Holy Week is the culmination of Lent, and brings us to the highlight of the Christian Year – Easter! The Easter season begins with the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and continues for the next 50 days, until the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The color of the Easter season is white, representing Christ’s victory over death. The music is filled with joyful alleluias.
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, when we read the Passion of Jesus (The long Gospel!). The Gospel will be proclaimed – in parts – at all Masses in the Parish this weekend. There will also be devotions (Adoration & Benediction) held at 7.30pm that night in The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown.
Confessions will be held throughout Holy Week;
After any Mass.
Monday 3rd – from 7.30 – 8pm in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure.
Holy Thursday, 6th April – from after Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper in The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown until Night Prayer at 10pm.
Good Friday, 7th April – from 3-4pm in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure and from after the Stations of the Cross in The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown.
Holy Saturday, 8th April – from 12noon -1pm in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure.
On Wednesday 5th April (Spy Wednesday), Archbishop Eamon, along with the clergy of the diocese, will celebrate the Chrism Mass in The Cathedral, at 7pm. All are welcome. In particular, an invitation to attend is extended to families with children who will make Confirmation this year. The Mass is also available via webcam at http://www.armaghparish.net
The Chrism Mass reminds us of our oneness in Christ through Baptism and its holy anointing, made possible by the ministry of the archbishop and his priests. The Chrism Mass is also a key moment in which the unity of the archbishop with his priests (together, they form the presbyterate) is manifested and renewed. During the liturgy, the entire assembly is called to renew its baptismal promises; deacons and priests also renew their vow of obedience to the local (arch)bishop and their commitment to serve God’s people. At the end of the Chrism Mass, the Holy Oils are blessed for use in the coming year. These are:
- Oil of the Sick
- Oil of Catechumens
- Sacred Chrism
Whenever the Holy Oils are used in a diocese, the ministry of the bishop who consecrated them is symbolically present.
Thursday 6th April, Holy Thursday, sees the Mass of The Last Supper, with the traditional symbolism of The Washing of The Feet. The Altar is stripped after the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament reserved in another placed, and the Church enters into the period of writing for The Resurrection. Mass will be celebrated in The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown, at 8pm, with Night Prayer at 10pm.
Good Friday, 7th April, is a most solemn day. It is a day of mourning, fast and abstinence. The Celebration of The Lord’s Passion will take place at 3pm in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure. Stations of the Cross will be prayed at 8pm in The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown.
The Easter Vigil will take place on Holy Saturday, 8th April at 9pm, in The Church of The Immaculate Conception, Tenure. With its full and symbolic liturgy, this Mass is one of the most important celebrated in the life of the Parish. All are welcome.
Easter Sunday begins with the Dawn Mass outside of The Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Fieldstown, at 5.45am, and is always a special celebration. The usual Sunday Masses follow.
The Lord is Risen! Alleluia!