Young people prepare to pray at home during the Coronavirus.

Dear friends:

Hopefully you are aware that for many years, especially since the Second Vatican Council, the Church has referred to how we live the faith in our homes as the Domestic Church.

Recognizing the incredibly unusual circumstance of not being able to gather for Mass on weekends, and anticipating the unprecedented nature of celebrating Holy Week and Easter at home rather than in our churches, we have prepared materials for you to maintain your faith at home, and better enable you to live more fully the life as Domestic Church.

Here is a link to our resources at the Archdiocese of Seattle

The USCCB resources may be found here. 

I know how very difficult it is being unable to gather on Sundays to celebrate and receive the Eucharist. Believe me, we as pastors long for the day when we can return to these cherished sacramental celebrations together with all of you! I also know it will be a grave hardship to celebrate Holy Week and Easter apart from these beautiful liturgies and reception of the sacraments.

My heart goes out most especially to the approximate 1,100 people in the Archdiocese of Seattle who would be received into the Church during our Easter celebrations. Your day will soon come!

For now, let us not lose sight of the Lord’s promise to remain with us always. Holy Week and Easter are still on the horizon, and the Church will celebrate the Resurrection!

I hope you find these resources helpful. Feel free to augment and celebrate with your own traditions. For instance, when we were young, mom would require the house be silent on Good Friday from Noon t0 3:00 – the time that Jesus spent on the cross and died for us. Normally, in that timeframe would also include attending Good Friday service at our parish.

Then, once the period of silence was over, we colored our Easter eggs for Easter Sunday. We also made an Easter egg tree each year, and you sure do not see many of those around! We would open the ends of raw eggs, and then take a needle to break up the yoke and then the hard part – we would blow out all of the contents of the egg. Then, we would paint or decorate them with religious images representing the resurrection.

At one time, we had dozens of these eggs! We would cut down a sapling tree, spray paint it white, and then hang all of the eggs. Those trees were quite beautiful, but more importantly, we shared stories during those happy hours, and grew in our faith – in the home – as family.

May we continue to hold each other close in prayer and spirit.

In Christ,

Archbishop Etienne