POPE BENEDICT XVI EARMARKS HOLY THURSDAY COLLECTION FOR JAPAN RELIEF
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 22, 2011 (THE CATHOLIC REVIEW) By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service Ė Pope Benedict XVI has decided the collection taken up at his Holy Thursday evening Mass will be used to help those affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan.
The March 11 disaster left more than 13,000 people dead and another 13,700 unaccounted for. More than 150,000 were made homeless and many lost their jobs, especially in the fishing industry.
Each year, the pope chooses where to send the collection taken up during the Mass of the Lordís Supper at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome.
Pope Benedictís decision to use the collection from the Mass April 21 to support Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims was announced by the Vatican April 14.
In announcing the popeís decision to use the Holy Thursday collection for Japan, the Vatican also published the popeís Holy Week schedule.
The pope was to celebrate the usual slate of Holy Week and Easter liturgies: Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peterís Square April 17; the chrism Mass in the morning April 21 in St. Peterís Basilica; the Mass of the Lordís Supper that evening; on Good Friday, April 22, the afternoon liturgy of the Lordís Passion in St. Peterís Basilica, followed by the night time Way of the Cross; the Easter Vigil April 23 in St. Peterís Basilica; and Easter morning Mass April 24 in St. Peterís Square.
Pope leads Easter Holy Week rituals in Rome Apr 21, 2011, 10:28 GMT
Rome - Pope Benedict XVI washed the feet of 12 priests during a Holy Thursday Last Supper Mass - one of a series of traditional Roman Catholic Holy Week rituals leading to Easter Sunday.
In the late afternoon ceremony at Rome's Basilica of St John Lateran, the 84-year-old pontiff in his homily recalled Jesus' similar act of humility to his disciples at the last meal he shared with them before his death.
'Jesus approached that hour (of his death) with eager desire. In his heart he awaited the moment when he would give himself to his own under the appearance of bread and wine,' Benedict said referring to the Catholic belief that in Holy Communion bread and wine are transformed into Christ's body and blood.
'Those who do not live their faith as love are not ready for the banquet and are cast out. Eucharistic communion requires faith, but faith requires love; otherwise, even as faith, it is dead,' the pontiff said.
A collection during the mass was to be donated to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Vatican said.
Earlier, during the Chrism Mass in St Peter's Basilica, Benedict blessed holy oils which will be used in Catholic sacraments, including baptisms, confirmations and last rites for the dying.
While Christians are referred to as God's 'anointed ones,' they should demonstrate this in the way they conduct their lives, the spiritual leader of the world's more than 1.1 billion Catholics said.
By way of an example, the pontiff chose his predecessor John Paul II, whose beatification - the penultimate step in the process of sainthood - is due in just over a week's time.
'When Pope John Paul II is beatified on May 1, we shall think of him, with hearts full of thankfulness, as a great witness to God and to Jesus Christ in our day, as a man filled with the Holy Spirit,' Benedict said.
Benedict was scheduled to preside over the traditional Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession in Rome's Colosseum on Good Friday and an Easter vigil at the Vatican on Saturday.
On Easter Sunday, he is due to celebrate Mass in St Peter's before delivering his Urbi et Orbi message and blessing 'to the city and the world.'
Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is regarded by Christians as their most important religious feast.
FROM THE PHILIPPINE NEWS AGENCY
Feature:What is Maundy Thursday all about by Jell E. Guzman
The feast of Holy or Maundy Thursday solemnly commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Ordination.
Holy Thursday also celebrates the agony of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot which took place on the night before Jesusí crucifixion.
The evening Mass of the Lordís Supper on Holy Thursday begins with Triduum, which is the three-day celebration of the heart of the Christian faith: Christís death and resurrection. The Paschal Triduum begins on the evening of Holy Thursday and concludes with the Evening Prayer (Vespers) of Easter.
The Triduum includes Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and reaches its high point at the Great Easter Vigil.
The name ďMaundyĒ comes from the Latin antiphon Mandatum Novum, i.e. ďa new mandate.Ē The new mandate from Jesus is taken from John 13:34: Love one another as I have loved you.
A special commemoration of the Institution of the Eucharist on the Thursday of Holy Week is first attested in the documents of the North African Council of Hippo (AD 393). References to Holy Thursday celebrations are abundant after this date.
Since 1955 in the Catholic Church, the Maundy Thursday Mass is only celebrated in the evening, although in earlier times as many as three Masses a day were said.
Traditionally, Maundy Thursday fell within the Lenten season, although in post-Vatican II Catholic practice, Maundy Thursday is not liturgically a part of Lent, although it is still reckoned as part of the "forty days of Lent." In many Protestant churches, Holy Thursday is still liturgically part of Lent, since many Protestant churches do not recognize the Triduum as distinct from Lent.
Various traditions and customs are associated with Holy Thursday, including the reciting of the creed of Catechumens from memory, the washing of the feet, reconciliation of penitents, and the consecration of holy oil (chrism).
Meanwhile, the modern Western Holy Thursday service has an option for the blessing of the chrism and the washing of the feet.
In the Philippines, it is customary for Filipinos to do Visita Iglesia or church visit. This practice which was introduced by the Spanish colonizers goes back to the time of the early church where Christians would visit seven great basilicas in Rome for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during Maundy Thursday.
For Filipinos, itsí not only the Blessed Sacrament but a contemplation of the fourteen stations of the cross. Traditionally, seven churches are visited with two stations per visit. While others, with more time and effort, visit 14 churches to symbolize the 14 stations of the cross.
Over two thousand years ago, our Lord Jesus Christ shared the Last Supper with his disciples. And as Christ shared his final meal, let us remember that the Son of God also shared His own body and blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (churchyear.net/simbahan.net/RJB/JEG-PIA NCR)
Pope regrets West 'tired of faith' From: AFP April 22, 2011 1:07AM
POPE Benedict XVI told priests that Christians in the West are 'tired of their own faith' and culture.
The pontiff said that Western Christians have largely become a population of nonbelievers, weary of its own culture and history.
The Pope said people in the West, the heart of Christendom, are "tired of their faith" during mass to celebrate Maundy Thursday, which commemorates Christ's Last Supper with the apostles before his crucifixion.
"Haven't we, people of God, become for the most part a population of non-believers, distant from God?", he asked.
The Pope, who turned 84 on Saturday, told some 500 priests gathered in St Peter's Basilica: "Don't allow us to become a non-people."
On Wednesday he lamented a "somnolence" and an "insensitivity to the presence of God" in front of an audience of 13,000 pilgrims at St Peter's.
Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar. Related CoveragePope laments those 'tired of their faith' NEWS.com.au, 18 minutes ago Pope blasts odd names for children Herald Sun, 11 Jan 2011 Pope's faith in names of the Father Adelaide Now, 11 Jan 2011 Pope condemns Egypt attack Herald Sun, 2 Jan 2011 Pope laments persecution of Christians The Australian, 25 Dec 2010End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar. Pope Benedict XVI, who had a devout upbringing in Bavaria, Germany, often speaks out against the decline of Christianity of his country and the West in general.
On Palm Sunday, he urged the faithful to look beyond rapidly developing technology.
Technological advances are liberating and contribute to the progress of mankind only if they go in hand with "clean hands, a pure heart and the rejection of falsehood", he said.
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/world/pope-regrets-west-tired-of-faith/story-fn6sb9br-1226043165458#ixzz1KBxgGfn8
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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