For the past year we have been concentrating on the liturgies of Holy Week since it means a great deal to us to participate in these liturgies with dignity and with an awareness of the history and meaning of its rich symbols.
Seeking just the right person to help us delve into this special week, we knew we had found her when we encountered Rita Ferrone. Rita writes and lectures widely in the area of Liturgy and has a special interest in and love for the Paschal Triduum—Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Paschal Vigil. Those of you who read Commonweal magazine may recognize her name; she has written in Commonweal for years and has recently become a Contributing Editor of the magazine.
Rita gave us a presentation last August, which touched on the entire Triduum. She saved the ceremonies of the Paschal Vigil until recently, when she returned to give another morning’s presentation. The whole of Lent is a time of greater preparation for the Catechumens, those who will be baptized at the Easter Vigil. For most of us it is a time of reflection and thanksgiving for the gift of baptism we received long ago.
At the Vigil, after listening and responding to the history of salvation as recounted in the readings from the Old and New Testament, our part in the Paschal Mystery comes together at the Baptismal Font, where we renew our dying and rising with Christ. Here we are strengthened in our resolve to follow Him more closely. All of us felt invigorated by Rita’s lectures and eager to experience Holy Week with a new awareness of all that is a part of the week.
It will take a lifetime to explore the riches of this special season. We are embarking on it with great enthusiasm!