Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

My Photo
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Bisita Iglesia

Lent ends today and we enter the Triduum - literally, the 'Three Days'. The liturgy of the Church enters its most holy and important period now as we begin the solemn commemoration of the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. Liturgically, the Triduum is marked as one entire event or celebration hence we begin in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit this evening but no dismissal or blessing is given until after the Vigil of Easter...

Here in the Philippines there is sense of hushed busy-ness as preparations are made for the Triduum. Tonight, there will be the Mass of the Lord's Supper at which the feet of twelve men are washed and then the vigil of watching with Christ in the Garden until midnight. It is customary for each parish to set up beautiful and creative 'Altars of Repose' for this purpose and people visit one church after another all night, spending time in prayer with the Lord. The photo above is from last year's Triduum and was taken at San Jose, the oldest church in Navotas.

Even now, we are still completing our Altar of Repose and the church is being stripped of its purple Lenten hangings and replaced with white for this evening of surpressed joy. In England, the Queen celebrates the Royal Maundy (from the Latin 'mandatum' or commandment) and washes the feet of her subjects in imitation of the Lord's humble service and example of love. This is borne out in the Mass tonight as the Pope (if he were well), cardinals, bishops and priests kneel to wash the feet of parishioners and others; a clear reminder of Christian service.

As a beautiful liturgical chant (one of many used tonight) says: Where charity and love are found, there is God.

In another part of the parish, young people have gathered to practice for the Passion Play tomorrow, a live enactment of the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ which is performed on the streets of the parish; a tremendous witness and act of evangelization.

All these preparations are most apt, for the Gospels also recount the apostles setting out, on Jesus' instructions, to make preparations for the celebration of the Passover; His Passover... (cf Mk 14:12-16). But even as all these external preparations are going on, I am mindful of the need to prepare my heart to witness again the acts of Christ's love for humanity, to reflect on the mirabilia Dei and to follow Christ's self-giving example. These spiritual preparations must precede all the others if the Triduum is to be fruitful for me; if I too am going to die and rise with Christ!

To aid my contemplation of these events, I am planning to watch The Passion of the Christ again... after the Church Visiting, of course!


Post a Comment

<< Home