As we shelter in place, let us share in the sacred mass on this Palm Sunday. Click on the hyperlink below to celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem marking the start of Holy Week and the final days of His earthly ministry.
From Father Larry Tensi, Saint Columban Catholic Church, Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
“May we who are merely inconvenienced,
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors,
Remember those who are most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home,
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or paying the rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools are closed,
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips,
Remember those who have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of economic market,
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home,
Remember those who have no home.
During this time when cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us find ways to the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen”
In compliance with President Trump’s call for continued social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Archdiocese of Atlanta has extended the suspension of public masses through April 19. Palm Sunday, the celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem marking the start of Holy Week and the final days of His earthly ministry, is on April 5 this year. We may be forced to celebrate this holy day in isolation from our parish families, but the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit have an idea for a wonderful way to connect with other christians and publicly acknowledge Palm Sunday. Check out their recent Facebook post.
“We may be physically isolated, but we are not separated. We are united as the members of the body of Christ. We are the Church.” Let’s do this!
I’m am a 58 year old cradle catholic and in my lifetime I have never experienced the suspension of public mass until this week. I don’t know about other areas, but daily and weekend public masses are suspended in the Archdiocese of Atlanta through the first weekend in April.
Mass Canceled 2020
Date: March 16, 2020
To: Priests, deacons, sisters, chancery staff, partner agencies and parish communicators
From: Most Reverend Joel M. Konzen, SM, Diocesan Administrator
RE: Coronavirus update March 16
As we walk through this Lent, we have an opportunity to embrace sacrifice and ministry in a whole new way. Each day brings new information on the spread of COVID-19 from medical professionals as well as new directives from public health officials and civil authorities.
Bishop Ned Shlesinger and I look to serve the spiritual needs of our people as we make decisions on how best to protect the health of our communities. We want you to know that, in concert with the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, we have wrestled with each of these decisions. The well-being and safety of all the faithful are preeminent in our concerns.
Effective Tuesday, March 17, we will suspend all public Masses for the next three weeks including the weekends of March 21-22; March 28-29; and April 4-5. As new information and directives come out from the government, we will continue to evaluate and revise our provisions. Please let your people know, the Sacrifice of the Mass will continue. Our priests will still be offering private Masses for those in their care.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta is going to step up efforts to make spiritual resources available to you during this time. You can check our website for updates on current directives as well as a list of Masses offered online via live-stream, broadcast, or social media. These Masses are private and the faithful should only participate online. The faithful can also find online a collection of prayer and spiritual resources as well as ideas for home catechesis. Bishop Shlesinger and I will partner with other clergy at the chancery to offer a livestream Mass from the chapel at the chancery office as well as periodic video messages to the faithful. Look for those messages to begin Tuesday, March 17.
Churches will remain open for prayer and adoration. We ask that you practice social distancing when utilizing these spaces. Do not come if you are sick or if coming will put you at great risk of becoming sick. Churches may choose to move adoration from a small chapel into the main sanctuary where people can spread out.
Priests will still be able to hear individual confessions by appointment, but penance services are canceled. Weddings and funerals will be limited to immediate family only with no in-parish receptions allowed right now. All other gatherings in parish facilities should be canceled or postponed.
Confirmations are postponed until further notice.
In-person parish faith formation opportunities should be suspended during this time. This does not, however, mean that faith formation should cease. The archdiocesan website has resources for individuals and parents who wish to stay engaged in this way. Parish staff and volunteers can minister to their communities by calling people at home, checking on the elderly or otherwise marginalized, and seeking opportunities to use technology to connect individuals and communities.
We can still unite in prayer. We can still care for our neighbors. We are still the Body of Christ. We are challenged to find non-traditional ways to connect with one another. It is a sacrifice, for sure, for all of us to alter our participation in the Eucharist, a sacrifice as unwelcome as it is new. Still, we understand that it is, for the time being, a cross we bear in a spirit of self-denial, an emptying of ourselves in imitation of Our Lord’s privation as He faced His Passion. We know that we can hope in the Resurrection. Let us bring that hope to our neighbors and our communities through our sacrifice, our service, and our prayer.
In Jesus and Mary,
Most Reverend Joel M. Konzen, S.M.
Diocesan Administrator, Archdiocese of Atlanta
Coronavirus is a serious health threat, not just to the elderly, the immune suppressed and those with underlying medical conditions. Yesterday I saw a statistic reflecting 54% of all reported new cases of COVID-19 in Georgia are in otherwise healthy 20 to 49 year olds. It’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria, to become frightened and anxious. It’s hard to surrender to His will in times like this, especially when we, as catholics, are precluded from the celebration of the mass as a community, but we must. Even in the worst of times God’s promises remain.
“28 [a]We know that all things work for good for those who love God,[b] who are called according to his purpose.” [Romans 8:28 NABRE]
Pray an Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot, at this moment, receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Click HERE to experience Mass online from Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, GA
There a many myths and stories about Saint Patrick of Ireland. Discover the true story as told by the two archbishops of the Roman Catholic and Anglican St. Patrick’s cathedrals in Armagh, northern Ireland.
Click the image to read what Saint Patrick wrote in his Confessio.