"For an extraordinary week, PLDM goes extraordinary," Rev. Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo said in his column, Tinig ng Pastol, in Daloy, the official newsletter of the Parish of the Lord of the Divine Mercy.
It was truly an extraordinary week, from Palm Sunday, the parish community with the Latin Mass Society of St. Joseph celebrated Palm Sunday using the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, the Missal of Pope Pius V reissued by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962. The traditional Palm Sunday solemn litugy started with the blessing and procession of palms and after which the solemn celebration of Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
On Maundy Thursday, the first day of the Easter Triduum, commemorates the Institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper and the Ordination of the Holy Apostles was a Mass of joy and thanksgiving.
The PLDM choir together with the Latin Mass Society of St. Joseph choir with great joy sung the Gloria with bells ringing giving glory and praise to God. The glorious celebration seems to have taken a slower pace when Fr. Zerrudo began changing his clothes, exchanging his beautiful roman chasuble with that of an ordinary cloth, knelt before the twelve scavengers to wash their feet.
"Mandatum novum do vobis: ut diligatis invicem, sicut dilexi vos, dicit Dominus. Beati immaculati in via: qui ambulant in lege Domini. Mandatum novum..." A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, saith the Lord. Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord. A new commandment ." After communion, the Sacred Hosts were vacated and transfered in a solemn procession to the Altar of Repose or Holy Sepulchre where it will remain until Good Friday. The commemoration ended with the stripping of the altar, "Diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea: et super vestem meam miserunt sortem," They parted my garments amongst them, and upon my vesture they cast lots.
The Good Friday's solemn liturgy began with Father Zerrudo and Father Rivera as deacon, prostrating themselves before the stripped altar. It then followed by readings from the scripture, a prayer followed by St. John's Passion narrative.
During the third part of the sacred liturgy, came the unveiling and adoration of cross by Father Zerrudo, Father Rivera and the rest of the faithful assisting at the sacred liturgy. To show their deep love, adoration and reverence to the our Lord Jesus, the people walked with their knees towards the Holy Cross.
The Blessing of Fire and lighting of the Paschal Candle began the Easter Vigil solemn liturgy. As the whole church was surrounded by darkness, the Paschal Candle, symbolizing Christ, the Light of the World, was the only light seen and as it processed towards the altar, it became to source of light of the faithful. "Lumen Christi!" Father Zerrudo exclaims thrice.
As Father reached the Altar, he read the Paschal Proclamation: "Exsultet iam angelica turba caelorum" Let the angelic choirs of Heaven now rejoice... The lessons were then read and after which the first part Litany of the Saints were chanted. The Blessing of the Baptismal Water came after and a catechumen was baptized and confirmed after which the rest of the faithful led by Father Zerrudo renewed their baptismal promises.
Then after the second part of the Litany of the Saints came the Holy Sacrifice of Mass starting with the Kyrie and incensation of the Altar.
Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved in this extraordinary endeavor for allowing us to reflect and meditate upon the sacred passion, sacrifice and victory of our Lord amidst a world that takes for granted and looks at Holy Week ordinarily as any other week.
Christ is Risen Alleluia!