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Holy Week liturgies highlight most sacred time of year

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, when we celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and what will be his last week before his crucifixion, death and resurrection. Join us for these important liturgies as we keep vigil with Christ.

On Holy Thursday, we celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 p.m. in the Church. We commemorate the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of Holy Orders. 

This Mass includes an offertory in which all parishioners are invited to contribute nonperishable food items or cash for our parish’s St. Vincent de Paul Society pantry. The feet of 12 pre-selected parishioners will be washed after the homily.

After communion, Father John will put incense in the thurible, then process with the Blessed Sacrament to the place of repose – in the Xavier Room, weather permitting. Parishioners may process after the clergy and remain in silent adoration until 10 p.m.

This liturgy will be livestreamed.

On Good Friday, we celebrate the Passion of the Lord. The altar is stripped bare. There is no Mass, but communion consecrated on Holy Thursday is distributed to the faithful. The reading of the Passion describes the suffering and death of Jesus, and we show reverence for the crucifix, the sign of our redemption. The priest and deacon prostrate themselves in silence while all others kneel. During the liturgy, all in attendance are invited to come forward to venerate the cross, by touching or kissing it if they wish.

At St. Francis Xavier, this liturgy is celebrated at 3 p.m. (will be livestreamed) and at 7 p.m.

On Holy Saturday, you are invited to bring a basket of foods that you will enjoy on Easter. These foods will be blessed in a short service led by Deacon Paul at 3 p.m. in the church.

At 8:30 p.m., we celebrate the Easter Vigil, beginning with a blazing fire outside the priests’ garage. The fire is blessed, the paschal candle is lit, and the priests and deacons process with the candidates and catechumens into the darkened church. Tapers are lit from the paschal candle, and soon the church is filled with candlelight for the Exsultet (Easter Proclamation). After several readings that retell our salvation history, the catechumens are baptized and candidates are welcomed into full communion with the Catholic Church. 

This liturgy will be livestreamed.

On Easter Sunday, we celebrate two Masses at the Medina Performing Arts Center, 855 Weymouth Road, at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., and three Masses at our church, at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 noon (this last one will be livestreamed). Alleluia! He is risen!

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