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Palm Sunday

Holy Week & Triduum

Holy Week & Triduum

Dear Parishioners,

We have now entered Holy Week with the celebration of Palm Sunday. On Monday, the priests serving in the Archdiocese of Portland will gather for the annual Chrism Mass at 7 PM at St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. There we will renew our promises that we made on the day of ordination. Also, the Archbishop will bless the Holy Oils (Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens, and the Sacred Chrism) which will be brought back to the parishes. 

Triduum

We then get ready for the Triduum (pronounced, “trid-oo-oom” which encompasses Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. Both Holy Thursday and Good Friday services begin at 7 PM. The Easter Vigil will begin at 8:30 PM.

Holy Thursday

On Holy Thursday, we commemorate the Lord’s Supper. At this Mass, the Gloria is sung for the first time in since just before Ash Wednesday. During that Gloria, an Altar Server will wring the hand bells all throughout. In past years, the bells actually came loose and fell off, leaving the server a bit confused. We’ve since then glue them in place with Loctite! After the homily,  the symbolic “washing of the feet” takes place. Pre-selected representative members of the church will come forward to have their feet washed by the priest. Then Mass continues. A collection is taken up and then brought forward, along with the Holy Oils that were blessed at the Chrism Mass.  The Mass ends with a procession of the Eucharist to an altar of repose where the faithful are encouraged to remain in a vigil of adoration.  

Good Friday

On Good Friday, we will host an Ecumenical Stations of the Cross including members of several churches in the Grants Pass area.  This will take place at Noon.  

Later in the evening (7 PM) of Good Friday, the liturgy of the Triduum continues with the priest, deacon, and servers entering the church silently. The priest then prostrates himself upon reaching the front of the sanctuary. All are encouraged to kneel. After the prostration is concluded, the Liturgy of the Word commences, climaxing with a dramatic reading of the Gospel’s Passion Narrative. Following is the Solemn Intercessions which are explicit prescribed so that all Catholic Churches are praying the same thing that day. A collection for the Holy Land is taken up. Then the Rite of the Adoration of the Holy Cross takes place. A single cross is brought into the church so that the faithful may come forward to venerate the cross. Families and groups are encouraged to come forward together to offer their veneration. This is not a Mass, but Holy Communion that was consecrated on Holy Thursday is given to the faithful. Afterwards, the Altar is cleared and the priest, deacon, and servers depart in silence.

Holy Saturday

On Holy Saturday, the community will gather around a fire in the courtyard of the church.  From this fire, the Paschal Candle will be blessed and lit. A procession will form into the church, lead by the deacon carrying the Paschal Candle. The Exultet will be chanted followed by an extensive series of Scriptures proclaimed. After the last Old Testament reading, hand bells are run all during the singing of the Gloria. Let’s pray that the bells can hold on through it all! After the Liturgy of the Word, those who are to be baptized will process to the baptismal font. There, the baptismal font will be blessed and our Elect will be baptized. After the newly baptized have changed into dry clothes, they will join the Candidates to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.  The Liturgy of the Eucharist will take place where our new Catholics will receive their First Holy Communion.  

I hope that you will make an effort to participate in these amazing celebrations of Christ Paschal Mystery. They carry the power to deepen our faith and fill us with joy as we walk along the path with Jesus from his passion to his resurrection. 

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Holy Week Approaches 

Holy Week Approaches 

Dear Parishioners,

We are near the end of Lent and about to enter Holy Week. Beginning with Palm Sunday, the Church gears up, liturgically speaking, to help guide us, spiritually, to celebrate the most important mysteries of Christianity—Christ’s Paschal Mystery: His suffering, death, and resurrection. While we are still just a week out, might I suggest you consider marking your calendar for the following events:

April 14 - Palm Sunday (ST. Anne, St. Patrick, Our Lady of the River)

April 15 - Chrism Mass w/ Priests’ Renewal of Promises & Blessing of Holy Oils @ 7 PM
(St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland)

April 18 - Holy Thursday Mass @ 7 PM (st. Anne & St. Patrick)

April 19 - Good Friday Ecumenical Stations of the Cross @ Noon (St. Anne)

    Good Friday Service w/ Veneration of the Cross @ 7 PM (st. Anne & St. Patrick)

April 20 - Easter Vigil Mass w/ Blessing of Fire and Paschal Candle, Exultet,
Extended Scripture Readings, Baptisms, Confirmations, and
Eucharist for RCIA @ 8:30 PM (St. Anne)

April 21 - Easter Sunday Masses

St. Anne: 8 AM, 9:30 AM, & 11 AM (bilingual)
St. Patrick of the Forest: 11 AM
Our Lady of the River: 9 AM

Please consider inviting family, friends, and neighbors to join you in these most important mysteries of Christianity. Again, mark your calendars!

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Invite Others Home

Invite Others Home

Dear Parishioners,

Blessed Palm Sunday!  May the passion of the Lord bring a renewed appreciation for what Jesus did for us. May all our pain and suffering transform us for the salvation of souls.  In that same vein, I want to encourage everyone this week to consider others who are suffering, especially those who have been away from the faith. We know true happiness because of faith.  But, many do not see it the same way. For many, someone within the Church has hurt them.  Others have hidden suffering which they prefer to hide and they think going to church will make the hurt all the worse. For some, it is more of a matter of just getting out of the habit.  Regardless of the reasons, I want to encourage you to seek out your friends and neighbors and invite them to join you for Easter Mass. If they are so interested, consider inviting them to Holy Thursday and Good Friday. For some people, all they need is a loving invitation. Let them know which time you will be going and even consider driving them and invite them to sit with you at Mass. Remove any barriers that may cause them hesitancy. You may be nervous to make the invitation, but just consider it a risk worth taking. Helping others come home for Easter may be the greatest thing you could have done for them. Helping them come home may have eternal consequences.  

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

Prayers & Passion

Dear Parishioners,

Just over a week ago, I had to put down my dog, Gracie. She was 17 years old and definitely showing signs that the end was near. For the last 11 years, she was my companion in my priestly journey. She was the quintessential “parish dog.” She loved everyone, young and old. She especially loved all you who snuck her treats when I wasn’t watching! Thank you all for your kindness to me. I must admit that her passing was much more emotional than I expected. I want to especially thank Dr. Jean Manhart who served as my Veterinarian, and who gave Gracie and me the best of care and guidance. Many of you who are or have been pet owners shared your suffering with me in the days that followed. Again, thank you.

At risk of sounding trite, the days ahead are new territory for me, as I’ve not really known what priestly ministry is like without Gracie. I’ve suffered the loss of my dad, brother, and many friends, each a unique loss with unique pain. I know the pain I experienced losing Gracie is nothing compared to the pain that so many of you who have lost your spouse or close friend have experienced. It is through my own pain that I have a greater appreciation of how difficult it must be for you.

One thing I can say with conviction is that we must not run from our own crosses of suffering and death. We must go headlong into these difficult places with Jesus by our side. For it is by living through and not avoiding our own suffering that we can be raised to new life in Jesus. This is the fabric of being a Christian. I believe it with my whole heart and have my own personal history which testifies that it is true.

In the coming weeks, we will celebrate the Passion of the Lord on Palm Sunday. Just a few short days after that, we begin the holy three days of the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday’s Easter Vigil). These liturgies emphasize the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Please make every effort to come and reflect on the last days of Christ’s life. Please embrace your suffering in your own life, and know that Jesus walked that path before you. Join your suffering to his. Do not avoid that which will ultimately make you whole again. May these final weeks of Lent bring you an openness to the grace that God wants you to have.

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

A Week of Holiness

Dear Parishioners,

Now that we are well into Lent, internally for St. Anne’s, planning for Holy Week has already begun. Personally, I believe that Holy Week is that series of celebrations that every Catholic should experience each year. If you’ve never attended them, please consider making an effort this time around. Here’s a run down of all the activities.


Palm Sunday: Depending on the Mass, we will be start- ing in the Hall or outside and then process in with our palms to continue our celebration.


Chrism Mass (7 PM, March 29, Portland): This Mass is celebrated at the Cathedral with the Archbishop and almost all the priests serving in the Archdiocese. This is a wonderful time to experience the Church in a larger sense. The Holy Oils are blessed at the Mass and the priests renew their promises from their ordinations. The procession alone is something to behold.


THE TRIDUUM

Holy Thursday (7 PM): This commemorates the
Last Supper Christ had with his disciples. At this Mass we wash the feet of representative members of our parish and focus on the institution of the Eucharist. As such, I’ve ordered special hosts that have images embossed on them and I will be singing most of the Eucharistic Prayer. The oils from the Chrism Mass are pre- sented at the presentation of the gifts and placed in a suitable location. At the end of Mass, the community follows the priest in procession with the Eucharist to the Parish Center where a temporary Altar of Repose has been set up so that the faithful can pray before the Blessed Sacrament. People are welcome to leave when they want until adoration concludes at midnight.


Good Friday (7 PM): This celebration is very simple. It is not a Mass. It begins very solemnly. In addition,
the reading of the Passion narrative is proclaimed. Afterwards, the community comes forward to venerate the cross. Finally communion is distributed, and the service ends.


Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil—8:30 PM): This is the pinnacle of all our celebrations of the entire year. We begin outside with a blessing of a fire (we have a special fire for this year) and the blessing of the Paschal Candle. From there, the community processes in the dark- ened church with their own candles, lighting the church with their very presence. A solemn proclamation is sung called the Exultet. An extended series of readings are proclaimed describing salvation history. Then after a very short homily (and I mean short!), those who are to be baptized come forward. This year we will be offering the most dramatic form of baptism that we can: immersion. The Catechism of the Catholic Church(#1239) considers this to be the “most expressive way” to offer this Sacrament. If you’ve never seen this done, you don’t want to miss it! Next, those who have already been baptized in another faith tradition, pledge their faith in the Church. These people along with all those who have just been baptized receive the sacrament of Con- firmation. The Liturgy of the Eucharist follows with those who were just received into the Church going first. The whole night is full of wonder and joy.


I hope to see you at these celebrations. I am greatly looking forward to them. As with all our most important holy days, I will be doing my best to celebrate them bilingually as a sign and invitation to the major languages present in our community. I pray that your Lenten journey has been full of growth and conversion as well as peace and hope.

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor