Carmelite Events

The Easter Triduum

Sister Helena - Monday, April 01, 2013
Alleluia! This wonderful word of praise echoes in all the liturgies and chants of the Church during this Easter season. It is the praise of the People of God in celebration of the redemption wrought by the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord. The Carmelite Sisters at St. Teresa’s Motherhouse in Germantown, New York thank God for all the blessings bestowed, personally and as Community, throughout the Lenten season. We look forward to the graces promised during this Eastertime and share them with our staff, volunteers, family members and beloved residents. The Sacred Triduum was celebrated at Saint Teresa’s Chapel in Germantown, New York with much solemnity and joy. We are very grateful to have three Carmelite Friars, Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O.Carm., Rev. Sunny Mathew, O.Carm., and Fr. Joseph Nguyen Do, O.Carm., join our Chaplain, Rev. Joseph Finch, in celebrating the liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil as well as Easter Sunday. The participation of the Carmelite Pre-Novices also enhanced our celebration and added warmth and joy to our Carmelite family. The beauty and freshness of springtime extends themselves to our Chapel as we marveled at the transformation Sister Ambrose brought to the celebration. It brings to mind the words from the Book of Revelation, “See I make all things new!” (21:5). The Celebration of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday reminded us once again as Carmelites of our special vocation to the Holy Priesthood. The Eucharist and priesthood are inseparable. Our devotion to the first necessitates love for the second. The call and example of service that Jesus gave His disciples, confirm for us the words of our Foundress, Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, of bringing Christ to every resident under our care. We joined the Universal Church in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament until midnight.             The Celebration of Our Lord’s Passion on Good Friday brought with it an unusual excitement! During the reading of the Passion, the doorbell rang- and never stopped ringing! The sound of a loud, persistent doorbell- followed by the fire alarm- set off some Sisters running out of Chapel to investigate. Three fire trucks arrived, the services put to a halt, and a Chapel full of Sisters, employees and visitors, waited with patience, calm and wonder at what was happening. The alarm was set off by a smoke from a doorbell annunciator. The services resumed at the veneration of the Cross and we were once again brought back to the somber moment of the celebration.       At the evening twilight of the Easter Vigil, as the Universal Church gathered in anticipation, the Light of Christ shone brightly in the darkness of our Chapel. As from centuries past until the present, from dark catacombs of the early Christians to the beautiful cathedrals of the Catholic world, new sons and daughters of the Church were born on this special night, sprinkled with the waters and renewed by the words of their baptismal promises. Christ indeed has arisen! At the end of our Easter Vigil, Sisters and guests gathered to enjoy a simple token of Avila hospitality. Amidst the gaiety of songs and laughter, the anticipation of the great tomorrow has begun.                             Easter Sunday was a beautiful sunny and cool day. Father Joseph Nguyen Do, O.Carm., was the main celebrant and the Gospel story of St. Mary Magdalene was again recounted. Love is the theme of St. John’s Resurrection account. Just as Jesus died for love of us, Mary Magdalene hastened to the tomb on that special morning in love. “Love is repaid by love alone,” says St. John of the Cross. Mary Magdalene went to the empty tomb a disciple and walked away as the apostle to the Apostles bearing the good news that He has risen!             The celebration concluded with a special meal prepared by our wonderful kitchen staff and enjoyed by the Sisters and all of our Guests. At the conclusion of the feast and in the great Carmelite tradition, we invoked Mary, Queen and Mother of Carmel, and together sang the “Regina Coeli” in her honor.
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