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Lent Triduum-2003
Questions and Answers

Holy Oils Ritual Washing of Feet
Seder Meals Easter Vigil Starting Time
Funeral Liturgies on Holy Thursday & During the Triduum Shaping a Liturgical Environment for Worship Workshop

Holy Oils

Our parish is preparing for Lent/Triduum/Easter. We have some remaining blessed oil and consecrated chrism. What should we do with the old oil? Is there a proper way to dispose of it?

Yes. For the answer, we need to go to the Book of Blessings. In the Book of Blessings, there is an Order for the Blessing of a Repository for Holy Oils. Every parish should have such a repository. The rubrics from the blessing read:

#1125 The oils used for the celebration of the sacraments of initiation, holy orders, and the anointing of the sick according to ancient tradition are reverently reserved in a special place in the church.

#1126 The vessels used to hold the holy oils should be worthy of their function and be closed in such a way to prevent the oils from being spilled and to insure that they remain fresh.

#1127 Each year when the bishop blesses the oils and consecrates the chrism, the pastor should see that the old oils are properly disposed of by burning, and that they are replaced by the newly blessed oils.

So, in short, the proper way to dispose of the oil is burning. However, as those who are cooks know, the smell of burning olive oil is not a pleasant one. Possibly a parish might consider burning last year’s blessed and consecrated oils on the Easter Vigil fire. A large and impressive fire at the Easter Vigil would easily consume whatever oil is left over from the previous year, and the smell of the burning chrism, which is already fragrantly scented, could overcome the smell of burning olive oil alone.

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Seder Meals

Is it appropriate for Catholics to celebrate a Seder meal?

This year Holy Thursday and the feast of Passover coincide. It would be most appropriate to remember our Jewish brothers and sister in prayer. However, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner comments, “How would Christians feel if some members of the local synagogue decided to celebrate, just as a creative thing, a Jewish version of the Eucharist – imitate the ceremony of another faith – and then go back to being who they were? The best way for Christians to find out about Judaism is not to mimic Jewish practices but to visit a synagogue or ask a Jewish friend to attend with him or her. It’s not that Christians can’t be at a seder. It’s not that Christians cannot be involved in hearing the Torah read. But they can’t do them as Christians without any Jews around. It doesn’t make any sense”. (Rite, July, 2002). In addition, this practice disrespects the Jewish religion. Ask a Jewish friend to invite you to their home for a real seder meal.

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Funeral Liturgies on Holy Thursday and During the Triduum

Are funeral liturgies permitted during Holy Thursday and the Triduum?

The celebration of the funeral Mass is not permitted on Holy Thursday and the days of the Easter Triduum. The appropriate rite to use is the “Funeral Liturgy Outside Mass” in the Order of Christian Funerals in which the body is brought to the church, the funeral ritual is celebrated without Mass, the final commendation is given, and the burial commendation is provided at the cemetery. After the burial, at the earliest date permitted by the liturgical calendar, a Eucharist for the deceased may be celebrated. Sensitive pastoral care is needed in explaining these regulations to grieving families. Even if no one dies during these days at your parish, it is still instructive to include an article about this topic in the parish bulletin on Passion Sunday, or even the 5th week of Lent.

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Ritual Washing of Feet

Whose feet should be washed on Holy Thursday at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper?

The 2003 Ordo for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe notes, “The group whose feet are washed should represent a cross-section of the local community”. There is no exact requirement on the number of people whose feet are to be washed. The Holy Thursday footwashing is neither a dramatic imitation of the Last Supper nor scriptural reenactment. It is a ritual gesture expressive of our commitment to serve one another in love, peace, and humility. “The principal and traditional meaning of the Holy Thursday mandatum …is the biblical injunction of Christian charity. Christ’s disciples are to love each other …All should obey the Lord’s new commandment to love one another with an abundance of love” (Bishop’s Committee on the Liturgy Newsletter, April, 1996). The liturgy for Holy Thursday has never permitted the washing of hands as an alternative for the washing of feet on this night.

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Easter Vigil Starting Time

In 2003, what is the lawful time to begin the celebration of the Easter Vigil in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe?

According to the rubrics, the time to start the Easter Vigil is after nightfall. (General Norms for the Liturgical Year, 21) In years when the Easter Vigil falls during daylight savings time, parishes should begin Easter Vigil celebrations no earlier than 8:30pm. This is one of those years. Darkness is a constituative element of the Vigil. Therefore, “this rule is to be followed in the strictest sense”. (Ordo, 2003). Pastors or planning teams who arbitrarily decide that it is “dark enough” at 7:30pm or 8:00pm are doing their parishes a disservice.

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Shaping A Liturgical Environment for Worship

Shaping A Liturgical Environment for Worship
Sunday, March 30, 2003
2-5 pm
Manzano Room, Catholic Center

Nationally known liturgical artist and consultant, John Buscemi, will visually and theologically guide participants through the principles of shaping an appropriate liturgical environment for worship. He will show how seasonal environment can help or hinder our understanding of the core symbols of our faith. John has been the liturgical design consultant for many church building and renovation projects including our own, Santa Maria de La Paz Church in Santa Fe. He has shaped worship environments as small as chapels to as large as the Papal Mass in a cornfield in Des Moines, Iowa.

Class is for parish environment and art committees, liturgy teams, deacons, priests, Altar and Rosary Society members and assembly members.

The registration fee is $5.00 per person, and pre-registration is required.

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