Ash Wednesday is tomorrow and in preparation I spent part of Sunday afternoon burning old palm to make plenty of ashes. I’m thinking we may need more than usual because this year we are to sprinkle them on a person’s head rather than mark a cross on the forehead. We have plenty of palm trees on the grounds of the deaf office and I found a lot of fallen fronds so that wasn’t a problem. [The three white bandages on my right leg are from three dog bites I received on Thursday. More on that later.]
Our Christmas celebration for the English Catholic Community was very different this year–as was almost everything in 2020. Click here to see some photos from the Christmas masses we celebrated.
We are having seven Christmas masses spread out over four days, December 24-25-26-27, to give more people a chance to celebrate Christmas with the faith community. For these masses we have reintroduced some liturgical practices we haven’t seen since March. We are saying the Gloria and starting to sing an opening and closing song and also for Christmas we are incensing the nativity set and altar at the beginning of all the masses.
Partly because we want to be able to use visuals in our liturgy and partly because we cannot use paper missals and song books during the pandemic, we installed a video system in the chapel that we are now using for our English community masses.
Today three of the children of our community received their first communion at our 11:00 AM liturgy. For Catholics, Jesus is really present in communion under the appearances of bread and wine. It was a happy day for the children, their families, and our community.
This weekend Bishop Olivier came to our English liturgy to give the Sacrament of Confirmation to nine of our youth. It turned out to be a pleasant ceremony, but different from other confirmations because we had to practice social distancing and wear masks. Click here to see photos from the ceremony.