Holy Week – A Journey of Mercy
Holy Week is the greatest week in the Liturgical year. In some instances it is called the Week of Salvation. It starts
on this – the sixth Sunday of Lent, known as both Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday. This is the time of the
year we stop to remember and relive the events that brought about our redemption and salvation. What we commemorate and relive during this week is not just Jesus’ dying and rising, but our own dying and rising in Him, which will result in our healing, reconciliation, and redemption.
Attentive participation in the Holy Week liturgy will deepen our relationship with God, increase our Faith, and strengthen our lives as disciples of Jesus. A snapshot of some liturgical events that will take place here for Sts. Peter and Paul and St. Joseph’s. Chrism Mass Oils at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Richmond, on Monday at 6:00. All are invited. In this cerebration, Priests of the Diocese gather together with their Bishop to renew their
priestly Vows and to Bless and Consecrate the Oils that will be used in the mission of the Church this year, and the oils are
Holy Chrism (SC), Oil of the Catechumen (OC) and Oil of the Sick (OI). Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00, includes washing of the feet, a Cerebration that marks the beginning of the Triduum (three days of watching in prayer). The greatest mysteries of the redemption are celebrated yearly by the Church beginning with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday and ending with Vespers of Easter Sunday. This time is called “the triduum of the crucified, buried and risen”; it is also called the “Easter Triduum” because during it is celebrated the paschal mystery, that is, the passing of the Lord from this world to his Father.
The Church, by the celebration of this mystery through liturgical signs and sacramental, is united to Christ, her spouse, in intimate communion. The Easter Fast is sacred on the <first two days of the Triduum, in which, according to ancient tradition, the Church fasts
“because the Spouse has been taken away (Statues covered, no music…).” Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence; the liturgies on that day include Stations of the Cross at noon and at 3:00pm, then the Veneration of the Cross service at 7:00PM. Note that the Novena for the Divine Mercy begins on this day.
It is also recommended that Holy Saturday be observed, so that the Church, with uplifted and welcoming heart, be ready to celebrate the joys of the Sunday of the Resurrection. With this anticipation, there will be a traditional Rite of Blessing the food at 11:00 in the Commons that will be prepared at Easter. The Easter Vigil Mass which will start at 8:00, ending the Triduum. It is the Night of Nights when Our Lord conquered death for us.
A full schedule of our Holy week and Easter Liturgies is included in this Bulletin.
Therefore, Brothers and Sisters, in this week of Mercy, let us “die to self” in order to truly serve God and neighbor and, not only in this week, but, throughout our lifetime. That is what brings joy into our lives no matter how many hardships we have to endure and what paves the way to heaven!
A Blessed Holy Week to all of you.