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Holy Week in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati

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The Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati, prepares the Eucharist during the Solemn Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Chains in Cincinnati on Holy Thursday, March 24, 2016.

On Tuesday, April 4 the Chrism Mass will take place at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains at 3:00 p.m., with Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr as celebrant. At the Chrism Mass, the archbishop is joined by the priests of the diocese. This Mass manifests the unity of the priests with their bishop. During the Mass, the archbishop blesses three oils — the oil of catechumens, the oil of the infirm, and holy chrism— which will be used in the administration of the sacraments throughout the archdiocese for the year.

The ancient service of Tenebrae will take place at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5.  Tenebrae is a prayer service centered on 15 candles, one of which is extinguished after each of the nine psalms of Matins and the five of Lauds, gradually reducing the lighting throughout the service. The six altar candles are put out during the Benedictus, and followed by any remaining lights in the church. The last candle is hidden beneath the altar, ending the service in total darkness. The strepitus (Latin for “great noise”), made by slamming a book shut, banging a hymnal or breviary against the pew, or stomping on the floor, symbolizes the earthquake that followed Christ’s death, although it may have originated as a simple signal to depart. After the candle has been shown to the people, it is extinguished, and then put “on the credence table,” or simply taken to the sacristy. All rise and then leave in silence.

The summit of the liturgical year is the Easter Triduum — from the evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday. Though chronologically three days, they are liturgically one day, unfolding for us the unity of Christ’s paschal mystery. The single celebration of the Triduum marks the end of the Lenten season, and leads to the Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord at the Easter Vigil. The Easter Triduum begins on Holy Thursday, April 6. The Liturgy of the Lord’s Supper will take place at 5 p.m. at The Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chain.  Masses will take place throughout the archdiocese, with adoration and a time for quiet prayer and reflection following the liturgy.

Good Friday, April 7: There are no Masses on Good Friday. Yet, on this day there are many ways to reflect on Jesus Christ’s Passion. At Holy Cross-Immaculata, for over a century, year after year on Good Friday, thousands of pilgrims of various faiths have been praying “The Steps” of Mt. Adams to Immaculata Church. The “Good Friday Steps” are a symbol of hope to millions of devout souls This years tradition will be praying the steps will be a bit different. For the full details, click here.. At the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains, the liturgy of the Lord’s Passion will take place at noon, Later that day, at 5:15 p.m., the Cathedral will have Stations of the Cross.

There are several unique events on Holy Saturday, April 8. Blessing of the Easter Food will occur at 12:45 p.m. at St. Peter in Huber Heights.  From noon until 3:00 p.m. there is the vigil at the tomb at Holy Cross Parish in Dayton.

Easter Vigil consists of the Service of Light, the Liturgy of the Word, Christian Initiation and the Renewal of Baptismal Vows. Because the new liturgical day begins at sunset, the vigil begins between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Sunday outside the church, where an Easter fire is kindled and the paschal candle is blessed and then lit. This paschal candle will be used throughout the season of Easter, remaining in the sanctuary of the church or near the lectern, and throughout the coming year at baptisms and funerals, reminding all that Christ is “light and life.” At the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains, the Easter Vigil begins at 8:45 p.m. with Archbishop Schnurr as celebrant.

Easter Sunday, April 8: The schedule at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains is Mass at 9:00 a.m., and choir Mass at 11 a.m. At Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Dayton, the annual Rock with the Risen Christ Mass takes place at 6 p.m. with Father Satish Joseph.

The staff of “The Catholic Telegraph” wishes you a blessed Holy Week and Easter season.

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