And St. Mary the Virgin, Times Square, which is in someways the shriniest of shrine Anglo-Catholic parishes in the country, doesn't do it.

    Generalizing from these data, I would conclude that tenebrae is most common at churches that have both a definite Anglo-Catholic tradition and an ambitious choral program, but even there it is not universal. More's the pity.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Had my Maundy Thursday mass at the local (very large) RC church sadly interrupted by bodily frailty (don't worry, have been checked over and it's nothing serious) - but the parts I experienced were very good. I was surprised by the quality of the music (mostly done by an excellent woman cantor, and sheet music was provided in the pews!) and the length of the sermon - at least 20 minutes! The church was packed and there were a lot of young people. I am always impressed by and a little envious of the healthy range of ages RCs get - but then that's mandatory Sunday and Holy Day mass attendance for you.

    Alas, Good Friday may have to be spent in bed recovering 😥
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    ... But it is striking to note the churches that don't do it . Chicago and DC have two famous Anglo-Catholic shrines each and no tenebrae between them. And St. Mary the Virgin, Times Square, which is in someways the shriniest of shrine Anglo-Catholic parishes in the country, doesn't do it.

    Generalizing from these data, I would conclude that tenebrae is most common at churches that have both a definite Anglo-Catholic tradition and an ambitious choral program, but even there it is not universal. More's the pity.
    Both Smokey Mary's (oh, all right, "St. Mary the Virgin") in NYC and Church of the Ascension (O higher than the seraphim...) in Chicago have Anglo-Catholic traditions and excellent choral programs. How odd that neither have them have Tenebrae.


  • MamacitaMamacita Kerygmania Host
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    ... Church of the Ascension (O higher than the seraphim...) in Chicago have Anglo-Catholic traditions and excellent choral programs. How odd that neither have them have Tenebrae.

    As does Church of the Atonement - but again, no Tenebrae. (For that matter, I can't recall seeing any church in the Diocese of Chicago doing Tenebrae.)
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I only recall attending two Tenebrae services, both at a Catholic parish in inner Sydney run by the Franciscans.

    I have just left the 3pm service at one of the Catholic parishes here in Rotorua. One situated almost right by the lake. I'll head to the other parish for the Vigil tomorrow.

    I always think, "Oh, this reading will be long..." -- and it is; but at the end I am left thinking I could handle more. And I want more. It was read by 3 priests and a lay woman, and read ably.

    The sermon was very short...mainly because the priest confessed he was out-of-sorts as during the Stations of the Cross procession earlier in the day he was stuck in front of a gaggle of people who just chatted about inane matters throughout! Rather honest and forthright.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    Well, slightly different terminology but...

    Where I attend Eucharistic Adoration happens normally before Mass on a Thursday Lunchtime. They do not call it that, it is called 'Holy Hour'

    My guess is the answer is yes. We keep a vigil at the blessed sacrament on Maundy Thursday at the Requiem Altar from 9:00 pm to Midnight. If I have the chance I will try and take a picture tomorrow evening. If not the chances are Father will so I will just link to that. The pay off for this is our Friday service starts at about 2:00 pm so we have less than an hour in church.

    Right, I have created a Google Photos folder with pictures from yesterday. They include the church set up for the first part of the Triduum. You can see the altar of repose almost set up (Fr moved the big candlesticks just before the service) The pictures that are dark pictures are of the adoration. I tend to prefer to stay in the shadows during adoration so no direct ones.

    A couple of scenes that were moving. The stripping of altars which is done in silence by the servers even down to taking down the lamps (though whoever turned off the last lights before that needs to be brought to book, calling an ambulance for either Fr or the Sacristan would not have been a good way to start the vigil. The other was J who does the church linens. She came out of with bags and bags of linens, all to be washed and ironed. Her husband was waiting for her but when she came just started walking to the door. J got halfway down the aisle to the point where she could just see the altar clearly. Dumped down the bags of linen, knelt on the aisle floor and spent five minutes in prayer. Though she looked exhausted at that point, she and her husband were back at 11:30 to do the last half hour of the vigil.
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