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Archdiocese marks Holy Week and Easter

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ARCHDIOCESE — The Archdiocese of Cincinnati will join Christians throughout the world in celebrating Holy Week, the most sacred time of the church year, beginning with Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday) on March 28.

 Chrism Mass
At the Chrism Mass on March 30, the archbishop blesses the oils that will be used in baptisms, confirmations and anointing of the sick at all parishes of the archdiocese throughout the coming year. (CT file photo)

The week culminates in what is known as the Triduum — Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. Triduum means three days, for the Christian celebration of Easter really encompasses three days. Each of the days has a unique tone.

As the official church of the archbishop, the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains, 325 W. Eighth Street, downtown Cincinnati, holds a special prominence in the worship life of the local church. Here is the cathedral’s schedule for Passion Sunday, Holy Week and Easter:
 
Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday), March 28: 11 a.m., Mass with Blessing of Palms. Archbishop Emeritus Daniel E. Pilarczyk will preside and preach.
 
Tuesday, March 30: 7 p.m., Chrism Mass. At this Mass, the archbishop blesses the oils that will be used in baptisms, confirmations and anointing of the sick at all parishes of the archdiocese throughout the coming year. Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr will preside and preach.
 
Wednesday, March 31: 7:30 p.m., Tenebrae Service. Tenebrae, Latin for “darkness,” is a special Holy Week service introducing the sacred Three Days: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The service consists of the praying of psalms, reading of Scripture, the chanting of the lamentations and the singing of the Passiontide choral music. Its dramatic features are the gradual extinction of the lights and a 15-branch candelabrum in the center of the sanctuary as the church contemplates the temporary triumph of the prince of darkness over the world, and a loud noise at its conclusion suggesting the earthquake described in the passion narratives. The Choir of St. Peter in Chains Cathedral will sing under the direction of Anthony J. DiCello, music director.
 
Holy Thursday, April 1:  5 p.m., Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The unique event of this Mass is the washing of feet of selected participants, as Jesus washed the feet of His apostles. Archbishop Schnurr will preside and preach.

Good Friday, April 2: noon, Liturgy of the Passion. Archbishop Pilarczyk will preside and preach.
 
Holy Saturday, April 3: 8:45 p.m., Easter Vigil. Archbishop Schnurr will preside and preach. This is the Mass at which adults are baptized or received into the church.
 
Easter Sunday, April 4: 11 a.m., Easter Mass with the Cathedral Choir. Archbishop Pilarczyk will preside and preach.

The liturgies of the Triduum are also celebrated in parishes throughout the archdiocese.

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