Holy Week is the week which precedes the great feast of the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. Holiness means desiring with God’s help to be filled with God’s love and doing the will of the Heavenly Father. Jesus leads us in our growing in holiness especially as we join him in the last days of his life on earth, beginning with his entrance as messiah into Jerusalem.
Every Mass on Palm Sunday begins with the Blessings of Palms and the Gospel of Jesus entering Jerusalem. Later in Mass, the account from St. Matthew of the Passion of the Lord is proclaimed.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week are days that that bring us the description of the growing opposition against Jesus. He desires peace and unity and is willing to pay the price to bring about reconciliation. These three days present opportunities for us to focus on the three virtues of faith, hope and love. Try to focus with God’s help on practicing one virtue for each of these days.
The Chrism Mass for the Archdiocese is on Holy Thursday, April 9th at 10:30 am at Holy Rosary Cathedral. In this special Mass the oils that are used in the sacraments are blessed by the Archbishop: the Oil of Catechumens, the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Chrism. Also, the priests renew their priestly vows. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:30 pm celebrates the Sacrament of the Priesthood and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
Good Friday has no Mass – rather there is the solemn celebration of the Passion of the Lord at 3 pm. Good Friday is a day of universal fast and abstinence for Catholics. Fasting means for people between 18 and 59 that you have only one full meal, two smaller meals and no snacks in between. Abstinence means that for people over 14 that you don’t eat meat. The intention of fasting and abstinence is to be closer to Jesus in His ways of sacrifice out of love for sinners.
Holy Saturday only has one Mass – the Easter Vigil. This Mass includes the singing of the ancient hymn of praise, the Exsultet, near the Easter candle, and the Liturgy of the Word which has Scripture readings that cover salvation history.
Easter Sunday brings us the solemn celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord – God’s love is stronger than sin, fear and death itself! We are invited to renew our Baptism promises. Try to participate in these liturgies in Holy Week – in them you’ll find the answer to all your joys, sorrows, passions and pains, thanks to God’s loving mercy brought to us in Jesus Christ.
Fr. Stanley Galvon
Rector of the Cathedral
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For a detailed schedule of our Holy Week ceremonies please click here.