Today, with Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, we commemorate the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week, but we also read the Passion and thus set the tone for the remainder of the week.
There is not much out of the ordinary for Monday through Wednesday of this week, though our liturgies become a little more somber, a little “darker” than usual as we see the Passion approaching in the gospel. To bring our Lenten observance to completion, we will offer Confessions on each of these days. Fr. Russell and I will be available from 3:00 to 4:00 on each of those days, and again from 6:00 to 7:00 on Monday. On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings we will have Confessions from 7:00 to 8:00 (or later if needed). Please note that there are no Confessions after Wednesday of Holy Week.
Holy Thursday has three main themes. At the Last Supper, Christ gave us the Eucharist, He instituted the priesthood and He gave an example of service by washing the feet of His Apostles. Our Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which begins the Sacred Triduum, will begin at 7:00 in the evening. Church will remain open until Midnight for anyone who wants to spend some time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
Good Friday is the only day of the year on which we do not celebrate Mass. There is a Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion at 2:00 (after Stations of the Cross at Noon). The Liturgy is divided into three parts. The first is a Liturgy of the Word at which we proclaim the Passion of the Lord, then we have the Veneration of the Cross, followed by Holy Communion (from the Eucharist consecrated at the Holy Thursday Mass). This liturgy is very simple but very powerful. We also have the opening of the Divine Mercy Novena at 4:00 and the Living Stations of the Cross (with Veneration of the Cross) at 7:00 in the evening.
Holy Saturday is a very quiet day, with no official liturgy during the day (although we will have the blessing of Easter food at noon). That night, however, we have the most joyful liturgy of the whole year. The Easter Vigil begins at 8:30 (as it cannot begin before dark) and is always the liturgical highlight of the year for me as we begin our celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection and our share in His new life through our baptism. There is no 4:00 Mass that day.
That Easter Vigil begins our time of greatest joy, which we continue with the Masses next Sunday, Easter Sunday. Masses will be 8:00, 9:30, 11:00 and 12:30. So please come join with us to experience the greatest event in the history of the universe, the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.