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My Holy Week Traditions

April 3, 2012

Holy Week title page from my 1961 Saint Joseph Daily Missal

It is Holy Week.  This time of year is steeped with Tradition.  I try to attend as many of the special Holy Week masses and devotions as possible.  This year in particular I have decided to attend most of these Liturgies at my diocese cathedral.  This is a fairly easy task for me since I live in Belleville, IL which happens to be the seat of a diocese.

Today I attended the Chrism Mass.  For those of you who aren’t aware this is when and where the three holy oils are blessed by the bishop and distributed to the individual parishes, oratories, and chapels for use throughout the year.  This is also the mass where the priests of the diocese renew promises they made on their day of ordination.   The mass is celebrated by the diocese bishop and concelebrated by the priests of the diocese.

Inside the north nave at the Cathedral of St. Peter (Belleville) before the Chrism Mass

The mass was not without controversy as about 50 or so protesters (I wish I would have snapped some pictures) stood in front of the cathedral holding signs in support of a priest who was recently resigned as pastor of a parish after he was told that he could no longer ad-lib parts of the mass.

I’ve tried to keep Holy Week fresh the past few years.  Two years ago I attended each of the Holy Week services in a single year for the first time, all at my home parish.  Last year I did the same, but at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis (which is arguably the most beautiful church in North America).  This year I am planning to celebrate each service at my home cathedral.  What should I attempt next year?  I’m thinking about each service at St. Francis de Sales parish in St. Louis in order to experience Holy Week in the Extraordinary Form.

As for the rest of Holy Week I intend to attend The Mass of The Last Supper on Holy Thursday, The Liturgy of Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil Mass, as stated all at my home cathedral.  In addition I am going to try my best (barring work conflicts) to attend an outdoor celebration of the Way of the Cross at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.

Whether you are able to attend every service of Holy Week or just Easter Sunday I hope that you’ve chosen to take this lent as an opportunity to renew your own faith.

Holy Week title page from my Midwest Theological Forum Daily Roman Missal

From → Everyday Faith

One Comment
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