Dear Family,

I just wanted to take time to explain why we are using the “wooden clapper” at our celebrations of the Mass during the Lenten Season. The device is actually called a

Semantron or “Holy Wood”.  It has been used in the

Eastern and Western Churches for hundreds upon hundreds of years. But why do we use them?

When we take the Sanctus bells away for Lent it is a subtle way to enter more fully into the desert experience of Lent.  It communicates that this is penitential season that requires a look to the cross. The mallet hitting the wood during the sacred times of the Mass, the Epiclesis “the calling down of the Holy Spirit upon the altar” and at each consecration of the bread and wine, reminds us of the wood of the tree in the Garden of Eden. It reminds us of the sin of our first

parents that we wrestle with ourselves as Christians.

However, we also we remember the wood of another tree where Jesus was crucified for our sins to show us love,

forgiveness and mercy.

Some people had been asking about this so I wanted to give a brief explanation of its ancient use in the Catholic Church.

In the Heart of Christ,

Fr. Dusty Burns