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Features Lent and Easter

A blending of cultures enhances Palm Sunday Mass


Culture, color and custom melded into a beautiful display for the celebration of Palm Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Hope Parish on Buffalo’s West Side on April 2.

Father William Mason, OMI, of Holy Cross Parish, was the main celebrant for the vibrant Mass that feted the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem as Lent concludes and we look to the start of Holy Week in the Diocese of Buffalo and to Christians everywhere.

Mass began with a festive procession and then a dance with 15 young women of the parish who danced in the main aisle of the church on Lafayette Avenue.  Parishes in Our Lady of Hope’s Family #23 include the urban parishes of Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Dewitt Street, and Holy Cross on Seventh Street.

Prayers and song were offered in English as well as French, Hindi and Kinyarwanda – the official language of Rwanda. Parishioners of Our Lady of Hope come from various countries with traditions and diverse experiences and the Palm Sunday Mass was a celebration of all cultures. Youth, adults and those older came together to celebrate as one as the solemn season of Lent gives way to the joy of celebrating Jesus as the Christ who died, rose and ascended.

Following the reading of the Passion, Father Mason spoke briefly on Jesus’ message of sacrifice.

“Jesus tells us something about that time and about the nature of sacrifice,” Father Mason explained. “You cannot truly love someone unless you are willing to sacrifice for them.”

The choir for the Palm Sunday Mass was a combined group through the family that was praised by Father Mason for their hard rehearsal work to provide beautiful multilingual accompaniment.

During bilingual announcements, parishioners were asked to complete reservations forms for a Holy Thursday Family Supper preceding Holy Thursday Mass.  

With a waving of psalms, the blessing was conferred to the congregation who then exited Our Lady of Hope buoyed with the spirit of Holy Week to come.

Photos and video by Nicole Dzimira