Happy Holy Week! We hope you and your families are well. We miss each of you and know of our continued prayers for you. This week is one of the most important in our Liturgical Calendar. Holy Week allows us to enter Jerusalem with our Blessed Lord and trace His steps from the Last Supper, to the Cross, and lastly to his tomb. Please take some time this week to enter into prayer and join your Parish in a virtual Mass. (Link below for Virtual Holy Week Services.)
The Holy Triduum begins with the Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. It was at this sacred meal, that our Blessed Lord instituted both Holy Communion and the Sacred Priesthood. Here we also see our Lord humble himself to his disciples by washing their feet. In John’s Gospel we see the purpose of this sacred event, “If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” (Jn 13:14-15) Our Shepard, Archbishop Gregory Aymond, goes annually to the Orleans Parish Prison and washes the feet of the inmates.
The Triduum continues on Good Friday with the Lord’s Passion. Traditionally, New Orleanians visit the many Churches in our Archdiocese to pray the Stations of the Cross before attending the Good Friday Liturgy. Obliviously with social distancing this will not be possible. You’re in luck because we recorded a video praying the Stations in the Holy Cross tradition. (Link below to pray the stations.) The Good Friday Liturgy begins promptly at 3:00 p.m., the same time our Blessed Lord handed over his spirit. Might I suggest, if you are unable to attend a Good Friday service virtually on Friday, please set an alarm and stop whatever you’re doing at 3:00 p.m., kneel, and say a prayer to our Lord in thanksgiving for dying for our salvation.
After the Good Friday Liturgy, a great silence comes upon the Earth as we mourn our Lord at his tomb along with his Blessed Mother (Our Lady of Sorrows). At dusk on Holy Saturday we come back together as a people of Faith for the Solemn Easter Vigil. Many things happen at this Mass. The Easter Fire is ignited, and the Paschal candle is lit. We are once again able to sing the “Gloria” and the “Alleluia” as we are not in mourning or fasting any longer. At this Vigil and the Easter Sunday Mass our hopes are realized as we come to the empty tomb. He has indeed Risen!
We realize this has been an extremely difficult few weeks for everyone. Let us unite our anxieties and sufferings with our Blessed Lord during this Holy Week. As members of the Holy Cross Family, we are called to Bring Hope to others. Let us “hurry then and take up this work of the Resurrection” as our Founder Blessed Moreau called us to.
May the Risen Lord be with you and your families. Please see the links below to help guide you through Holy Week.
Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Joseph, Blessed Fr. Moreau, St. Brother Andre, Pray for us!
Stations of the Cross
Virtual Holy Week Services in the Archdiocese of New Orleans
Daily Mass Readings to follow along (Just click the day on the calendar)
If you’re looking for a place to celebrate Mass during Holy Week, holy cross alumnus Father Pat Williams ’80 would like to invite the Holy Cross community to join him at St. Pius X Parish. Father Pat is Vicar General and Executive Director of Clergy for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, as well as Pastor of St. Pius X Church. His parish will be live streaming Holy Thursday Mass at 7:00 p.m. and Easter Sunday Mass at 10:30 a.m. The video can be accessed through their parish website https://parish.stpiusxnola.org/.