Church Preparation for Holy Week.
In order to celebrate the events of Holy Week in a more meaningful way, this year we will draw from an ancient custom in the church which many of you will remember, that from Palm Sunday through to the Easter Vigil, we are covering all the statues and images of Jesus, Mary and the Saints in penitential purple cloth, so as to more readily enter into the great mysteries of our faith, Christ's life, death and resurrection. This will heighten our senses to the absence of sacramentals in the church, helping us to move prayerfully into the mystery of Holy Week. This will be at its most intense following Mass on Holy Thursday, when in preparation for Good Friday and Holy Saturday, the altar is stripped of its cloth and linens, the Blessed Sacrament is removed from the Tabernacle and all candles are extinguished. We also have no holy water in the fonts to bless ourselves with. These external signs and preparations will help prepare us for the glory and beauty of the Easter Vigil ceremony and our celebration of the Risen Lord.