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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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"And since it is becoming that holy things be administered in a holy manner, and of all things this sacrifice is the most holy, the Catholic Church, to the end that it might be worthily and reverently offered and received, instituted many centuries ago the holy canon, which is so free from error that it contains nothing that does not in the highest degree savor of a certain holiness and piety and raise up to God the minds of those who offer."
— Council of Trent (1562)

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Feeling the Absence
published 29 March 2013 by Fr. David Friel

LL THROUGHOUT THE DAY TODAY, my mind and heart have been preoccupied with a sense of absence. Even upon waking, there seemed to be something monumental missing. I realized during the course of this morning what was the cause of this uncomfortable sense: no Mass today.

Every day of my priesthood, I have exercised my sacred duty to offer the holy sacrifice of the Mass—except for Good Friday. This is the only day of the year when no Mass is celebrated.

Our Mother, the Church, calls us each year to go beyond the sense of absence on this day so as to enter into contemplation of the very first Mass (and the only true Mass), which is the sacrifice of Christ on Mount Calvary. On Holy Thursday, we memorialize the institution of the Mass, and the next day we refrain from offering the Mass so that we can focus on its incredible reality.

I’m grateful to have felt the absence, because it assures me that the Lord has placed a longing in my heart for the Mass. This is a wonderful gift for a priest to receive.