8:00am Low Mass
9:00am Mass with Hymns
11:00am Solemn High Mass
Monday thru Friday: 7:30am
Saturday: Rosary 9:30am
Saturday: Healing Mass 10:00am
Wednesday, Feb. 21: 7:00pm
Worship in February
Sunday, Feb 11, marks the last Sunday after the Epiphany on our liturgical calendar. On Wednesday, Feb. 14, Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, the start of a 40-day period of fasting, penance, and reflection. This year, Ash Wednesday is also Valentine’s Day. The last time they overlapped was in 1945. Many Roman Catholic Dioceses are suggesting that people celebrate Valentine’s Day on “Fat Tuesday,” Feb. 13, to make the most of Valentine’s Day. We might emulate that.
Sunday, Feb. 18 is the 1st Sunday in Lent. At Atonement, we begin the Stations of the Cross on the Friday after the 1st Sunday in Lent, so that will be on Feb. 23. We walk the Stations of the Cross, have a brief mediation, and end with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Stations of the Cross is a devotional service commemorating the last journey of Christ from Pilate's house to his entombment. The custom of walking the Stations of the Cross came into usage in the 15th Century as an outgrowth of the Christian Crusades to the Middle East. Pilgrims to the Holy Lands of the Middle East developed a custom of visiting the places sanctified by Christ's earthly life, particularly the path he took on Good Friday from his trial at Pilate's house to Golgotha, where he was crucified, and then on to the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.
Upon their return to their homes in Western Europe, the pilgrims continued their commemoration of Christ's Good Friday journey by processing within the confines of their own parish churches. Done with great devotion, the service is typified by a procession that stops, or makes its station, at places within the church that are usually marked by a simple wooden cross or a pictorial representation of the event being commemorated at each particular station.
The Book of Common Prayer (p.857) tells us that the adoration of God in prayer is “the lifting up of heart and mind to God, asking nothing but to enjoy God’s presence.” The practice of Eucharistic Adoration is the spiritual exercise of adoring the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. The intention of such a devotion is to allow the faithful to be connected with an awareness of the gift of Christ’s sacramental presence and experience a spiritual communion with Him. Private Eucharistic Adoration involves prayer at the site where the Sacrament of the Altar is reserved. In some places, there is also the opportunity for corporate acts of Adoration through Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and Eucharistic Exposition.
There is a long-standing practice of corporate Eucharistic Adoration in the English, Roman, and Orthodox expressions of the faith. Devotions to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament outside of the Eucharistic celebration have been documented as early as the 8th century.
In Spain during the 900’s, there were Eucharistic processions, with the Blessed Sacrament carried in a ciborium. In the 11th century, Archbishop Lanfranc of Canterbury permitted exposition of the Blessed Sacrament using a ciborium as the sacred vessel. He also began the practice of Eucharistic processions at Canterbury Cathedral. The liturgy for Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament began to take form in the 12th century and by the 15th century it had the basic structure that continues to this day.
In the Church of England, Father John Mason Neale (1818-1866) revived interest in Eucharistic Adoration among Anglicans when he made it a part of the devotional life of the nuns of the Society of Saint Margaret. Father Neale saw Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and Eucharistic Exposition as the logical devotional expression of the Church Catholic’s understanding of the Real Presence.