Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday and Easter Triduum 2011

Today is Palm Sunday, the start of Holy week and it's exactly one week before Easter Sunday. Each Palm Sunday, Catholic Churches hand out blessed palm branches to the congregation.  The above picture are palms from last year that we made into a cross. 

Did you know that the ashes from Ash Wednesday come from the burnt palms from last year's Palm Sunday? Catholicism states this about Palm Sunday, "Palm Sunday commemorates the triumphal entrance of Christ into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-9), when palm branches were placed in His path, before His arrest on Holy Thursday and His Crucifixion on Good Friday. It thus marks the beginning of Holy Week, the final week of Lent, and the week in which Christians celebrate the mystery of their salvation through Christ's Death and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday."

Here is a 4 minute Palm Sunday collage video that I wanted to share: (the resolution isn't the best, but the messages and images are still beautiful)

So Holy Week begins today and the 3 holiest days of the Catholic Church's calendar are coming up on this Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. These 3 holy days are called the Easter Triduum.  This is a special time in our family's life, not only because we remember Jesus' passion, death and resurrection, but also because it was 5 years ago at the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday that my husband and his cousin entered into full communion with the Catholic Church.  Here we are just before this special Mass began.  
My husband was baptized a Baptist, but he attended Mass with me while dating, when we were newlyweds and when we had our 3 older children. His cousin, Sharon, visited many churches during her lifetime. After 50 plus years of praying and searching she realized that what she was missing all her life was receiving Jesus' Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist. (John 6: 48-68

It was a blessing and a glorious day to see my husband and Sharon enter the Catholic Church at Easter 2006! Sharon was a saint here on earth and now she is in Heaven since 2007 when her 5 year battle with lung cancer took her away from her earthly home to be with Jesus and Mary's loving and awaiting arms.  Her son, Patrick, followed her 7 months later.  We miss Sharon and Patrick so much, but we are comforted that Sharon is no longer fighting her cancer and Patrick is running freely in Heaven after being in a wheel chair during his 21 years of living due to having cerebral palsy since birth. 
 Sharon and Patrick, soul mates on earth and now in Heaven.  We love and miss you so very much!

May you and your family and friends have a blessed Holy Week and Easter!

I am linking this post to Lynda's Women of Noble Character link up by answering the question, 
"Are you celebrating a religious tradition this week?"

Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie and myself for April's No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH). You can link up any or all your posts for the entire month of April. The blogger with the most posts will be awarded a Star Blogger Award!  Click below for details!


Patty said...

Tracy, what a beautiful family story you shared! Thank you for that. May you have a blessed and fruitful Holy Week!

Unknown said...

Hi Tracy,

Your story is beautiful and heartfelt. I love the picture of Sharon and Patrick, what love! Wonderful story. Holy Week is very important around here as well. We will be heading off to Mass this morning to get our palms. I love how you folded them into a cross. Great idea! My Mom always has us put them under our mattress. We do this every year. This year I think my husband and I are going to try the Easter Vigil on Saturday. We are going to leave the kids at home and take them to the children's service on Sunday, but I have been hearing how amazing the Easter Vigil is, so we will see.

My husband has been showing an interest in starting his RICA classes here soon. He goes to Mass with us as a family, and participates in the prayers at home, but he has not been baptized yet. I pray everyday for him, and he is now asking about classes and when they start.

Thank you for sharing your story of your husband, Sharon ,and Patrick. It was just beautiful. Have a wonderful Palm Sunday and Holy Week as well. Talk soon!

Mom2Seven said...

Tracy, I started reading this post thinking how wonderful it is that you use your blog to share with others our rich Catholic faith. I ended reading it in tears! May God bless you and your family during this Holy Week and always. ~Annita +JMJ+

Hi Patty!
Thank you so much for stopping by to read this special post about the saints in my family's life! May your Holy Week be fruitful and blessed also!

Hi Kimberly,
Yes, Sharon and Patrick had so much love for one another. Sharon was a single mother since Patrick's father left them soon after Patrick's birth. Sharon's love and sacrifices for Patrick was a blessing to witness! I have some special stories to share about Sharon and her miraculous life and love, but these will have to be posts saved for another time :)
I've never heard of the palms under mattresses..that's a neat tradition and that's a wonderful way to keep them from falling on the floor!
I hope you and your husband can attend the Easter Vigil this year! That will be a blessing! I haven't been to the Vigil Mass in so long due to being home with the family and we make our Easter Cookies on Holy Saturday night. This year we will make the Resurrection Buns too!
I will keep your husband in our prayers! My husband was the most devout non-Catholic before he entered the Church. In fact, some friends of ours already thought my husband was Catholic since he was always attending Mass with us, but not receiving Holy Communion! It is a blessing to worship as a family united in the Faith. My husband used to not be able to mouth the words of the Hail Mary and he struggled with John 6, The Bread of Life Discourse, where Jesus celebrated His first Mass, changing the bread and wine into His Body and Blood. So by God's grace, my husband heart was changed and through Sharon's life, my husband was also inspired.
God bless you Kimberly during this Holy Week!

HI Annita!
Thank you for your kind and encouraging words always! I love sharing about our Catholic Faith (and there is so much to share with 2000 plus years of History and Tradtion!)I am blessed to be able to share my love for Catholicism on my blog and I am blessed by followers like you who love our faith as much as I do! I'm so glad this post touched you. Sharon and Patrick are still changing lives and touching others, I believe, since they have joined all the communion of saints in Heaven. May your family have a blessed Holy Week also!

Unknown said...

Hi Tracy! What a beautiful video and special post about your family. Thank you for sharing this. I would love to know how you made the cross with the palm. What a wonderful idea. Thanks for linking to Women of Noble Character.

I loved Fridays post too. I used to enjoy hop scotch in school. Every recess you could find us out there hopping. Not with as many squares though, lol. I enjoyed seeing your cupcakes artwork, and the special keepsake.

I have been voting for you, and stopping by as much as I can. Sorry to be so unavailable lately. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season.

HI Lynda,
I don't remember how to make the cross with the palms because I think someone made that for us. OOPS! but in my post I said I made them :) I am never good about making them. Hop scotch is fun to play. I have childhood memories of playing it too! No need to apologize about not being "available" to comment on posts. I'm sure you are very busy. May you have a blessed Easter too!

HI Tracy,
I will show this video to my kids when they get back from their bike ride with their Dad. We were just explaining Palm Sunday to the kids recently.
Love the story of your husband and Sharon and her son, Patrick. How great that your husband join you and your faith:)

Hi Anna-Marie,
I hope your family enjoyed the video! It's always brings me so much joy to share about Sharon and Patrick! They continue to touch people's lives, but from a different place. Yes, it is a blessing that our family worships united in faith. Hope you are having a blessed week!

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