Holy Week Begins
Palm Sunday is the final Sunday
of Lent, and marks the beginning
of Holy Week.
The palm fronds we are given at Mass today are for a ceremonial reenactment of Jesus's arrival in Jerusalem just days before his crucifixion and death.
The palms we receive today will be returned to the church next year, to be burned to provide ashes for Ash Wednesday 2017. In the meantime, they are typically displayed somewhere in the home. In my case, my palm frond will be placed behind the crucifix near the door to my apartment.
|Photo by Josh Meier, taken in the Cedar Valley, northeast Iowa|
Because 2016 is a Leap Year, the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere occurs on the 20th of March instead of the 21st.
Speaking for myself, I'm not going to miss the winter.
The trees in my neck of the woods still look pretty barren, but you can tell it won't be long before the trees are green again.
I spotted a robin yesterday, too, a sure sign that spring is back.
|"And once the ground is unfrozen for good..."|
Yes, yes...you'll be eat-murdering ant colonies again any day now...
|George Niang scored 28 points to lead the Cyclones|
The NCAA Tournament resumed yesterday, and the results were mostly satisfactory.
The No. 4-seeded Iowa State Cyclones beat No. 12 seed Arkansas-Little Rock 78-61 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. They'll face No. 1 seed Virginia in Chicago next Friday.
In other action, the Catholic schools went 1-1 on the day. Providence got blown out by No. 1-seeded North Carolina, but No. 11-seeded Gonzaga upset No. 3 seed Utah.
Today Xavier, Villanova, Notre Dame, and St. Joseph's will all play for a chance to be part of the Sweet Sixteen. Only St. Joseph's (who faces No. 1-seeded Oregon) is not the higher-seeded team in their game today.
From the droll comic strip FoxTrot, by Bill Amend, which you should read every Sunday, as I do. This one first appeared on April 13, 2003.
[Note: If you don't get the joke, it's because you don't remember these, of which I was an owner. I also owned one of these.]
Until Next Time...Holy Week means I'll be hearing some of my favorite liturgical music.
One such piece is Christus factus est,
a gradual typically included in the liturgy on Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday.
The Latin text, which is based on an epistle of St. Paul, has been set to music
by many different composers. Austrian composer Anton Bruckner set the traditional chant to music three different times. The third of these, a motet for SATB choir a cappella in D minor, is my personal favorite.
Today's send-off is a live concert performance of the Bruckner piece by the Dutch group Vocaal ensemble Cantando. It was recorded on Valentine's Day in 2011. Enjoy...