Holy Week 2022: Easter Day

Easter Day will be celebrated in a High Mass in the traditional Latin form at St. Stanislaus Church, State Street at Eld Street, in New Haven on Sunday, April 17, at 2:00 pm. The Celebrant will be The Reverend Jan Pikulski.

The Feast of Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day after his death on the cross on Good Friday. The Resurrection is the climax of Holy Week, and, indeed of the entire Church Year, as it represents the central tenet of Christian belief: Christ’s triumph over sin and death and redemption of fallen mankind.

Jesus confounded the powers of evil by clothing in glory the Body which had been the Victim of the cruelty of sinful man. Christ’s triumph over depth is the most conclusive proof of His divinity and is thus the foundation of our faith. “God hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. He hath raised us up together with Christ and hath made us sit together in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 2.6)

Let us joyfully keep this day on which our Lord has restored life to us in His own rising from the dead, and affirm with the Church that “the Lord is risen indeed.” In following Him, let us make our Easter a passing to an entirely new and righteous way of life.

Music for the service, sung by the full Schola Cantorum of The Saint Gregory Society, will include the Gregorian chant proper, “Resurrexi,” the Mass ordinary “Lux et origo” (Vatican Edition I), motets by François Couperin and Jean-François Lallouette, and organ music by François Couperin and Louis Marchand.

Holy Week 2022: Good Friday

The Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday will be celebrated in the traditional Latin form at St. Stanislaus Church in New Haven on April 15, at 11:00 A.M. The Reverend Jan Pikulski will be the celebrant.

The Good Friday liturgy is at once one of the most dramatic and austere services of the Church Year. It is comprised of four parts: the lessons, solemn orations, adoration of the cross, and communion.  The externals of this service are marked by both a solemnity and simplicity appropriate to the day.  The altar is bare except for one cloth, the missal stand is not covered, the vestments are black for the first portions of the service and violet for the communion, and bells are not rung.

Most striking perhaps is the Adoration of the Cross in which the priest progressively unveils the cross and thrice chants, each time on a higher pitch, Ecce Lignum Crucis (Behold the Wood of the Cross).  After the cross the unveiled, it is laid on a cushion and the clergy and servers venerate it by removing their shoes and making three double genuflections as they advance toward it before kissing it.  Removing shoes is a common act of piety in the Coptic Rite (Catholic and Orthodox), and reminds us that God told Moses to remove his sandals since he was standing on holy ground (Exodus 3:5).  During the Adoration of the Cross the “Reproaches” are sung by the choir.

Besides the Kyrie regularly sung at Mass, the Reproaches are the only other liturgical text in the Roman Rite in which Greek is used. The Trisagion is sung in both Greek and Latin and is another indication of how ancient certain elements of the Good Friday liturgy are.  Other reminders of the antiquity of this rite are its simplicity with the use of one altar cloth and the rather abrupt beginning of the service with a lack of preparatory prayers.

Music for the service, sung by the Schola Cantorum of the St. Gregory Society, will include Tomás Luis de Victoria’s “Reproaches,” motets by Palestrina, and Loyset Compère, and the proper Gregorian chants.

Holy Week: Blessing of Palms, Procession, and High Mass

Palm Sunday will be celebrated in the traditional Latin form in the Blessing of Palms, Procession and High Mass at St. Stanislaus Church, State Street at Eld Street, in New Haven on April 10, at 2:00 pm. The celebrant will be the Rever­end Jan Pikulski.

In the liturgy of Palm Sunday, the two-fold point of view from which the Church regards the Cross is expressed in two ceremonies, one marked by joy and the other by sadness. First comes the Blessing and Procession of Palms, in which everything overflows with a holy joy, enabling us after twenty centuries to revive the spirit of the magnificent scene of our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Then follows the Mass with its chants and lessons relating exclusively to the sorrowful memory of our Redeem­er’s Passion.

We should keep carefully a blessed palm branch in our home. This palm is a sacramental, and, fastened to our crucifix, should serve to remind us of the victory gained for us by Christ on the Cross.

Music for the service performed by members of the Schola Cantorum of the St. Gregory Society, will include the proper Gregorian chants for the the Blessing of Palms, Procession and Mass, the Missa ‘Orbis Factor’ ordinary (Vatican ed. XI), the motet “Adoramus te, Christe” by Orlando di Lasso, and the plainsong hymn, “Vexilla Regis prodeunt.”

 

High Mass for Laetare Sunday

The Fourth Sunday in Lent or “Laetare Sunday” will be celebrated in a Latin High Mass at St. Stanislaus Church, State Street at Eld Street, in New Haven on March 27, at 2:00 pm.  The celebrant will be the Reverend Jan Pikulski.

Laetare Sunday marks the midpoint of the season of Lent in preparation for the great feast of Easter. On this day the Church takes “time out” from the penitential emphasis in the texts of the liturgy in Lent to encourage Christians with the reminder of the great reward of Christ’s redemptive presence in the world. The opening Introit at Mass “Laetare, Jerusalem” exhorts us as citizens of the New Jerusalem to rejoice as we enter the house of the Lord; the Epistle encourages us to rejoice in Christ as the true Moses who has released us from the bondage of the law and sin; and the Gospel, presenting the miracle of the multiplication of  loaves and fishes, reminds us to rejoice in the Eucharist, which is the figure of the heavenly banquet.

This spirit of rejoicing is reflected in the use of rose-colored vestments and the organ on this Sunday.  Fortified by this liturgy filled with thought of Easter, let us go forward in the second half of Lent with courage and generosity in our penance, prayer and charitable works.

Music for the service performed by members of the Schola Cantorum of the St. Gregory Society, will include the Gregorian chant proper for the Mass (Laetare), the motets “Memento salutis auctor” and “Ave verum Corpus” by William Byrd, and organ music by Byrd and Orlando Gibbons.