Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum

Our Palm Sunday Masses follow the usual Sunday schedule: Saturday 5:30 pm; Sunday 8 am, 10 am, noon, Spanish 2 pm.

Masses on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week will follow the usual weekday schedule: 6:30 am and 8 am, plus the usual 6 pm Mass on Wednesday.

The high point of the Catholic year is the Passover Triduum, which lasts from the evening of Maundy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday. Though chronologically 72 hours, they are liturgically one extended “day” of celebration. Lent ends on Thursday afternoon prior to the beginning of the Triduum. The liturgical services that take place during the Triduum are: the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday, the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, the Vigil of the Lord’s Resurrection on the eve of Sunday, and the Mass of the Lord’s Resurrection during the day on Easter Sunday.

Maundy Thursday of the Lord’s Supper (7 pm) is our annual celebration of the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist. Also included in the Maundy Thursday ceremonies is an optional ritual called “the Mandatum”, during which the members of our Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, who serve the poor, will receive the “Washing of Feet”. The Maundy Thursday celebration is followed by the stripping of the Holy Altar, and quiet adoration of Christ’s Sacred Body, ending at midnight.

Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord (7 pm) is a solemn Celebration of the Lord’s Passion, which includes the solemn Adoration of the Holy Cross. Good Friday begins the only time of the year when priests are forbidden to offer Mass, and begins the only time of the year when the Most Blessed Sacrament is not reserved in any church, chapel or oratory. For about 24 hours, the Sacred Substance of Christ is gone from the earth. When the Good Friday ceremonies are over, everyone departs in silence, maintaining this sacred silence throughout all our buildings and grounds.

Holy Saturday is a day of quiet and fasting as we recall Christ’s time in the tomb. There is no Mass during the day in any Catholic Church on Holy Saturday.

For Catholics, Sundays begin on Saturday evenings, recalling the ancient Jewish practice of marking each new day at sundown. Easter Sunday, therefore, begins at sundown of Holy Saturday. Our fasting ends and our celebration begins with the Easter Vigil (8:30 pm) as we ignite the fire of resurrection during the Lucernarium, and as we recall the mysteries of our salvation through a comprehensive series of biblical readings. Then, we resurrect the Alleluia from its tomb, welcome new Catholics into the Holy Church, recall our Baptisms and Confirmations, and feast upon the Body and Blood of our resurrected Savior.

Easter Day Masses follow the usual Sunday schedule: 8 am, 10 am, noon, Spanish 2 pm. Please note that there will be no Confessions before any of the Masses Easter Sunday. Sunday Confessions will resume on Divine Mercy Sunday for those who arrive thirty minutes before Mass.