Palm Sunday: joy and sorrow

Palm Sunday begins Holy Week. Probably on no other day in the church year are joy and suffering as close together as here. explains liturgy and customs on Palm Sunday.

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Palm Sunday has the beginning and the end in it. During the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus is celebrated like a king. A miraculous, peaceful ruler, whose fate is already sealed – the Holy Week and thus the days of the Passion and death of Jesus are imminent. But this king of the Jews, who has ridden on a donkey into the city, faces this unimaginable task. The evangelist Matthew (21: 7-11) describes how the disciples brought a donkey to Jesus and put him on it. “Many people from the crowd spread their clothes on the way, others cut branches off the trees and scattered them on the way,” Matthäus writes enthusiastically. But the crowds that preceded him and followed him shouted:

Hosanna the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in height!

Quote: Matthew (21.7-11)

When Jesus moved into Jerusalem, according to Matthew, the whole city started moving: “Who is this?” They asked. But the crowd said, “This is the prophet Jesus of Nazareth in Galilee!”

Keep the memory alive

Just as then, Christians around the world celebrate Palm Sunday, the sixth and last Sunday of Lent; sometimes even with a live donkey. The faithful often meet first in front of the church to bless the palm or olive branches. Where palm trees do not grow, take catkins – depending on the region, these branches come from maple, birch, beech, boxwood, willow, hazelnut or juniper berry. After the blessing of the branches, the Christians enter the church in a palm procession. At Mass, the priest proclaims for the first time in Holy Week the message of the approaching suffering and death of Jesus.

Crafting instructions for a Biedermeier palm tree.

For as the Evangelist John (12: 12-24) points outImage result for palm sunday, the “King of Israel” knows that the days of his reign on earth will be brief. John quotes Jesus: “The hour has come when the Son of Man will be glorified.” Truly, truly, I say to you, if the grain of wheat does not fall into the earth and die, it will remain alone, but if it dies, it will bring much fruit. ” Jesus knows that his kingdom will not be the earth but heaven. He says, “He who loves his life loses it, and who hates his life in this world will save it for everlasting life.”

Also on Palm Sunday shows how life and death are inseparable. The Christians sing to the son of David a “Hosanna in the height”, praise him as a king, but also as a savior. In the processional hymn of Theodulf of Orleans of the ninth century, it says, “There was the rejoicing in you, / as you were about to suffer, / you, the king of the world, / here we bring our praise.”

Tradition since the 8th century

After the mass, Christians take home their consecrated palm branches and put them behind a crucifix above the door frame – this is to provide special protection for the house and its inhabitants. In some places people also attach their branches to holy pictures, house altars or mirrors. The pinning is an old custom, it is to bless people and to remember the new life of Christ. Sometimes the branches are beautifully decorated at Easter. In the following year, the branches are burned in some regions and the ash is again used for the ash cross. The circle closes.

In Europe, the Palm processions have been known since the 8th century. With great effort, the entry of Jesus in Jerusalem was reconstructed. The faithful could thus combine the beginning of Holy Week with a special experience. Later, life-size Christ figures were often carried on donkeys in Germany, illustrating the event even more. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the so-called Palmeselprozessionen were widespread in Germany in many places.

Palm branches have long been regarded as objects of protection, salvation and blessing. Thus, in the Rhineland, the dead are blessed at the funeral with a palm bouquet soaked in holy water. Many people bring the freshly blessed palm branches not only to their homes, but also to bedridden neighbors – or to their dead in the cemetery.



Means of communication of the grace of God

Catholics accompany their sacraments from the cradle to the grave – or from baptism to the Anointing of the Sick. But what is a sacrament anyway? And how did they come about?

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The term “sacrament” goes back to the Latin word “sacramentum” and in ancient times referred to the oath of allegiance of Roman legionnaires. With their oath, the soldiers not only subordinate themselves to the ruler, but also to the respective cult god and thus transferred themselves to the area of ​​the “sacred” (Latin for “sacrum”). Entry into the church was given the word by the late antique Latin Bible “Vulgata”, the “sacramentum” as a translation of the Greek term “mysterion” (Eng. “Mystery”) used.

However, the term “sacrament” is therefore younger than the liturgical practice itself for which it stands today. Even in the early Christian church, baptism and the Eucharist were already an integral part of the life of faith and the sacrament in the present sense: liturgical signing. That baptism and the Eucharist held this outstanding position – and still do have it – is not only due to their theological significance, but also to the fact that there are numerous biblical documents for their appointment by Jesus Christ. Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan and commissioned his disciples to baptize. And Jesus celebrated the sacrament with his disciples before he was delivered and crucified.

Marriage is a sacramental special case

But also for the other sacraments and their appointment by Jesus, biblical clues are found – though not so clearly – in the laying on of hands with which the Holy Spirit mediates at confirmation (Acts 8: 14-17) or an office – as in the case of the Holy Spirit Ordination – is transmitted (Acts 6,5,6). Rubbing with oil as in today’s Anointing of the sick (Mark 6.13) or the forgiveness of sins as in the present confession (Matt. 15:18).

A special case, on the other hand, is marriage, which is not a specific word of Jesus, but a reflection of the love relationship between Christ and his church sacrament (Eph 5,32). The fact that the Catholic Church today has exactly seven sacraments, goes back to the Council of Trent (1545-1563), which has set the number and justified by the appointment by Jesus Christ. On the one hand, the Council clarified internal church insecurities, since the number of sacraments varied between just two and up to thirty sacraments up to the Middle Ages. On the other hand, the Council opposed the reformers by Martin Luther, who recognized only baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

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What are the sacraments? A contribution of the series “Catholic for Beginners”.

The theological interpretations of the sacraments, on the other hand, are almost as old as the liturgical acts themselves. The church father Augustine made an important contribution to the understanding, pointing to the sacraments as visible signs of an invisible reality and thus clarifying that a sacrament is more than a mere symbol. It contains divine grace – that is, the loving care of God for man, and even “the whole Christ,” who is the actual agent in the sacraments and who brings grace through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, a sacrament always works through the act performed alone (Latin “ex opere operato”) regardless of the faith or moral character of the donor or recipient.

The outer sign of the sacrament always consists of two parts that can not be separated: matter and form. Matter is the sensory component such as water, oil or the laying on of hands. It is a natural symbol of what the sacrament is supposed to do. Means applied to baptism: Water washes the body of dirt in it as does the baptism of inheritance. The form, on the other hand, consists of fixed words pronounced by the dispenser of the sacrament. For Augustine, the words are the “noblest sign” because they are words of the church and interpret the sensible signs first.

Jesus himself is the original sacrament

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In addition to the seven individual sacraments, Jesus himself is the original sacrament. The name should make it clear that Christ can not be separated from their origin and benefactor. And the church as a whole is a sacrament. An all-encompassing sacrament of salvation and sacrament, which according to the Second Vatican Council is “a sign and a tool for the most intimate union with God as well as for the unity of all humanity” ( Lumen Gentium 1 Constitution ).

Today one usually speaks of the sacraments of real symbols. In them the deeds of God are praised and accepted by the congregation and the individual believer. The sacraments are signs of grace and at the same time their cause, since they themselves effect grace. However, since God is graciously present always and everywhere, receiving a sacrament can not result in “more grace” but only improving one’s personal relationship with God. Sacraments are means of communication that make the grace of God more tangible and strengthen the recipient in faith and in life.


Sacraments: Sign of the love of God

The Catholic Church knows seven sacraments. In them the believers meet Jesus Christ. He fulfills his salvation. introduces her.


Sacraments are visible signs of an invisible reality. In the individual sacraments, the sacramental nature of the Church unfolds into the concrete situations of human life. Christ meets people and fulfills their salvation. The Catholic Church has seven Sacraments: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Repentance, Consecration and Anointing of the Sick. introduces the sacraments.


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Baptism is the first and fundamental sacrament through which a person is received into the community of the Church. Baptism is a real symbol of the special, indissoluble communion of the baptized with Jesus Christ, through which original sin has lost its power over the baptized person. The baptismal sacrament is donated by a priest or deacon ; In case of emergency, it can also be donated by any other person (emergency baptism). At baptism, the baptizer pours consecrated water three times over the head of the person to be baptized and speaks the baptismal formula: “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Previously, the baptized person was asked for his faith. In the case of infant baptism, the parents and godparents confess their faith after they ask for the baptism of the child and commit themselves to the task of raising the child in the Catholic faith. In addition to confirmation and first communion, baptism belongs to the so-called initiation sacraments (introductory sacraments).


The Eucharist is the celebration of the liturgy of the Catholic Church in memory of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection . The Eucharist is one of the seven sacraments in which the Catholic faithful experiences the presence of Christ. For the first time, believers in childhood receive the Eucharist at first communion. The First Communion celebration usually takes place around the age of nine. The traditional date of festive First Communion still common in many parishes is Sunday after Easter, White Sunday . The children are usually prepared in small groups for the reception of the sacrament. This should also make it clear that the celebration is not a private matter, but a celebration of the entire parish. The first communion of the child is understood as an important step of growing into the church. Like baptism and confirmation, it is one of the initiation sacraments, the sacraments of the Incarnation.


Confirmation is a sacrament donated by the bishop or a priest commissioned by him by anointing with the laying on of hands. With the company donation, the children and adolescents (“Firmlinge”) affirm their faith and their belonging to the community of the Church and receive “the gift of God, the Holy Spirit”. In addition to baptism and first communion, confirmation is one of the initiation sacraments.


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The Catholic Church sees marriage as a lifelong community of man and woman. Marriage is among the baptized a sacrament, which the spouses donate themselves, if they close before the responsible pastor and two witnesses this lifelong covenant. The rite of marriage is called marriage ceremony. Since the marriage covenant is a lifelong community and therefore indissoluble, the Catholic Church does not know divorce. However, it is possible that a marriage will be annulled for certain reasons.



Repentance is the renunciation of sin and devotion to God. Repentance is a constant process in the life of the Christian. The sacrament of Penance confession gives the baptized Christian, who repents of his guilt and confesses him before the priest, the forgiveness of his sins.


The sacrament of consecration is divided into three stages : consecration to the deacon, consecration to the priest and consecration to the bishop . In all three levels of consecration, the sacrament is donated by silent laying on of hands and consecration prayer. In addition to the anointing with Chrisam at the episcopal or priestly consecration, other symbols are added: at the deacon the handing over of the Gospel, at the priest the presentation of bread and wine for the Eucharistic celebration and at the bishop the presentation of the gospel and the insignia. Donator of the sacrament of Holy Orders is the bishop. The episcopal consecration may be donated only with papal commission and with the assistance of two co-ordination bishops.

anointing of the sick

In the Anointing of the Sick , the priest opens his hands to a sick person, anointing him with oil and symbolically proclaiming to him the salvation proclaimed by Christ, above all the liberation from the power of sin. The anointing of the sick should give the patient strengthening and relief as well as trust in the assistance of Christ. Popularly, it is often referred to as “last rites” because it was donated for a long time only dying. Since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), however, it is understood as a sacrament for the seriously ill. It can be received several times in life, even before a difficult operation, at the first sign of a serious illness or in old age. The Anointing of the Sick can only be validly donated by one priest. He anoints the patient’s hands and forehead with pure olive oil, which is consecrated by the bishop every year in his own Holy Week Mass. He speaks of the dispensing formula: “Through this holy anointing, the Lord will help you in his abundant mercy, he will assist you with the power of the Holy Spirit: The Lord, who frees you from sin, save you, in his mercy he will raise you up . “


Do godfathers know their important task?

You must be good Christians and ready to assist the baptized in his life as a Christian: That’s what the catechism says about godparents. So a significant task – is aspiring godparents aware of this?

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“You shall become a godfather.” Hardly anyone will reject this wish of young parents. For many chosen ones – whether from family or circle of friends – it is “honor thing” to take over the office. On the big day of the baptism , the godparents are then the main characters in addition to the baptism and parents: at the church ceremony, in the photos for the family album. And then? Send gifts on Christmas and birthday or create a savings account – and that was it? The church expects more from the godparents: they will have an important role to play in growing up the child. Do you know the budding godfather ? And if the church demands it, is it doing enough to prepare people for their godfatherhood?

The ministry is as old as the baptism itself: “Already in the early church, the catechumens, ie the adult baptism candidates, godparents were put aside,” says Tobias Wiegelmann, deacon and contact person for baptist pastoral in the Archbishopric of Cologne. They should be an example to the applicants in the faith and orientation for a Christian life. This has not changed in principle until today, so Wiegelmann. A look at church law confirms this: the godparent’s task is to “baptize the baptized person” together with the parents and also to help the baptized perform a Christian life that conforms to baptism and faithfully fulfills the duties associated with baptism “(CIC, p. Can., 872).

Together on the path of faith

Accordingly, there are two points of view: “The participation of godparents in the liturgy is one side of the coin,” says Wiegelmann. Together with their parents, they confess their faith in the baptismal celebration, representing the child and the whole church and rejecting evil. Godparents stand together with their parents in the front row at the baptismal font and can hold the baptismal candle and also the child with water when pouring it over. “The other side of the coin is the view of the life of the person to be baptized,” says Wiegelmann. “The godparents are to help the parents in their child grow up in the faith and be brought up Christian.” That they will do that, they confirm in the baptismal liturgy with the words “I am ready”. How exactly they should fulfill this important task, however, does not say church law and catechism.

It is provided that the godparents can participate in the baptismal talk, which the priest leads in advance with the parents . “But in the rarest cases, they are really there,” says Wiegelmann, who baptizes himself in a Cologne community, from experience. This is not least because the godparents often live in other cities.

Deacon Tobias Wiegelmann Picture: ©

Deacon Tobias Wiegelmann is a speaker for catechesis and sacramental pastoral work with a focus on baptismal and first communion pastoral in the Archbishopric Vicariate of Cologne.

But the consequence of this is that important questions often remain unanswered: how does the baptismal liturgy work in detail? What role does one’s own faith play in the sponsorship? Is it life-long or is it a matter of being godfather when the godchild is of legal age? “These and other things are often unclear with budding sponsors,” says Georg Lingnau, speaker for community pastoral in the city of Dusseldorf. Therefore, there have been courses for godfathers in the state capital for some time, which should give answers.

The “right” accompaniment

“We have found that preparation for godparents is scarcely offered by the church,” says Lingnau. That’s why you invite people who soon become godfathers or have just become one. “So far, we have always met on a Saturday morning and talked about the godparchy at a brunch quite informally,” says Lingnau. In addition to theological and liturgical issues, the main focus of the meetings is on the question of the “right” accompaniment of the child. “I always emphasize that the godchilds first have the task of living their own faith before the child – that is, to be a role model.” But that will only succeed if both see each other regularly; the frequency of these meetings also depends on how far away the godparents live. “From the beginning, you should at least establish a good relationship with the child and maintain contact,” emphasizes Lingnau. “This is more important than bothering children with gifts.”

One possibility is that the godfather celebrates family celebrations. “Why not take the beautiful tradition of the name day as an opportunity that the godfather doing something with his godchild on this day – maybe attended a football game?” Asks Lingnau. “Or toddler services: There could occasionally the godparents instead of the parents go with the child and thus give a signal that they carry it.” In addition, one accompanies the child, of course, at the important stages of his faith life, such as First Communion and Confirmation. “At first this is just the purely religious component of the godparenthood,” says Lingnau. In addition, the mentors should always be available for questions and problems for their godchildren. “For children and adolescents, it is very important that they have another contact person in addition to the parents, whom you do not always want to ask.” Way companion in the faith and Wegbeleiter in the life: According to Lingnau one can not separate both in the godfather office from each other.

Georg Lingnau is Pastoral Referee and Speaker for Community Pastoral in the Catholic Association of Dusseldorf.

The courses also talked about various issues that might arise: “A difficult topic is when the parents split up,” says Lingnau. “If the godfather comes from the parent’s side, who subsequently has less contact with the child, then the sponsorship will automatically be affected.” The students would also report on their own experiences as godchildren: According to this, almost all assumed that the godparenthood ended at the latest with the completion of the 18th year of the godchild. “They always wonder when we tell them that the office is life-long – even if, of course, with the gifts at some point is over.” A question that arises every now and then: If something happens to the parents – for example, they die in a traffic accident – do sponsors have the duty to act as adoptive parents? “That can of course agree with parents and godparents,” says Lingnau, “but it’s not an automatism that would be legally regulated in any way.”

Mandatory preparation?

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Many questions. But nationwide offers to prepare for the godparenthood are not there on the part of the church. The target group could easily be described, according to Lingnau: “As sponsors, young adults, for example between mid-20s and late 30s, are selected – whether that be the brother or the best friend.” However, this is precisely the age group that the church generally has little in mind with its offers. “Anyone who switches to studying and does not actively seek out the university community is out of the question,” says Lingnau. Often only in the family phase, which begins today classically later, you get back to the church via the baptism of your own child and family worship. “In the intervening time it gets thin and you are left alone in your faith”, says Lingnau. Therefore, the church must generally think about offers to accompany young adults, of which sponsorship courses could be a building block.

Create more meeting rooms for adults, talk more about the topic of baptism in the entire community, also advocates Deacon Wiegelmann. But: As important as the godparent office is, there should not be any kind of commitment to preparatory courses, he emphasizes. “We have to be careful that our standards are not too high and that in the end we scare people off.” A special education of godparents would also contradict the purpose of the godparenthood. “It’s about being a baptized Christian to accompany another baptized Christian in life,” says Wiegelmann. And that is a question of inner attitude and confrontation with the personal faith, but not a question of education. In his work he had the experience that most sponsors are aware of their important office. “Even if they do not always have the classic ‘catechism-understanding’ of the godparenthood, they wish their godchild that his life will succeed,” said Wiegelmann, “and that’s a really Christian statement.”


The ten most beautiful sayings on baptism

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I will bless you and be a blessing (Gen 12,2)

God speaks this sentence to Abraham at an important station of his life. He wants Abraham to set out, leave his homeland and move to another country, which he will show him. It takes a lot of courage. God promises Abraham his blessing and protection on this journey. Connected with this is the wish that Abraham himself may become a blessing to others. It is precisely this blessing of God that is attributed to the baptism in this baptismal message. May every baptized person feel strengthened and protected by God. Nice if it succeeds when a person is so strengthened and blessing for others.

From behind and from the front you have enclosed me, have put your hand on me (Ps 139,5)

Here, the prayer of the psalm reveals a strong testimony of his faith. God’s closeness is like a gift for him. The worshiper finds so deep security with him. Because God holds him, the worshiper promises to belong to him completely. A promise that not only contains a firm promise, but also concludes a new covenant. Every baptized person is to be wished that he may experience this bond with God and his nearness especially. Baptism, too, wants to work like a firm bond between God and the people, which, like a mutual promise of trust, lasts a lifetime.

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For he commands his angels to guard you in all your ways (Ps 91: 11-12)

The Psalmist describes God as a tender Father caring for His creatures. What an encouraging promise! The psalm verse states: ” For he commands his angels to guard you in all your ways, and they carry you on your hands, so that your foot does not bump against a stone.” God puts helpers on the side who help him As parents, one can only protect the children entrusted to him in a limited way, despite the greatest effort and care, unhappiness and suffering occur over the years, so how comforting is this promise that every person is under the care of God and his own Similarly, Psalm 121 also expresses it in verse 7: “The Lord protect you from all evil, he protects your life.” So guarded and secure may be the step into the new life as a Christian.

He does not let your foot waver; your guardian does not slumber in (Ps 121: 3)

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God is described in this psalm verse as a watchful guardian who watches over his creatures and never turns a blind eye. A comforting promise that every person is born of God. Another passage in the Bible even says, ” God bestows me with strength and teaches me the right way.” (2 Sam 22:33) Here, the worshiper trusts that God not only gives power, but also a compass provides guidance in baptism, God’s blessing is awarded to people in a special way May feel every baptized that God is a good companion in all ways of life expression of true joy of life and energy is also found in 2 Sam 22,30:… ” With my God, I skip walls. “ Baptism may be like a leap into a new life as a Christian for the baptized person.

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Through baptism, 160,000 children are admitted annually to the Catholic Church. “Catholic for Beginners” explains the sacrament of baptism and its meaning in faith.

You put my feet in wide space 

The Psalmist in this verse expresses a strong trust in God. God gives him breadth and greatness. Maybe that means a vastness in thinking, acting and in feeling. In any case, from this verse sounds great life courage. After all, baptism is like a departure into a new life with Jesus Christ from the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in another passage in Psalm 22:37, the worshiper thanked God for this: “You created space for my steps, my ankles did not waver,” or in 2 Samuel 22:20, “He led me out into the distance . It becomes clear: faith gives momentum to the life of a Christian. Yet, parents often look with concern at their newborn child and wonder if it will find a good way through life. Even those who are baptized in adulthood, ask about his future life. If the questions of a good and proper life are particularly important, you will find a good baptismal message that will encourage the baptized person to trust God’s promise and go his own way.

Do not be afraid, because I raised you, I called you by name, you are mine! (Isa 43,1)

The Song of the Servant Isaiah speaks a deep trust in God. The worshiper feels secure in God’s hand. Similarly, a verse elsewhere in the Bible in Joshua 1: 9, “Fear not and fear, for the Lord your God is with you everywhere you go,” or the evangelist , is similarly encouraging Mark 6:50 ” Jesus Christ saith, Have faith, it is I, fear not!” What a strong image for the love of God the Father for his children, where the worshiper is asked to trust God completely and to be free Because of the fear of being lost, because God has raised the worshiper, reference is made here to the redemption of Israel from the Babylonian exile, and even in Isaiah 43: 4 it is said, “Because in my eyes you are dear and because I value you, and because I love you, I give people for you and for your life whole peoples. “ The addressed Thou implies the people of Israel, complemented by the promise of God to call each one by his name once becomes god s promise in Isaiah 43.5 highlighted: “Fear not, for I am with you!” What a kindest picture of the nearness of God. In baptism Christians celebrate the unconditional yes of God to the people. Before God, every human being has a name that makes one and only incomparable. The baptized person is to be wished that he can feel this unconditional acceptance with God quite concretely in the great faith family of the church.

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Presentation of the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan by John the Baptist. Then a voice from heaven says, “You are my beloved Son, I have pleased you.”

I will never forget you. Look, I have drawn you in my hands (Isa. 49: 15-16).

Every human being is created by God. This confidence is expressed in the word of the prophet Isaiah. God promises that every person is special because he has written it in his hands. This expresses that every single person with his strengths and weaknesses, with his very own personality, is a desired and beloved child of God. This is a beautiful term for the gift of the love of God in a newborn child, an encouraging affirmation to each baptized person, and a strong testimony to the dignity of each individual. Similarly encouraging is the promise of God from the words in Joshua 1: 5-6, in which he strengthens Moses’ successor in capturing the land of Israel with the following words: “I will not let you fall and do not abandon you, be courageous and strong! “

You are my beloved son, I have found pleasure in you (Mark 1:11)

This is the statement Jesus receives at his baptism at the Jordan by John. When Jesus climbs out of the water after being baptized, he sees Heaven open and a dove descend upon Him, and a voice addresses Him as the beloved Son of God. Thus the baptism of Jesus is sealed by the action of the Holy Spirit. Christians too become anointed through holy baptism. The Catechism of the Catholic Church also makes this clear: “The newly baptized has become a Christian, that is, anointed by the Holy Spirit, incorporated into Christ, anointed priest, prophet, and king . Christians believe that God is the one Also, every baptism is promised to feel God’s love and God’s yes to the people in every situation of life by the promise: “You are my beloved son, my beloved daughter”.

Baptism – You should know that!

Preparation, worship process and significance: offers information in words, pictures, video formats and as a PDF for printing around baptism.

Find out more about the sacrament of baptism here

For God has not given us a spirit of despondency, but the Spirit of power, love, and prudence. (2 Tim 1: 7)

Timothy was an important person in the early church and was to carry the message of Jesus Christ in the churches. However, like the Apostle Paul, he suffers persecution and imprisonment. In this terrible situation he is, so to speak, encouraged by the letter from outside. Paul asks him to remember his talents and gifts even in a difficult situation and to remain true to his mission. Therefore, Paul also encourages him to remember that he did not receive a fearful spirit, but a spirit that should radiate power, love, and prudence. Who chooses this baptismal praise for his child expresses his own confidence that faith in God also strengthens in desperate situations in a special way.

Rejoice in the hope, be patient in distress, persevere in prayer! (Rom 12:12)

This verse is taken from the letter of the Apostle Paul to the church in Rome. In it, Paul tells his congregation how he concretely imagines the life of faith. For him it is important that the faith remains alive to be experienced and experienced. He therefore recommends that the addressee of the letter be hopeful, patient in difficult situations, and persistent in prayer. Those who choose this baptismal preaching trust the baptismal hope that is a strong foundation for a life of faith.


The real presence of Christ

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When the believers come together to celebrate the Eucharist , they do so in memory of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection. However, memory means much more than a mere “remembering” of Jesus Christ and His actions. At the same time, it also has a future dimension in which it symbolically anticipates the salvation and perfection of mankind. And finally, Christians believe that Jesus is present in the sacrament of the Eucharist in a very special way in the here and now – under the guises of bread and wine.

This is made possible by the incarnation of God in his Son Jesus Christ. In the communal consumption of the gifts, the communion, the believers receive a share in the “body and blood” of Jesus and in his redeeming death on the cross. “Body and blood” are – as usually in the biblical context – for the whole person of Jesus, for his liveliness and his devotion to the people.

On the occasion of his death, we remember Cardinal Joachim Meisner. In the video he talks about the Eucharist, its meaning and the worthy celebration.

The fact that Jesus gives himself to the faithful just under the signs of bread and wine, is traced back to the Last Supper words of Christ. In the oldest Biblical testimony, the first letter of the apostle Paul to the church of Corinth (about 55 AD), it says: “Jesus, the Lord, took bread on the night he was delivered, said that Praise, broke the bread, and said, “This is my body for you.” Do this in remembrance of me. “He also took the cup after the meal and said,” This cup is the new covenant in my blood. “Do this as often as you drink from it. to my memory! ” (1 Cor 11,23-25)

Insertion words are today part of the high prayer

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These words of institution of Jesus from the Letter to the Corinthians are today part of the high prayer in the Eucharistic celebration and are also called “change words”. Speaking through the priest, the mysterious transformation (or consecration) of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ takes place. For centuries, theologians and philosophers have been attempting to penetrate this realization of the devotion of God, which is first and foremost the truth of faith, with reason.

For the Roman Catholic Church, at least since the Council of Trent (1545-1563), the Latin concept of “transubstantiation” has come to the fore, meaning “transformation of essence”. Thus the council fathers stated: “Through the consecration of the bread and wine a transformation of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ, our Lord, and the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood takes place meeting the Catholic Church, and in the true sense called transformation of essence. “

Book Recommendation

The article was written with the help of the book “Loaded to the table of the Lord: The celebration of the Eucharist” (publishing house Friedrich Pustet) of liturgical scholars Martin Stuflesser and Stephan Winter.

With this, the fathers of the Council recall the teachings of one of the most important theologians in church history, Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) . He distinguishes – in the style of the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) – between the substance and the accidents of a thing or a person. While the substance describes the nature or the species affiliation, accidents are the more or less random properties. These include, for example, shape, size, smell, taste or appearance.

The principle can be clarified with a few examples: For example, a person in our culture will uniquely identify an object consisting of a plate, four legs and wood as a table. If his accidental properties change now, for example, if he lacks a leg or if he is made of plastic instead of wood, he still remains essentially – in substance – a table. Likewise, a piece of iron can rust or rot an apple. They change their shape, their appearance or their smell, but still remain iron or apple.

Thomas Aquinas: A supernatural change process

In the Eucharist, according to Thomas Aquinas, something happens that is completely different from all natural processes of change. Because it is not the external properties of bread and wine that change. The consistency, taste, appearance and smell remain the same even after the transformation. It is the substance, the being that changes and becomes the body and blood of Christ. “This transformation is therefore not similar to the natural transformations, but entirely supernatural, only effected by God’s power,” explains Thomas in his “Summa theologiae III”.

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A contribution of the series “Catholic for Beginners”. The animated series explains in a simple and humorous way central concepts of church and Christianity. This episode is about the Eucharist and its meaning in the Christian faith.

Nevertheless, according to Thomas, this process can also be understood with the intellect. Aristotle has a very illustrative example for such a case: that of a doorstep. By sensory perception alone one can define it at most as a piece of wood of a certain form. Only the mind tells the viewer that this piece of wood fulfills a certain function at a certain position and thus becomes the threshold. If you change position, the threshold stops being one.

In the Eucharist, bread and wine are now also placed in a different “position” and placed in a new context of meaning by the words of the priest’s words of change. In doing so, he invokes the authority of the words of Jesus. As the faithful celebrate Corpus Christi – and every Sunday – the true presence of Jesus under the sign of bread and wine, the Sacrament of the Eucharist helps them understand the unconditional love of God in words and signs.


Checklist first communion

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As a rule, third-grade Communion children are contacted by the parishes in the fall. The parents then register their child in the parish office for First Communion. For this, the child’s family book or christening certificate must be presented. In the parish office, the parents then also learn the appointment. Incidentally, it can vary from year to year. Since it is advisable to ask before signing up. If you want to party in a restaurant, you should know that these are often booked well in advance. The same applies to rooms rented by clubs or parishes.

First considerations

Who should be invited? In general, of course, the grandparents and godparents, the siblings of the parents and their children. Whether in addition aunts and uncles of the parents as well as friends are invited, decides not only the family budget, but also depends on the spatial possibilities. Who celebrates at home, should think carefully how many guests can be accommodated. Basically, the sooner you plan everything down to the smallest detail, the better – preferably half a year before the festival. This includes the consideration of whether overnight accommodation for long-distance travelers must be created.


When the list of guests arrives, look for a nice theme with your child that can be used on invitation cards, place cards, menu cards, and as table decorations. A popular Christian symbol for first communion is, for example, the fish. He was the secret sign of the first Christians, where they recognized each other. For it was dangerous in the first centuries after Christ’s birth to confess Christ as a Christian in the Roman Empire. Christians were persecuted because they did not recognize the emperor as God. The first letters of the word “fish” in Greek gave the following words: “Jesus Christ the Son of God the Redeemer”. Children always find such stories exciting.

When choosing papers and envelopes for invitation cards, it’s best to look around in a well-stocked stationery and craft supplies store. The fish motif fits well with a card made of dark blue cardboard. Stick a wide strip of light blue corrugated cardboard lengthwise onto the card. Then cut out of glitter cardboard in different shades of blue fish and stick them on the corrugated strips. You can copy the invitation text and paste it on the back of the card.

In the same way, small table cards and possibly menu cards are produced – this time in exactly the opposite color: light blue card, dark blue stripes with fish.

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table decoration

The fish can also be used as a table decoration. Simply lay a table ribbon from one end of the table to the other in light blue organza and decorate with corrugated fish in different shades of blue. Pretty blue nuggets and a few shells look like fish. The communion candle belongs in the middle of the table. The place of your child is specially decorated, eg. with a flower tendril that goes with the blue of the fish.


Communion candles are often designed in the children’s group itself. If not, you could use the theme of your table decoration, such as the fish, here as well. When buying the candle, pay attention to quality. Good candles are made of high quality raw materials and burn slowly and evenly, without tearing. In stores for craft supplies you get wax plates and wax elements for decoration. You can also use candle paints. Let’s explain everything exactly. It is nice when several parents go to work together.

Communion dress and suit

Communion clothing does not have to be expensive. Some parishes and kindergartens regularly offer communion clothing flea markets. A visit is definitely worth it. Ask in advance at your community. Some have now bought white cowls that all Communion children wear over their normal clothes that day. When you buy new clothes, you should take into consideration the wishes of your child. The clothes should be festive but fit the child.


For girls

A simple white dress is more appropriate than a mini bridal gown in lace and tulle. Your daughter must be able to move well in it. White shoes are included, as well as a white pantyhose. Very pretty is a wreath of myrtle, in which some gypsophila is put. An alternative for girls with long hair: plait a plait and stuck around the head as a wreath, put some myrtle in the hair wreath.


For boys

It does not have to be the black or blue suit, a light gray also looks very festive. Also a black trousers with a gray blazer goes well with a white shirt with bow tie or tie. Of course, the shirt, if your son likes that better, may also be worn with an open collar – without a bow tie or tie. A must are dark shoes – but please no sneakers.

Loading player … Video: © Brother Paulus / Karoline Knop / ifage

On the occasion of White Sunday, Brother Paul declares the importance of First Communion and why a candle is lit at the celebration of first communion.

Who is going to tackle?

When you celebrate at home, you need help – cooking, baking, serving, clearing, rinsing. Often it speaks in the residential district, who has made good experiences with what help. Since good brownies are often very sought after and quickly sold out, you should reach out at the right time to get the feelers.

What’s for dinner?

The menu is a mix between ordering and do it yourself recommended. Example: starter and dessert are prepared, the main course along with the associated hot plates and containers at a party service, restaurant or butcher ordered and delivered. Also for the afternoon coffee applies: The festive communion cake supplies the pastry chef, the remaining cakes bake friends and relatives.

Plan like a pro

List what you need to think about when planning the celebration at home: Are there enough chairs, tables, and tablecloths? A tip: buy fabric by the meter, cut to size as tablecloths and skirt. A job that you will be happy to pick up from a close relative or friend, if sewing is not your thing. Alternatively, white sheets, which are simply converted to a tablecloth, are also suitable. Which and how many napkins are needed – for the menu, for the coffee table, for a possible evening snack? Are there enough warming cans for coffee and tea? If not, borrow some from relatives and friends. A tip: Stick under the borrowed items nametag. Check dishes, cutlery, glasses, tea towels: Is there enough of everything? Write a shopping list on time and go through it with friends who have experience with celebrations. Leave the list clearly visible in the kitchen. Then you can immediately make a note of what you think of spontaneously. Review the ingredients for food, coffee or drinks more often. Did you really think of everything?


Holy Week 2017: The 10 cheapest European destinations

Holy Week 2017

Holy Week 2017: The 10 cheapest European destinations

This Holy Week 2017 we have proposed to give you a joy by telling you how it is possible to travel without making a hole in our savings. We show you which are the ten cheapest European destinations to visit according to the recent publication of Trivago, one of the favorite online search engines for travelers who, like us, take care of our economy.

In this sense, the main European destinations for this Holy Week 2017 are in the eastern area, specifically, there are countries that have two destinations among the cheapest: Hungary and Turkey. They are the following:

  • Mostar (in Bosnia and Herzegovina): it is the European city with the best value for money . In addition, its deployment and hotel level is the best reputed in the networks.
  • Novi Sad (Serbia): Eastern Europe has the podium in cities whose beauty is directly proportional to the cost of tourist life .
  • Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria): It has as a claim in addition to its beauty that offers accommodation from 36 euros.
  • Suzdal (Russia): It is a city that has more than 33 churches to visit and is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1992.
  • Lviv (Ukraine): It is a beautiful city unknown to most travelers. Its rich architecture and historic center are striking. Ideal destination if you like long walks outdoors.
  • Eger (Hungary): In addition to the quality-price ratio, the mix of Romanesque and Ottoman architecture is striking . Among them are: the Basilica of San Juan Apóstol and the Turkish Minaret. However, the fame is given by its delicious wines of world fame.
  • Oradea (Romania): it is the ideal city for fans of Baroque architecture . The city was projected in the mid-eighteenth century by Anton Hillenbrandt. It is also the headquarters (unofficial) of students of ‘Erasmus’ from all over Europe who choose it as a destination for their internships.
  • Pécs (Hungary): the country repeats as a preferred destination for the most demanding pockets thanks to one of its five largest cities, which is also home to the fifth oldest university in Europe .
  • Safranbolu (Turkey) : Turkey is another country that repeats. Thanks to the large number of monuments and architecture that it conserves from the time of the Ottoman Empire, it is a World Heritage Site since 1994.
  • Sibiu (Romania): it is worth visiting this amazing country and visiting some of its cities, several of which are among the cheapest to visit. Sibiu will envelop us with its perfectly preserved medieval city which, as expected, is also a World Heritage Site .

Did you feel like enjoying Easter? US too!


Learn about the history of Holy Week

Learn about the history of the celebration of Holy Week


Discover the history behind
of the celebration of Holy Week


Are you a lover of Holy Week? If the answer is yes this post that Ferratum has prepared today for you, you will love it!
Discover why the days of this great party are celebrated. Learn a little religion and history at the same time you review the list of plans for this Holy Week.
Apply for an online credit with Ferratum and enjoy an incredible Easter! Learn about the history of Holy Week.

Palm Sunday./strong>

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday. This year was celebrated yesterday, Sunday, March 20. This is an important day because the entrance of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem is celebrated. It is called “of branches” because at this moment, when Jesus entered the land of Jerusalem on a donkey, he was received by the people among cheers and applause, acclaimed for being the son of God, and, among the crowd, men and women they threw twigs of olive and palm. The olive symbolizes victory, so it is believed that it is not by chance that this plant is taken to the parades on Palm Sunday, because it has a special meaning that extols the figure of the son of God, who died on the cross but he rose again rising victorious. It is also common to bring palm leaves, which is a very difficult to harvest silver whose care requires a year’s work.

A few days after the entrance to Jerusalem there is arrest, trial, condemnation and finally crucifixion. Popularly, after the celebration of a small mass, the faithful go to the Domingo de Ramos procession with palm leaves and olive trees.

The merchants of the Temple

After entering Jerusalem, Jesus led the Temple. But when he arrived at the holy place he became very angry when he realized that the merchants had settled in this space, turning it into a market.
Many people gathered in the temple to buy and sell products. They shouted, bargained prices and exchanged coins. Jesus, blinded by anger, confronted the merchants and destroyed the trading posts, also lashed out at the merchants accusing them of thieves and repeating that they had turned the house of God into a swindler’s space. People cheered Jesus’ action and many surrounded and praised Him.

Disfruta de las mejores procesiones esta Semana Santa 2016

Holy Thursday

With this day the Easter Triduum begins.
The Easter Triduum is the period of time, composed of 3 days (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) in which the Christian and Catholic liturgy commemorates the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, and constitutes the central moment of the Holy Week and the liturgical year. The day of Holy Thursday is the first holiday. The Mass of the Supper is celebrated, in which the Last Supper of Jesus with his 12 disciples is remembered and the end of Lent is celebrated.
In the morning, the most faithful priests and parishioners come to the Chrism Mass and at night the Eucharist is celebrated, which commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples. Moment in which Jesus gives bread and wine to his disciples offering them to them and to God as his body and blood. He also reveals that one of those present will betray him and points to Judas Iscariote as guilty.

Finally, on Holy Thursday at night there is a prayer vigil in which one meditates and absolute silence is the protagonist.


Holy Friday

Good Friday celebrates the passion and death of Jesus Christ. It is a day of meditation in which Jesus is remembered. The Adoration of the Cross takes place at the end of the day.
There is no mass but there are liturgical celebrations.
The Passion of Christ is commemorated through the Via Crucis. It is the remembrance of the evangelical moments of Jesus on the cross. The Sermon of the Seven Words is also celebrated (which are seven phrases that Jesus says on the Cross)
In the crucifixion Jesus is nailed to a cross in the middle of two thieves, also crucified. This act is also commemorated on Good Friday.


Holy Saturday

On Holy Saturday there are no liturgical celebrations because Jesus has already died. The burial of Jesus Christ is commemorated. It is conceived as a transit time towards the miracle; the resurrection.
Communion is not received, there are no Masses and the altar of the churches is not frequented.

Easter Sunday or Resurrection

Every year the resurrection of Christ is celebrated. The day of this commemoration or holiday varies depending on the first full moon of spring, since the Sunday of Resurrection is celebrated on the Sunday following this astronomical phenomenon. It is the main axis of Holy Week, and the date ranges between March 22 and April 25.

Conmemora la muerte y la resurrección de Cristo junto a Ferratum

And now that you have already known the history of the celebration of Holy Week.
Do you have even more desire to travel and live these days to the fullest? You have not yet booked anything and you think that by now you will be very expensive?