|Dear Parishioners of St. Sebastian,
We trust that you and your family will find the most suitable way at this difficult time to respect the church’s ancient traditions of sacred prayer during this most holy week. There is nothing more central to Christians than Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. Please see some opportunities below to join us and offer your prayers in gratitude for our Lord’s saving action, freeing all from the bonds of sin and death.
Palm/Passion Sunday Mass – We will make a video link available on the parish website after 7:30 a.m. April 5 and encourage our community to participate. Fr. Peter Patrick will be presiding with Fr. Larry Chapman concelebrating and preaching. Originally, the intention was to have the large “cluster” Mass for Palm Sunday at St. Catherine’s at 10:00 a.m. Technical complications prohibiting us from recording Mass at St. Catherine, so, you will see this Mass at St. Sebastian with music provided by St. Catherine.
Triduum (three holy days) – The Archbishop has mandated that any parishes celebrating the Triduum and wishing to broadcast it, must do so “live” – in real time. We will send an email each day inviting you to join our parish Facebook site at the days and the times below. You do not need to be a Facebook member to watch the video. We also will provide activities for families and children.
- Holy Thursday Mass – Fr. Peter Patrick will preside, with Fr. Larry Chapman concelebrating and preaching. It will be offered through live streaming that day, starting at 7:00 p.m. at St. Sebastian, with St. Sebastian providing music.
- Good Friday – Fr. Peter Patrick will preside, with Fr. Larry concelebrating. The service will be offered through live streaming that day, starting at 1:00 p.m. at St. Catherine, with St. Catherine providing music.
- Holy Saturday Easter Vigil – Fr. Peter Patrick will preside, with Fr. Larry Chapman concelebrating. The Mass will be offered through live streaming that day, starting at 8:00 p.m. at St. Sebastian, with St. Sebastian providing the music.
Easter Sunday – We are still making plans and will alert you when they are formalized.
Given the serious health concerns with which everyone is dealing, the Archdiocese has simplified all Holy Week liturgies. Palm Sunday will forego the opening Gospel, Blessing of Palms (which are forbidden to distribute) and the Procession. For Holy Thursday, the washing of feet as well as the traditional concluding procession with the Blessed Sacrament are both omitted. On Good Friday, only the Presider may reverence the cross. On Holy Saturday, the Easter Vigil, there will be no blessing of fire nor procession with the new Paschal Candle. The liturgy will begin with a simple lighting of the candle. No baptisms nor Rites of Christian Initiation (RCIA) may be celebrated. Throughout, we are keeping the absolute minimum number of people physically present in the church for all events.
Please know that the Pastor, the Pastoral Staff and all who minister at St. Sebastian hold up our wonderful community in prayer. Please pray for all of us – especially for all those devastated by the direct and indirect effects of this pandemic. We are called to a deeper understanding of and living out of our faith. Can we, as a society and especially as a faith community, rise from the pain of isolation, illness and unemployment, to resiliently and faithfully live out a gospel of hope that is grounded in the Risen Christ?
Let us stand up together in prayer, humbled in our experience and exalted in our faith!
Pastoral Associate, St. Sebastian
Fr. Peter Patrick
Pastor, St. Sebastian