Your Sunday Sermon Notes: Easter Sunday

Too many people today are without good, strong preaching, to the detriment of all. Share the good stuff.

Was there a GOOD point made in the sermon you heard at your Mass of obligation for Easter Sunday?

Tell about attendance especially for the Traditional Latin Mass.  I hear that it is growing.  Of COURSE.

2002? 1962?  Pre-55?

Any local changes or (hopefully good) news?

Those of you who regularly viewed my live-streamed daily Masses – with their fervorini – for over a year, you might drop me a line.

I have some written remarks about the TLM Mass for this Sunday – HERE


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Mrs. Amen says:

    Father reminded us that as we renew our baptismal promises, he can give us the words to say, but only we can mean them. Only we can live them out, only we can grow in relationship with our Lord and Savior. He can guide us, but only we can do it for ourselves. Something about the way he spoke this to us really resonated with me this year. It reminded me of what my mother used to say to us, ” I can’t have a relationship with the LORD for you. I can’t worship for you. You have to do it for yourself.”

  2. SperaInDeo says:

    My Diocesan local TLMs were well attended this year!
    The Triduum was according to 1962 (2 churches – one parish), which was enough to delight my soul. So, the one spiritual nugget I got was at the Vigil last night. It’s simple, but easily forgotten: nobody desires our particular salvation more than Our Lord Himself. We belong in Heaven.

  3. Cornelius says:

    I assist at an SSPX Mass and, curiously enough, attendance today was overflowing. Now, SSPXers are generally not of the “EC Catholic” type (Easter-Christmas Mass only) – SSPXers are generally serious Catholics who don’t miss their Sunday obligation. So I expected attendance to be about the same as any Sunday SSPX Mass.

    So whence came all these extra people? With only one exception they were all dressed appropriately too, showing that they knew what they were attending, i.e., they were probably not just Novus Ordo Catholics turning up out of idle curiosity.

    It was curious, though certainly welcome.

  4. beelady says:

    N.O. Mass.
    Our large church was nearly full for the Vigil. It was beautiful – many responses sung in Latin and it took a solid three hours since Father didn’t cut out anything.
    His homily was excellent – he talked about how great-full we should be for living in the end times because we can go straight to heaven or Purgatory after death. The people who died before Jesus’ Resurrection had to wait in Sheol/limbo for him to ransom them on Holy Saturday. Many of them had been waiting thousands of years for a Redeemer.

  5. TonyO says:

    Cornelius comments:

    So whence came all these extra people? With only one exception they were all dressed appropriately too, showing that they knew what they were attending, i.e., they were probably not just Novus Ordo Catholics turning up out of idle curiosity.

    I remember assisting at a Novus Ordo Mass some years ago – the Easter Vigil, with several people being baptized, and several others receiving confirmation, and Fr. decided to do 5 of the readings, and then the Exultet, and it was easily 2 1/2 hours. And someone came in shorts, a t-shirt with some slogan, and beach sandals. I was stunned that someone would be willing to take on a Mass of that depth, and not recognize the incongruity of their attire. But who knows what was going through their head.

    I suspect, Cornelius, that what you were seeing the “ramping up” people from the Novus Ordo: those who devoutly go to Mass every week and holy day, usually Novus Ordo, and who are always appropriate in attire, who wanted to make the Easter Mass special.

  6. teachermom24 says:

    NO parish: The Easter Vigil was very poorly attended (46, 1/4 of which were serving in some capacity or other) and we had no baptisms or catechumens entering the Church. Easter Masses (8:00 and 10:00) were very well attended (about 185, usually fewer than 100) which filled the church.

    Father made several good points in his sermon:
    1) When you sin, you close the tomb. Go to confession, roll the stone away and live in the Resurrection.
    2) No one finds God; God finds them. He is the searching Father, always seeking souls to draw to Himself. We must always pray for those who have left the Church.

  7. Rob83 says:

    This year it was back to the 1962 texts after pre-1955 were used last year, so the difference was a little jarring. 2021 was the first year I recall we could even have the Easter Vigil, so there was definitely confusion using 1962 for the first time, particularly for those who were using an earlier hand missal.

    For as much as the Roman Rite is known for terseness, the pre-1955 vigil took well over 3 hours last year with no baptisms/confirmations/receptions to administer, while this year’s 1962 took only 2 hours with the same situation (8 fewer chanted readings and their accompanying responses will do that).

  8. summorumpontificum777 says:

    On vacation this weekend, so attended Easter Sunday TLM at parish that isn’t my own but at which I occasionally visit when in the area. This is a diocesan parish staffed by a solid order of priests. As I understand it, the local bishop isn’t the worst, but he’s not exactly the best either. He shut down one diocesan TLM post-TC but allows a handful of others to continue. Let me tell you about attendance: huge. Overflowing. There must have been 800 people there. The choir and music were spectacular, and Father’s sermon was brief and to the point. The whole thing was enough to have the boys in Rome reaching for the grappa … and making it a double. It was obvious to me today, as always, of the TLM’s resilience. Sorry, Bishop Roche, your optimism about burying the TLM was misplaced. The people I saw today ain’t going anywhere.

  9. David Spaulding says:

    My eldest daughter and I attended the Easter Vigil at St. Mary’s in Conshohocken, an FSSP community. It was our first Easter Vigil at a TLM.

    I’ve been to St. Mary’s for Mass but not for Easter and am glad I went. As always, the church was packed. That’s hardly new or a surprise; though it is a wonder to me because it was three hours long and I suspect that my daughter and I were among the few who had no idea what we had committed to.

    Permit me to note that my daughter is twenty and in college. We assumed she would be among the younger people there at a 10 PM Vigil. We were very wrong. Not only were there small and elementary school age children, there were plenty of high schoolers and college kids.

    W/r to the Vigil itself, I am still processing it. The first half was utterly foreign to me. Not only did I lack any context for what was happening, the candlelight made it impossible for me to follow along with the text. I gave myself over to the mystery of it all, to the billowing clouds of incense, passing in and out of candlelight, the ebb and flow of Latin chanting.

    Once the Mass started, the lights came on and I was on familiar turf again. The TLM is a great joy, one I am blessed to attend once or twice a month. (I’m well aware of how much fellow Christians suffer without access to the form G-d draws them to. Being in the Philadelphia Archdiocese is a blessing, and has been so for now two Archbishops [Chaput and Nelson].) I do not say that I can do more than follow along in the text but this is becoming easier.

    All in all, it was worth the hour’s drive in the rain to participate and I’m very glad I was able to share it with my daughter. That she wants to come back with me is just about the best Easter gift I could have asked for.

    Thank for all you do, Father. You are a great gift to us and we are grateful.


    Downingtown, PA

  10. Charivari Rob says:

    N.O. (hometown parish on a visit to Mom)
    Church near full (and this with two Masses added to regular Sunday schedule).

    The young associate had the Mass (Mom says he’s about to move to his next assignment).
    Excellent homily – focused on how a strong portion of the persuasiveness of the Resurrection is the witness of the Apostles and the nature of the account they gave. Frauds would have chosen a more palatable spin to a skeptical worldly audience. Frauds would have spun a tale where they could have lived off a viable franchise to a comfortable old age. Instead, they stuck with the implausible, difficult, uncomfortable story that led all but one of them to martyrdom. For what else would any group do that if not the Truth?
    He followed that up with the challenge that we (living in a somewhat easier time and place) can be no less emphatic in our profession of faith.

  11. Bob B. says:

    N.O. Mass.
    This Mass is still livestreamed, and it began with the Exsultet that the choir director composed, and the priest prompted any music outfit out there to hire him. It was quite long and the choir’s lead singer was, likewise, acting as if it was a tryout.
    The priest couldn’t find the baptismal vows, so we skipped it.
    I’m not sure of the version of the Bible is used nowadays in the N.O. Mass, but Acts didn’t sound/look on the big screen like I remember. Everything was sung, everything.

  12. Gregg the Obscure says:

    The 1030 at the Cathedral started late, but was worth the wait. SRO. Archbishop, having noticed though not saying that many in attendance don’t do so frequently, proclaimed the Gospel: we are sinners doomed to hell and our sole hope is Jesus Christ. He asked each to ponder what the resurrection means to us. He challenged us to examine whether we listen more to the voice of the Lord or to the voices of the world and the devil. Powerful stuff. also a stunning polyphonic setting of the Vidi Aquam.

  13. Lusp says:

    Attended pre-55 at the Benedictine Sisters in Gower, MO. I’ve been to SSPX, FSSP, ICK, and diocesan Easter vigils, and this was the most beautiful I have ever seen.

  14. johnwmstevens says:

    The interesting thing about this Easter is that due to a relocation, I’m attending a different Parish.

    This Parish did the Triduum Masses as “bilingual” masses, meaning that some parts were read in one language, others in another.

    My first thought was: “Doesn’t this violate the purpose of the Vatican II pastoral reforms? If there is no vernacular language, then how can you say the Mass in the vernacular language?

    My second thought was “wouldn’t it make more sense the say the whole mass in a single, universal language, preferably the language of the universal Church? Even if it means every Catholic has to learn this language?”

    It is thus I rediscovered one of the justifications for celebrating the Mass, everywhere, in Latin.

  15. Dicop says:

    TLM at my FSSP parish. Because there was a Vigil service, the 7:00 AM Mass was pushed back to 7:30, which I wasn’t aware of. At 6:45, I was wondering, “Where is everyone? And why isn’t there a Rosary today?”

    I’m not sure if it was because the Mass time was more congenial or whether it was Easter, but it was pretty much SRO. When I joined in late 2017, there were 120 households. Now there are over 600. And it’s not nostalgia for the pre-Vatican II times. I doubt 10% of the congregation has any memory of the TLM from back then.

  16. Jim Dorchak says:

    We have only been able to attend Mass on line for the past two years. We had hope here in Chile when they recently dropped most of the Covid requirements but since my wife and son and I are still not willing to take the aborted baby vax then we are not welcome in our local N.O. catholic church.
    Fr Z I thank you for your inspiration and help through the valley of tears that we have here Chile. We always look forward to your sermons and online presence. It keeps us Catholic and helps us to remain hopeful and faithful as well. Jim

  17. Imrahil says:

    Around here, Easter Monday is a holy day of obligation (at least under our now-usual “we don’t use the Covid dispensation should it still exist” standard). For that, we had a very fine sermon (I do not say it in irony) consisting of the repetition of epistle and Gospel (so, TLM, obviously) and then two sentences:

    “On Easter Monday, by local tradition, there is no sermon. Besides, as you see, everything has already been said.”

  18. Imrahil says:

    Dear Cornelius,

    I suggest two reasons to explain the large congregation at least in part.

    1. SSPX attenders tend to be serious Catholics, yes (though I guess not without exception of the “believing but not doing” kind). But even serious Catholics are sometimes legitimately excused from attending Sunday Mass. They would, however, struggle to be able to make it at least for Easter.

    2. SSPXers are not so separated from the rest of the Church as some might think; though in the past at least the SSPX priests opposed this, many might attend Novus Ordo Masses (*) for their “usual” obligations, considering the Old Mass better but not quite easy to make, for them, on a Sunday (and willing to put significantly less effort into attending specifically an Old Mass than they would, as serious Catholics, put effort into making it to any Mass at all). Now if that is how you feel about it, it is quite logical to go to an Old Mass for Easter and dress up for it. (* NO: I assume that who attends the Old Mass at FSSP, Institute etc. would rather show up there for Easter.)

  19. This past Holy Week I had the privilege of serving Mass at the Ordinariate parish of Saint Luke’s in Fort Washington, Maryland, co-located with St Ignatius Parish, at the historic church bearing the name of the latter. Not being a former Anglican myself, it was quite the unique experience. There isn’t much of a market for a 67-year-old altar boy these days, but I try to keep in practice, and they needed the help.

    I keep my vesture in the car at all times. Have surplice and cassock, will travel!

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