Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cardinal Burke reflects on Easter in Rome

(Vatican Radio) After Jerusalem, Rome is viewed as the most important place of pilgrimage to mark the passion death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. During Holy Week the Pope, who is also the Bishop of Rome, presides over the main liturgical ceremonies including the celebration of the In Coena Domini and Chrism Masses.

Rome’s Coliseum takes centre stage on Good Friday for the celebration of the Via Crucis or Stations of the Cross.

And on Easter Sunday the Holy Father, following the celebration of Mass in the splendor of St Peter’s Square, gives an address to the City of Rome and the World, Urbi et Orbi.

But apart from the main events of this, the most important week in the Churches liturgical calendar, the city also plays host to pilgrims who want to meditate on this solemn occasion. The faithful can make a visit to seven churches in what is called the Seven Churches Visitation.

This pilgrimage practice began in Rome, where people visited the seven Roman basilicas, which include St Peter’s and St John Lateran, for prayer and adoration.

Reflecting on Holy Week and the Easter Triduum in Rome, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura says “it (Rome) has a certain proper sense as a place of pilgrimage because it is the Seat of Peter who is the Vicar of Christ… and so celebrating the Easter mysteries here, we have the profound sense of celebrating them with Our Lord himself.”

Cardinal Burke also describes the visiting of churches in the city on Holy Thursday as an effective means of deepening the spiritual experience of these days. “We leave in a way the ordinary circumstances of our life to do this extraordinary activity of visiting these seven churches. Listen
Text from page
of the Vatican Radio website

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