Lenten Liturgy: Pink and Purple
The characteristic austerity and conversion associated with Lent are also reflected in the liturgical directives during these forty days. Like Advent, we use two liturgical colors during Lent: violet and rose. Violet is utilized in penitential seasons and rituals. In addition, it is associated with prayers of deliverance from evil. For these reasons the confessor wears a purple stole during the sacrament of Reconciliation and also purple vesture during house blessings and exorcisms. Violet is also an optional color that may be worn for any funereal liturgies throughout the year. In all these celebrations the color purple takes on a somber, serious meaning. We use purple when we must be serious about matters like death, sin, and the evil one. Lent is not meant to be morose, however, so halfway through the forty days we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday, wherein we wear rose colored vestments and adorn the sanctuary with flowers and generously play instruments. The light and airy color of pink reminds us that, amidst the severity of Lent, Easter is almost here. Today we celebrate Laetare Sunday.
Corporal Works of Mercy: Giving to the poor in the form of alms is a hallmark of Lent and Christian discipleship. Every month in our parish tithing envelopes and through special fundraisers we have the opportunity to give to our “Corporal Works of Mercy.” 100% of the donations you generously give to this special fund go to assist the poor and hungry. The majority of the funds are used to help our parish St. Vincent de Paul Society conference help those who come to us with demonstrable needs for utilities, furniture, and food. We also give monies from this fund to the Bethlehem House, Operation Others, and homeless shelters, The Stephen Center and Siena/Francis House. Thank you for your goodness and love of the poor.
Participation and the St. Michael Prayer: To help greater participation in the Mass you’ll find new, easy-to-use Mass cards in your pews with the musical notation and words for the basic parts of the Mass. Moreover, on the backside of the card you’ll find the words to the St. Michael Prayer with which we end every Mass. Why do we pray the St. Michael Prayer at the end of Mass? Inspired by the words and request of Pope Leo XIII, the Church officially added the Prayer to St. Michael, composed by Pope Leo XIII, at the end of Masses. These additions were known as the Leonine Prayers. As a result of the revisions of the Mass at Vatican II, these prayers are no longer mandated in the Mass but nothing prevents the recitation of the St. Michael Prayer after Mass is concluded. After all, we often pray public rosaries or other prayers immediately after Mass.
Regarding the prayer, St. John Paul II asked everyone “not to forget it, and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world,” (Regina Caeli, April 24, 1994). Moreover, early in his pontificate, Pope Francis, with Pope Benedict XVI in attendance, consecrated the Vatican to St. Michael. During this rite on July 7, 2013, Pope Francis said:
We are not alone on the journey or in the trials of life, we are accompanied and supported by the Angels of God, who offer, so to speak, their wings to help us overcome so many dangers, in order to fly high compared to those realities that can weigh down our lives or drag us down. In consecrating Vatican City State to St Michael the Archangel, I ask him to defend us from the evil one and banish him.
With the violence and numbers of homicides in our own city and throughout the country; the atrocities committed against the unborn, the aged, and the suffering; the assault upon the Church and religious freedom; the dissolution of the family; and the threats of terrorism, hatreds, and wars, now more than ever do we need the divine assistance and defense of the angels. Who better to call upon than the very angel who knocked Satan out of Heaven (Rev. 12:7ff)? St. Michael, pray for and protect us.
R. E. Director Farewell: It is with great sadness that I inform you of Ann Warner’s decision to retire from the position of Director of Religious Education here at Christ the King. I have greatly enjoyed working with Ann and have always appreciated her zeal and care for the catechists and children in our program, her organizational diligence and planning, her industriousness, and her abundant love of God. She will be greatly missed and hard to replace. Ann will continue to work as our R.E. Director through June. In the meantime, I will be advertising for the position. Please pray for Ann and her family in gratitude for her years of service.
A Word from our Religious Education Director
Dear Christ the King Parishioners,
After much serious thought and prayer, I have decided to conclude my ministry as the Religious Education Administrator at the conclusion of this school year. As our family has recently been blessed with two grandchildren, my husband and I know that this is the time to focus on our beloved children and their growing families.
The last nine years have been a tremendous blessing to me in serving in this ministry. I have loved sharing my faith and witnessing the Catholic beliefs and teachings that the faith-filled catechists have shared in their words and lives with the children and their families. Let me just say, Christ the King has fantastic catechists and evangelists! How fortunate I have been to work with them and witness their love and devotion for the children, their faith and their apostolate.
How honored I have been in having the incredible privilege to work with the families who have children preparing for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion each year. Watching the little ones receive the Eucharist for the first time is always an awe-inspiring moment. I will always treasure those occasions.
It has been such an overwhelming pleasure working with Father Stillmunks, who hired me, Bishop Hanefeldt, before his promotion to the hinterlands, and for the last two years with Father Cook. I have always been supported in my ministry and have loved working with and for these holy men. I thank them for all of the opportunities and support they have always given me!
Christ the King Religious Education, School, and Parish will always have a special place in my heart and in my prayers. I hope you will from time to time think of me and say a prayer for my family and me, too. Please accept my sincere appreciation for your commitment and devotion to the religious education of our children. How blessed I have been and how grateful I will always be!
With great affection,
St. Joseph Altar Festivities: Christ the King Church is again hosting a St. Joseph Altar, a devotional event that inspires souls and benefits the poor. How can you and your friends and co-workers take part? There are multiple aspects to the festivities and you can register on Sign-up Genius to donate foods, assist in the luncheon, deliver foods to the poor, etc., at goo.gl/RSbO4f.
Decorative Breads and Pastries: First, this is an opportunity to strut your baking skills, all for the Lord! You can make breads, cookies, cakes, and pastries that are made in the shape of the cross, carpenter’s tools, lambs, lilies, flowers, and other creative Christian symbols. These beautiful creations will be displayed before the statue of St. Joseph in the church from 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 19th, through 1 p.m. on Monday, March 20th. Come and marvel at the creativity of fellow parishioners and bakers.
Special Mass and Traditional Tupa-Tupa Ceremony: In honor of St. Joe, we’ll also have our school Mass at a different, special time of 9:30 a.m. on Monday, March 20th. All children of the parish who are in second grade or younger are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Saint to participate in the brief and fun “Tupa-Tupa” ceremony after the Mass in which the children reenact the Holy Family’s travels to Bethlehem. The devotions in the church conclude with a blessing of the St. Joseph Altar.
Food for the Poor: The St. Joseph Altar is also more than a day to create Christian baked goods, it is also a day in which we care for the poor. In addition to the decorative breads, we are also accepting packaged breads, pastries, cakes, sealed sweets, and fresh fruit. These latter items will all be hand-delivered to the homeless shelters and sites for aging seniors in Omaha. All food items, whether decorative or packaged, should be dropped off upon the designated tables of the northeast church hallway between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 19th.
Free-Will Pasta Lunch to Benefit the Poor: Lastly, we encourage everyone to attend our free-will luncheon between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the CtK Parish Center on March 20th. Enjoy the flavorful and authentic dishes associated with the St. Joseph Altar that began in Sicily: pasta and delicious, meatless marinara sauce; special soup; fresh bread, salad, and dessert. All of the free-will offerings from the luncheon will go towards our parish’s outreach to the poor, especially those needing help with rent, utilities, lodging, food and clothing, etc. Rather than spend your lunch break at a restaurant on Monday, March 20th, bring your colleagues and coworkers to Christ the King! It’s a fantastic way in Lent to help the poor and to evangelize through the goodness of food.
Rite of Election: Tonight our catechumens and candidates, who have been gathering regularly in our RCIA sessions since September, will pledge their intention to join the Catholic Church at the Rite of Election at the Cathedral. Catechumens are those who have never been baptized. Candidates are baptized, non-Catholic Christians. Both groups will meet the Archbishop tonight and, afterwards, our catechumens will sign their names in the Book of the Elect. From this day forward, they will no longer be known as catechumens and candidates but as the “elect.” Please pray for these good men and women who are journeying toward full communion with us.
Fr. Catania’s Story & Mass: Fr. Jason Catania, our part-time parish parochial vicar, invites you to a special presentation and Q&A about his transition from Episcopalian priest to Catholic priest. Learn about, and actually experience, his community’s unique and beautiful liturgy. All are invited to attend Tuesday, March 21. Presentation: 6 p.m. (Parish Center); Special Mass of the Personal Ordinariate: 7 p.m. (CtK Church); Refreshments: 8 p.m. (Parish Center)
Meatless Fridays: All Catholics 14 years of age and older are required to give up meat every Friday in Lent as a sacrificial penance.
St. Patrick’s Day & Meat: While the Catholic Church prohibits eating meat on Fridays during Lent, Archbishop George Lucas is dispensing Catholics in the Archdiocese of Omaha from this observance for St. Patrick’s Day, citing the tradition of having meals of corned beef and cabbage. However, those choosing to eat meat on St. Patrick’s Day are required to abstain from meat on Saturday, March 18.
Thursday Confessions: As part of The Light is On campaign to renew participation in the beautiful sacrament of Reconciliation, we, along with other parishes in the city, will offer the Sacrament of Confession from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. in the church on the Thursdays of Lent: March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and April 6. Please take advantage of the gift of Jesus’ mercy at these special times.
40 Days for Life: March 1 – April 9 you are invited to join other Christians for 40 days of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion. You’re also invited to stand and peacefully pray during a 40-day vigil in the public right-of-way outside Planned Parenthood and the Abortion and Contraception Clinic of Nebraska (Christ the King’s date and time TBD), and also to help spread the word about this important community outreach. Please join us in prayer!
2018 Pilgrimage to Italy w/ Frs. Cook & Zoucha: You are invited to attend a pilgrimage to the holy sites in Rome, Assisi, and Siena, Italy with Frs. Cook and Zoucha next year, June 12-21, 2018. The pilgrimage is organized and professionally led by ChiRho Euro with whom Fr. Cook has worked twice before. Stay in Assisi and Rome. Pilgrimages with Frs. Cook and Zoucha are playful, friendly, informative, and prayerful. To learn more about the pilgrimage, please contact the Christ the King parish office (402) 391-3606 and/or attend a brief informational meeting on Tuesday, March 7th at 7 p.m. in the Christ the King Parish Center, 654 S. 86 St., Omaha.
Fr. Boyd Away at Conference: Fr. Boyd will be away from the parish to attend classes March 6-10. He’ll utilize the training he receives to help us as a parish provide greater counsel and spiritual assistance to those suffering from the impact of pornography.
Lent & RCIA: This coming Wednesday marks the beginning of the forty days of Lent. The season originated as a time of intense preparation and purification of catechumens, unbaptized adults seeking baptism, just before their reception into the Catholic Faith at Easter. This is why you will witness special rituals for our catechumens and our candidates, baptized non-Catholic Christians joining the Church, on some of the Sundays of Lent. Many of you have met and walked with these good men and women in Discovering Christ and Following Christ. Please pray for them in a special way, offering up your penances and sacrifices for them.
Lent is a grand opportunity for all of us who have been baptized to celebrate grace and recommit ourselves to our baptismal promises: to renounce Satan and all of his works, and to embrace Jesus Christ and our Catholic Faith in a deeper way. Please ask the Holy Spirit to guide your Lenten devotions and sacrifices; ask the Lord what would please Him the most: Praying with Sacred Scripture; increasing prayer time; going to Reconciliation more often; attending Stations of the Cross; assisting at daily Mass; performing greater works of charity; giving alms to the poor; visiting the sick and elderly; forgiving a longtime grievance; donating time to assist pregnant mothers in need; helping a refugee family; praying daily the Divine Mercy Chaplet; or living more simply. Whatever God calls you to do, don’t be afraid to enter into the desert with Christ.
Ash Wednesday: March 1st is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Masses with the distribution of ashes will occur that day at 6:30 a.m., 8:15 a.m., 12:10 p.m. and 6 p.m. Please remember that this is a day of fasting for all people 59 years old and younger and also a day of abstaining from meat for all people 14 years and older.
40 Days for Life: March 1 – April 9 you’re invited to join other Christians for 40 days of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion. You’re also invited to stand and peacefully pray during a 40-day vigil in the public right-of-way outside Planned Parenthood and the Abortion and Contraception Clinic of Nebraska (Christ the King’s date and time TBD), and also to help spread the word about this important community outreach. Please join us in prayer!
Parish Fish Fry: The Knights of Columbus will be hosting their first fish fry on Friday, March 3rd from 5:00-7:30 p.m.
Christ the King Parish - 654 S. 86th Street Omaha, NE 68114 - 402-391-3606 - firstname.lastname@example.orgChrist the King Catholic School - 831 S. 88th Street Omaha, NE 68114 - 402-391-0977 - email@example.com
Site by Solutio