Holy Week

Veneration of the Cross 2017

Once again this year, thanks to the help of those who raise and lower our Rood from above the altar and to the help of our crucifers who carry the cross during the Veneration liturgy, we were able to revere the cross which hangs atop our congregation all year long.

It affords us some interesting views:

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Good Friday 2017

FridayHaving watched our church under construction, many of us have seen the sanctuary in various stages of completion, often without sacred furnishings. Still, the sight of an empty tabernacle and bare altar stirs to prayer on a starkly quiet Good Friday morning.

Veneration of the Cross and Communion Service                3:00 PM

Stations of the Cross followed by private confession          7:00 PM


Spy Wednesday

JudasKissIt's an old term, not one often used in the Latin church for Holy Wednesday but it makes a good point. The gospel on this day describes Judas Iscariot's agreement to lead his enemies to Jesus under the cover of darkness  at a place and a time when no crowds would be present.

The eleven disciples with Jesus at the Last Supper didn't seem to know Judas' plan and to misunderstand or not hear Jesus' dialogue with Judas. Otherwise they would have restrained Judas from fleeing into the night to put his plan in motion.

Scholars speculate about Judas' motives for betraying Jesus, but the Scriptures describe an important reason: money. Whether or not Judas was disappointed at Jesus' interpretation of his suffering Messianic role and wanted a more powerful opposition to the Roman occupation cannot be known. Thirty pieces of silver was not a life-changing sum of money and hence the search for non-financial reasons for Judas' treachery.

Treachery needs secrecy and the cover of darkness. Otherwise good people can oppose it and win. Betrayal, by definition, must come from a friend.

Money, power, greed, mammon are all names for the same thing: temptations for potentially good people to do evil for a temporal reward.

Treachery is afoot. This Holy Week let us pray to be of one mind and heart in Jesus Christ. Let us admit our sinfulness and the ever-present temptation to trade eternity for temporal goods and ask God's strength to resist the power of Satan in our lives. 

And let us pray for God's protection for Christians all around the world.

 


Coptic Christian Martyrs

PewExplosionIt may be true that Americans have reached a point of moral and compassion fatigue on many issues. But to have so many personal indignations in Washington, DC and in our cities and schools constantly paraded before us, while many of the most significant world-wide issues get little notice only numbs our spiritual sensibilities further.

Little notice and precious little outrage seemed generated by the innocent slaughter of Coptic Christians at Palm Sunday Liturgy.

Spared from the modernization of liturgy after Vatican II, Coptic  liturgy seems more impenetrable than our own. Their priests and patriarchs sport beards and more elaborate headgear than our own bishops, but they are us. Tracing their roots back to St. Mark and the early Christian community, they separated from Rome due to theological disagreements over the Divine and Human natures of Jesus Christ. But even if we are no longer fully united ecclesially, we are united in Christ.

The blood splattered columns of St. George's church with the Stations of the Cross visible in the background, and blood stained palm-crosses amid the pews twisted from the explosion remind us of our shared discipleship with Jesus. 

Whatever challenges we face finding the time to worship together pale in comparison to the sacrifices so many Coptic Christians make daily by simply deciding to practice their faith in a hostile environment. 

Let us pray for their protection, for an increase of our own religious zeal and for the safety of our Holy Father who plans to visit this very region next week.

 


The Sacred Triduum Begins Tonight

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Join us in praying the Mass of the Lord's Supper at 7 PM tonight in the church as we close Lent and begin the most holy three days of the church's liturgical calendar.

At the beginning of mass, we will formally receive the sacred oils blessed by Bishop O'Connell and the priests of the diocese at the Chrism mass earlier in the week. The Oil of the Sick, The Oil of the Catechumens and the Sacred Chrism will be used throughout the year to celebrate the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Anointing of the Sick. Last year, the Sacred Chrism was also used to consecrate our altar and our church building.

At tonight's mass, we will celebrate the foot washing in commemoration of Jesus' actions at the Last Supper.

At the conclusion of the mass, the Blessed Sacrament will be processed from the church to the chapel where it will be placed in the Altar of Repose for the night. The tabernacle in the church will be empty. 

We will pray night prayer in the chapel at 11 PM.


Passion Sunday and the Windy, Cold not sunny but at least not snowing day

A brave band of parishioners gathered in the windy cold of Passion Sunday in the parking lot at Sea Bright steps away from the Atlantic Ocean to bless palms and process with them from Sea Bright to Rumson for the 10:30 AM mass at Holy Cross Church.

Stepping off at 10:15 AM, we were only several minutes late for mass, but arrived with blood flowing and invigorated for the beginning of Holy Week. For the first time in several years, our procession entered not through the doors of the gym, but through the main doors of our new church.

Please join us for one or more of the liturgies of Holy Week! 


Walk With Jesus: Stations of the Cross and Palm Procession

Two opportunities to walk with Jesus during Lent are coming in the next few days:

Stations of the Cross Friday night in the church beginning a 7:00 PM. If you haven't gotten a chance to go to confession during Lent, there are also confessions immediately after Stations of the Cross at approximately 7:30 PM.

Procession of Palm on this coming Sunday from the easternmost part of our parish in Sea Bright to the 10:30 AM Mass at Holy Cross. We will gather in the public parking lot in Seabright and after a blessing of the palms, begin processing to Holy Cross at approximately 10:15 AM. Please join us to witness our faith and support each other in prayer as Holy Week begins.

 


Mass of the Lord's Supper Tonight


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Join us in prayer tonight for Holy Thursday's Mass of the Lord's Supper, part of the sacred three days called the triduum. Tonight's mass will begin with the formal reception of the holy oils blessed  by Bishop O'Connell and the priests of the diocese last Monday evening. 

The Eucharist will include the customary foot washing on Holy Thursday and be followed by the solemn procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the chapel of repose (our daily mass chapel). There the Blessed Sacrament will remain exposed for adoration until night prayer at 11 PM. 

If you are unable to attend the mass, plan on spending some time with the Lord in our chapel anytime before 11 PM. 

 


Join In the Palm Sunday Procession

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Join us this coming Sunday at 10 AM in the municipal parking lot in Sea Bright for a procession to the 10:30 AM mass at Holy Cross Rumson.

The children's choir will be joining us. This year we have an additional banner of Jesus' Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem which will help passers-by understand the reason for our procession. I guess a bit of drive-by catechesis.

A public prayerful witness to our faith and our church is so important; please join us.

The procession will begin at 10:15 AM in order to arrive in time for the 10:30 mass.

 


Mass of the Lord's Supper This Evening at 7:00 PM

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Join us tonight for the Mass of the Lord's Supper as we begin the sacred time leading to Easter. This mass is the only mass, aside from the Chrism Mass, which can be celebrated on Holy Thursday, so when we gathered in the chapel this morning at the usual mass time, we prayed Morning Prayer.

At tonight's mass, the Holy Oils will be received - the Sacred Chrism, Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens which were blessed by bishop and priests at the Trenton diocese's Chrism mass last Monday.

The Washing of Feet will also take place at tonight's liturgy - an optional symbolic commemoration of Jesus' humble act of service to his disciples.  

When we have finished Communion, the Blessed Sacrament will be taken from the altar to the Chapel of Repose in a candlelight procession, where adoration will continue until Night Prayer at  11:00 PM.

Please join us for the Mass at 7:00 PM or feel free to stop and pray before the Blessed Sacrament for a few moments or join us for Night Prayer at  11 PM.

May the Eucharist strengthen our faith, and the hope of the Resurrection guide our steps as we prepare to walk with Christ to Calvary on Good Friday.

 

Chrism Mass Tonight In Trenton

42txThe priests of our diocese will gather around Bishop O'Connell this evening at St. Mary's Cathedral in Trenton to celebrate the Chrism Mass, since the Sacred Chrism will be blessed during this important diocesan liturgy. The Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens will also be blessed at this mass. After the mass, portions of each of the Holy Oils will be distributed for use in each parish of the diocese. 

The priests of the diocese renew their commitment to priestly service during this mass as well - a fitting resolve to confirm before celebrating the most sacred days of the Triduum.

Please pray tonight for our bishop and priests of the Diocese of Trenton tonight. Your prayers and support encourage the faithfulness and enthusiasm of our priests.


Spectacular Palmy Weather on Sunday

Thanks to everyone who gathered at Chapel Beach Club and Seabright Beach Club parking lots for the blessing of the palm and our Annual Palm Procession from Sea Bright to Rumson for the 10:30 AM Mass.

The wind blew away the last minute cloud cover and the skies were blue. For the first time in many years, the servers and priest didn't really need coats under their albs. 

Our children's choir led us in singing "All Glory Laud and Honor" during the 15 minute procession to our gymatorium.

Thank you to Chapel and Seabright Beach Clubs and the Rumson and Sea Bright police departments for helping us and the Borough of Sea Bright for permission to gather for the procession. 

Prayerful, public expression of faith are more important than ever. The joyful witness of parishioners of all ages is a welcome sign at the beginning of each Holy Week.

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Our Altar Servers Prepare to Lead the Way. (Their candles stayed lit for the entire procession!)
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Parishioners Began Gathering At 10:00 AM

 

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Fr. Manning leads the Prayer of Blessing

 

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Palms Held High for the Blessing and We Are Off!

 

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Crossing the Bridge is Always Exciting!

 

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Our Group Arrives in Rumson

 

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Just In Time for Mass.




More Photos of Palm Sunday Procession from Sea Bright to Rumson

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Stunning View of our Pilgrims from "Mount Sandy"

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Don Carolina our Music Director Gathers the Choir to Begin the Procession

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A Trio of Altar Servers Leads the Way

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Don Carolina and the Choir Make Their Way Through Sandy Streets

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Processions Nears the Bridge

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Procession Nears Mass at Holy Cross

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Truly a Blessed Day

Palm Sunday Procession through the lens of Sue Symington. More great photos!

Holy Oils Distributed by Bishop at Chrism Mass in Trenton

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Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens, Sacred Chrism
Bishop David O'Connell presided at the Chrism Mass on Monday evening at St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral in Trenton with concelebrating priests, deacons and parish representatives from the entire diocese. The three holy oils were blessed and every parish given an aliquot of each. The inclement weather could not dampen Bishop O'Connell's spirit and sincerity but the cathedral was not filled to capacity as usual.

Diocesan priests renew their promise of priestly committment at the Chrism mass each year.

Holy Cross Parish will officially receive the oils at the beginning of the Triduum, the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Thursday evening.

 





Hosanna Palm Sunday

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Parishioners Gather at Sea Bright for Palm Procession

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Father Gets the Bright Idea to Try and Climb "Mount Sandy"
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Not Only Safe Uptop, But Beautiful. It doesn't get any better than this!

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Proclamation of the Gospel and Blessing of the Palms
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Parishioners Head for Rumson Led by Children's Choir
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Heading to the Bridge Via Ocean Avenue
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Safely in Rumson
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We All Catch our Breath Before Processing Into Mass

Thank you to the Sea Bright and Rumson Police Department for keeping our procession safe, to the Children's Choir and their parents for braving the wind and temperature, to Don Carolina for his expert Musical Direction and to our parishioners and parish staff who facilitated the procession. Paul LaPlante took most of these great photos. God provided the beautiful sky!
Please join us for the liturgies of Holy Week, especially the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Thursday evening, Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday and the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday night.

Chrism Mass in Trenton

Last evening Bishop O'Connell celebrated mass with the priests of the Diocese and a full cathedral of the faithful in what has been called the Chrism Mass due to the mixing and blessing of the Sacred Chrism which is done during Holy Week.

All three of the Holy Oils are blessed: The Oil of the Catechumens: used to anoint those approaching Baptism; The Oil of the Sick: the oil used in the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick; The Sacred Chrism: the oil used to anoint during the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination to the Priesthood, and for consecrating churches and new altars. After the mass, a portion of each of these three oils were distributed to the priests and their parish representatives for taking home to their parishes for use during the coming year. 

Our oils will be officially received at the beginning of the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. Parishioners will process in with the oils, they will be presented to the congregation, placed in the ambry and incensed. The public reception of the Holy Oils by each community reminds us of our unity in Christ with our diocesan bishop and the church of the Diocese of Trenton and is a tangible connection with the working of Christ and the Holy Spirit in our midst.

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Vessels containing the Holy Oils are often labeled with the Latin initials of their contents. OC (Oleum Catechumenorum); OI (Oleum Infirmorum); SC (Sanctum Chrisma). In the past, smaller amounts of the three sacred oils were often kept under lock and key in a small vault which can often be seen in one of the walls of the Sanctuary. In recent years, it has become the custom to display the oils in an ambry, which is often located in a prominent spot in the church, sometimes near the baptismal font. Our oils are kept in an ambry near the votive candles on the Blessed Mother's shrine.