Holy Week. Holy Week is the week which precedes the great Feast of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday: it includes the last days of Lent and the beginning of the Easter Triduum. During Holy Week, the Church celebrates the mysteries of salvation accomplished by Christ in the last days of his life on earth, beginning with his messianic entrance into Jerusalem.
Holy Week and the Paschal Triduum.
“The days of Jesus’ life-giving death and glorious resurrection are approaching, the hour he triumphed over Satan’s pride, the time we celebrate the great event of our redemption” (Preface of the Lord’s Passion II, Sacramentary). Thus the Church begins the one week of the year that we formally designate as “Holy”.
One of the unique features of the Holy Week liturgies is the active role we assume as the congregation when hearing the Scriptures read. This is my favourite week indeed. Our liturgies are beautiful, and powerful!
However, because this year we aren’t able to participate fully as a community due to all the restrictions in these momentous liturgies, we offer a day-by-day guide for celebrating Holy Week at home. Please see below for simple rituals that link the domestic church (family home) to the parish church and the Universal Church. Have a beautiful Holy Week. Let us continue to pray for one another. Peace.
JESUS RIDES TRIUMPHANTLY INTO JERUSALEM FOR THE LAST TIME ON A DONKEY AS CHEERING CROWDS WAVING PALM BRANCHES GREET HIM.
Celebrate at Home. At your regular Mass time, read the first Palm Sunday Gospel (Mk 11:1-10) and pray on what Jesus might be thinking as he enters Jerusalem for the last time. Mass will be livestreamed Saturday night, 5pm, March 27th.
JESUS SAID, “LEAVE HER ALONE. SHE BROUGHT THIS PERFUME FOR THE DAY OF MY BURIAL.”
Celebrate at Home. Daily Readings: Isaiah 42:1-7, Psalm 27, Gospel of John 12:1-11.
ONE OF YOU WILL BETRAY ME; ANOTHER WILL DENY ME THREE TIMES.
Celebrate at Home. Daily Readings: Isaiah 49:1-6, Psalm 71, Gospel of John 13:21-33, 36-38.
Chrism Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral, Ottawa: What is this mass, and why is it so important? All of the the priests of the diocese normally gather together for this Mass, and during it the bishop will consecrate the sacred oils used in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Orders. Each parish receives its annual supply of these oils at the Chrism Mass. It is also the mass where priests renew their promises and vows. Please continue to pray for our priests. With current restrictions, this mass is already full.
THE SON OF MAN GOES AS IT IS WRITTEN OF HIM, BUT WOE TO THAT ONE BY WHOM THE SON OF MAN IS BETRAYED.
Celebrate at Home. Daily Readings: Isaiah 50:4-9, Psalm 69, Gospel of Matthew 26:14-26.
BEFORE THE PASSOVER, JESUS HUMBLES HIMSELF TO SHOW LOVE BY WASHING THE FEET OF HIS DISCIPLES AND DURING THE SUPPER JESUS INSTRUCTS HIS FOLLOWERS TO REMEMBER HIS SACRIFICE BY BREAKING BREAD AND SHARING WINE.
Celebrate at Home. Daily Readings: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14, Psalm 116, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, Gospel of John 13:1-15. Bake bread for sharing at dinner; make a ritual of stripping the dinner table of all cloths and decorations after dinner. Let us continue to pray together on “Why are the three days from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday so important?” and why do we make the days of the Triduum different from all the other days of the year?
Please note: Livestream will begin at 6:50PM.
JESUS ENDURES THE HUMILIATION OF FALSE ACCUSATIONS, CONDEMNATION, BEATINGS AND ABANDONMENT. FINALLY HE IS FORCED TO WEAR A CROWN OF THORNS AND CARRY HIS OWN CROSS TO HIS CRUCIFIXION. BEFORE HE DREW HIS FINAL BREATH, JESUS LAST WORDS WERE, “FATHER, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” (LUKE 23:46)
Celebrate at Home. Daily Readings: Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Psalm 31, Hebrews 4:14-16, 5-7-9, Gospel of John 18:1-19:42. Pray the Stations of the Cross as a family, or join us at St. Finnan’s for that Way of the Cross at 6:30PM. Additionally, the faithful are invited by our Divine Mercy team to begin today the Divine Mercy Novena. More details are available here.
Please note: Livestream will begin at 2:50PM.
SECURING OUR ETERNAL SALVATION, JESUS CHRIST MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE AND HIS BODY LAY IN ITS TOMB.
Celebrate at Home. In the morning, read Psalm 64 and break your Good Friday fast solemnly with a simple meal. Invoke the Blessing of the Easter Food Baskets from the safety and comfort of home.
Please note: the Easter Vigil will be livestreamed starting at 7:50PM.
HE IS RISEN! THE TOMB IS EMPTY AND WE REJOICE IN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS THAT PROVIDE INCONTROVERTIBLE EVIDENCE OF JESUS’ RESURRECTION.
Celebrate at Home. Daily readings: Acts 10:34,37-43, Psalm 118, Colossians 3:1-4, Gospel of John 20:1-18. Dress up the dinner table again. Include candles and crosses, so that the candy baskets aren’t the only festive items present. Sing Alleluia and read the Easter Gospel (Jn 20:1-18) with solemnity and joy.
Please note: Easter Sunday Mass will be livetreamed starting at 10:50AM.