The doors of Holy Week open before us this weekend with our celebration of Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. Each year the Church invites us on a sacred pilgrimage as we return in time and space to the events that stand at the center of our salvation history. This is a week unlike any other and the liturgies of Holy Week deserve our attention and our participation.
On Tuesday, Archbishop Thompson will celebrate the Chrism Mass at 2:00 pm at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. At this Mass the oils used in the celebration of several of the sacraments of the Church will be blessed and the priests of the Archdiocese will renew the promise made at ordination to serve the People of God as priests of the New Covenant. A reception will follow in the Catholic Center. All are welcome and encouraged to participate in the Chrism Mass.
Holy Thursday begins the Triduum, the three holiest days of the Church Year. On this day in which we remember the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist, only one Mass is celebrated, and it is celebrated in the evening. We will gather at 7:00 p.m. for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The feet of twelve parishioners will be washed and, at the conclusion of the Mass, the altar and sanctuary will be stripped in preparation for Good Friday. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will follow the conclusion of the liturgy.
Good Friday is the one day of the year in which Mass is not celebrated anywhere in the world. On the day in which we remember Jesus’ sacrifice on the altar of the cross that is made present in every Eucharist, we will gather at 2:00 p.m. for the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion. After hearing the account of the Passion, we will reverence the cross which is the great symbol of our salvation. “We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”
Holy Saturday is a day of silence and reflection. We will gather at 8:00 pm for the Church’s great Easter Vigil. We will bless and light the Paschal Candle that stands as a sign of Jesus’ victory over sin and death. The Paschal Candle is lit at every baptism and every Funeral Mass celebrated in our parish church as a reminder that we are all called to share in this victory. At this great liturgy we will celebrate the baptism of our catechumens and the reception into the Church of our candidates. The Easter vigil culminates with the first Mass of Easter Sunday and the ‘Alleluia’s’ will resound once again. At this liturgy and at all of the Masses of Easter Sunday, we will renew our baptismal promises.
Please join the parish family for these most special days of prayer and celebration.
See you at the Triduum!