Liturgy Corner

Carmel Parish Bulletin articles from the Liturgy Committee


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Let Him Easter in Us

Carmel Bulletin, 14 May 2017

Paschal Candle 2017Throughout the season of Easter, the paschal candle is given a prominent and special place near the ambo or altar of the church.  The candle is lit at the Easter Vigil Mass each year as the primary symbol of the light of Christ breaking through the darkness of death and sin.

Each year our paschal candle is crafted by nuns of the Benedictine Abbey, Jamberoo, where Carmelite Fr Paul Gurr serves as chaplain.  The design on this year’s candle has been prepared by the nuns, with artwork by Josephite Sr Dorothy Woodward.  The nuns offer this commentary on the candle design for 2017:

It features the Risen Christ bursting forth from the tomb in glory! Artists down through the centuries have used the image of the tombstone shattering to symbolize the energy, passion, power and sheer joy of the Resurrection moment for Christ and all humankind.
Easter Sunday shatters many things –
Gone is darkness and death!
Gone hopelessness and despair!
Gone fear and dread!
Gone our Lenten fast and discipline!
And from all that “gone-ness” and shattering,
NEW LIFE bursts forth, filling the void with light, joy, feasting, celebration and the singing of Alleluias!

As we light our Paschal Candles in 2017,
may Christ, the Risen One,
“Easter in us” … Easter in our world! Alleluia!

Let Him Easter in us,
be a dayspring to the dimness of us.
Gerard Manley Hopkins


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Sprinkling with Holy Water

IMG_6354One way in which we mark the Easter Season in the celebration of the Sunday Mass at Wentworthville is by using the rite of sprinkling of holy water.  When it is celebrated, it takes the place of the usual Penitential Act in the Introductory Rites.

As the texts used for this rite make clear, sprinkling holy water is intended to remind us of our baptism.  Through baptism, we are freed from sin and share in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which we celebrate particularly during this season.


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When’s Easter This Year?

Lent and Easter are very early this year.  In fact, Ash Wednesday is only a week and a half away, on 10 February.

Easter Sunday, and consequently the weeks of Lent and Easter either side of it, is obviously not determined by a fixed date.  It is set by looking to the cycles of the earth and skies.

Full moonIn the Roman Catholic tradition, Easter Sunday is the Sunday that follows the first full moon after the autumn (for us, or spring, for those in the northern hemisphere) equinox, with the Church setting 21 March as the approximate date for that equinox.  This was determined at the Council of Nicaea in 325 (the same council that began to formalise the Creed we pray most Sundays).

That “first full moon” this year is on 23 March, so Easter Sunday will follow on 27 March.   It is often different to the date for Jewish Passover, which is determined according to the Jewish calendar.  It also varies often to the date for Easter in the Orthodox tradition, where the Julian calendar is still used (rather than the Gregorian calendar that is used in our Church and secularly in Australia).  On some occasions, however, we have the fortunate coincidence of two, or all three of those dates aligning.

Of course, an early Easter also means that our younger parishioners will have another two weeks at school after Easter before their next holiday break!

Image credit: Full moon by Jose Manuel Podlech on flickr, used under Creative Commons licence


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8/5/11 – The Easter Season

We are now one week into the Season of Easter.  Such is the joy of the resurrection that we spend fifty days celebrating the passing over of Christ from death to new life.

Our Introductory Rites during the Easter season focus on the Rite of Sprinkling Holy Water.  For us as Catholics, we believe that in baptism, we share in Christ’s passover from death to new life.  It is only fitting then, that we are reminded of our baptism in such a way during the fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost.

The Easter season is also the one season during the liturgical year when we listen to readings from the Acts of the Apostles.  We are reminded of how the early followers of Jesus spread the Good News in the weeks, months and years following the resurrection.  While the apostles were frightened at first, they went on to become bold ambassadors, preachers and teachers of the message of Christ.  The very use of the word apostle is important.  The word comes from the ancient Greek word apostolos, meaning one sent forth as a messenger.

During the Easter season, we are, like the first apostles, called to celebrate the resurrection and share the gospel of Jesus with others.  Those of us at the Easter Vigil heard our newest Catholics boldly profess their faith in Christ so they could be baptised and share in the Christ’s death and resurrection.  The challenge for them now, like all of us, is the same is that which the apostles were faced with.  We pray that God will fill us with the same boldness and courage and allow us continue to build up God’s people on earth.


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25/4/10 – The Easter Season

We are now about half-way through the Season of Easter.  Such is the joy of the resurrection that we spend fifty days celebrating the passing over of Christ from death to new life.

Our Introductory Rites during the Easter season focus on the Rite of Sprinkling Holy Water.  For us as Catholics, we believe that in baptism, we share in Christ’s passover from death to new life.  It is only fitting then, that we are reminded of our baptism in such a way during the fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost.

The Easter season is also the one season during the liturgical year when we listen to readings from the Acts of the Apostles.  We are reminded of how the early followers of Jesus spread the Good News in the weeks, months and years following the resurrection.  While the apostles were frightened at first, they went on to become bold ambassadors, preachers and teachers of the message of Christ.  The very use of the word apostle is important.  The word comes from the ancient Greek word apostolos, meaning one sent forth as a messenger.
What are we called to do once we walk out the door of the church?

During the Easter season, we are, like the first apostles, called to celebrate the resurrection and share the Good News of Jesus with others.  It may not require us to “preach boldly” in the same way Peter and Paul did, taking the very real risk of being driven out of town.  Maybe at times it does.  Perhaps the challenge for us is to pay attention to our actions, and the way we relate to others in our everyday lives.  Yet we are still sent forth from the Eucharistic celebration; to “go in peace to love and serve the Lord.”

So during this Easter season, take some time to ask yourself this question: What does Christ call me to do each Sunday once I walk out the Church doors?